ARTfarm Q&A Wednesday! 3-6pm

Today at ARTfarm down the south shore we’ll offer a fairly small selection of items: Pineapples, a few tomatoes, sweet salad mix, microgreens, basil, chives, and a few cucumbers.

The lignum vitae is an important food source for honey bees in drought times.
The lignum vitae is an important food source for honey bees in drought times.

Q: What do you farmers do when it is so dry? What can grow in this extreme drought condition?

A: Not too much! We do our best to conserve water when conditions are this severe.

One plant that remains green and healthy with no watering in this dry weather is the highly drought tolerant lignum vitae tree. Slow and steady is how lignum vitae grows, rain or no rain. This tree species will probably outlast all the other trees that we have planted over the years. Most of the 30+ lignum vitae trees established at ARTfarm came from Kai and Irene Lawaetz at Little Lagrange. Kai was always a champion of the lignum vitae for its beauty and ability to withstand drought times and there are many prime individuals of the species on the Lawaetz Museum grounds.

Even in drought times when most vegetation is brown, the lignum vitae tree's evergreen leaves remain deep green and provide dense shade.
Even in drought times when most vegetation is brown, the lignum vitae tree’s evergreen leaves remain deep green and provide dense shade.

While it does not produce any edible products, the lignum vitae is a beautiful dense shade and ornamental tree and a food source for honeybees, particularly when nothing else is flowering. The wood of lignum vitae trees is so dense that it has traditionally been used to make ship pulleys.

The light purplish blue blooms and showy red and orange fruit are unique mainly because of their color. There are not too many blue colored flowers in the tropics. The tree sheds very little leaf litter and its leathery paired leaves remain a beautiful deep green year round.

Pineapples! Happy ARTfarm Saturday! 10am – 12 noon

Summer is the season for pineapples at ARTfarm! Sweet sweet sweet!
Summer is the season for pineapples at ARTfarm! Sweet sweet sweet!

Sweet salad mix, microgreens, macrogreens, lots of sweet ARTfarm south shore pineapples, passionfruit, a few cucumbers, a few tomatoes, Italian basil, beets, radishes, scallions, sage, delicious serrano chili peppers, zinnia flowers, and local honey from Errol.

We have a few bunches of Ethiopian kale today. It is a tender cooking or juicing green with a pungent, sweet flavor that resembles a mild mustard green.

Ethiopian kale! This flavorful cooking green is mild enough to eat raw. It has a mustard-like flavor but will not make your eyes water like true mustard greens.
Ethiopian kale! This flavorful cooking green is mild enough to eat raw. It has a mustard-like flavor but will not make your eyes water like true mustard greens.

We have tickets available at the farmstand today for the annual Caribbean Dance performance that is coming up on May 29 and 30th (Friday and Saturday evenings). Each ticket is also a raffle entry to win round trip plane tickets, a Buccaneer vacation and more!

Tickets are $15 each and will also be available at the door on the nights of the performance. The show takes place in the air conditioned theater at the Educational Complex and curtain time is 7:30 PM.

The Caribbean Dance School celebrates their 39th anniversary on the stage this year. Performers range in age from preschooler to adult, and include students and members of the Company. Disciplines range widely from ballet en pointe to contemporary, jazz, hip-hop tap and Afro-Caribbean calypso this year. It is a completely family-friendly show! (Costumes and choreography are all in good taste and G-rated.) Even if you cannot attend, your purchase of a ticket enters you in the raffle and helps to support this great nonprofit cultural institution.

Thanks for supporting the arts on St. Croix!

ARTfarm Wednesday! Pineapple Plethora! Steam the Beets!

Hope all you wonderful moms and nurturers out there had a great Mother’s Day on Sunday. We got over a quarter inch of rain on the farm, the perfect gift!

Thanks to all who came out and supported Luca’s art exhibition this past month.

Farmer Luca especially wants you to know that, when preparing our relatively small late-season beets, you may find it much easier to peel the rough skin off after steaming instead of roasting. Post-steaming, the jackets release with just a pinch of the fingers, while roasting will largely entail the use of a paring knife. So for those of you looking for efficiency in your culinary preparations, consider the steam method. Be sure to save the beautiful pink steam bath water for use in a vegetable broth. You can add a little miso to it and it is ready as a light consommé.

ARTfarm Wednesday, 3–6 p.m.: Calling Faye, come in Faye: loads of pineapples! Also fresh sweet salad mix, “macro” (large micro) greens, bunched arugula, radishes, beets, Italian basil, a few tomatoes, a few cucumbers, and local raw honey from beesteward Errol Chichester.

Continuing the rain dance…

 

Pineapples ripening at ARTfarm, just in time to ease the sorrow of tomato season coming to a close.
Pineapples ripening at ARTfarm, just in time to ease the sorrow of tomato season coming to a close.

ARTfarm Saturday: 10am Treats!

Luca’s and Mike’s art exhibition is closing today (Saturday), with the last viewing from 11 AM – 2 PM. So after you pick up your fresh veggies, head over to Peters Rest if you haven’t had a chance to see this inventive collection of new watercolors and abstract sculptures from these two men of industry. Admission is free.

Organically grown just for you, with stored rainwater that is a mere memory of beautiful darkened skies that passed over us at least three or four months ago: Sweet salad mix, bunched arugula, radishes, beets, a few tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, a few cucumbers, Italian basil, green coriander, fresh onions, scallions, pineapples, and raw honey from Errol.

It will rain.

Rain From The North, watercolor (c)2015 Luca Gasperi
Rain From The North, watercolor (c)2015 Luca Gasperi