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

Saturday ARTfarm goods! 10am – 12 noon

ARTfarm Saturday of Relative Solitude: Between the rainy weather, the holiday camping weekend, and the general time of year, you can enjoy a summer-like meditative quiet as you shop at ARTfarm on a Saturday morning. Talk to yourself! No one will even notice.

Sweet salad mix, microgreens, baby arugula, baby spicy salad mix, a few cucumbers, cherry, slicer and heirloom tomatoes, dandelion greens, long beans, ginger, cilantro, a few bunches of beets, onions, scallions, basil, dill, parsley, carrots, a few radishes, and zinnia flowers.

And from our partner I-Sha we have vegan ice cream.

Watercolor (c)2015 by Luca Gasperi, exhibiting at the "Men Of Industry" show with opening reception Friday, April 10th, 2015 5-8pm at Walsh Metal Works Gallery.
Watercolor (c)2015 by Luca Gasperi, exhibiting at the “Men Of Industry” show with opening reception Friday, April 10th, 2015 5-8pm at Walsh Metal Works Gallery.

Save this coming Friday April 10th for Farmer Luca’s art exhibition with Mike Walsh (“Men Of Industry”) in Peters Rest at the Walsh Metal Works Gallery. The reception is from 5-8pm, and the show will hang for several weeks. Luca has been working on a collection of new watercolors, this time a number of paintings in smaller sizes. Mike is working on some new sculptures. Join us for this free art event!

 

 

ARTfarm Monday, 3–6 p.m.: Cool Off!

The sun is pretty blazing hot these days, drying up the South Shore and turning everything golden. Except, of course for our irrigated crops, who are still sipping rainwater reserved from a few months ago. Come enjoy some of the greenery and savor the memory of rain… Sweet salad mix, arugula, spicy salad mix, microgreens, cherry tomatoes, heirloom and slicer tomatoes on the small side, lots of yard long purple Bodhi beans, a handful of cucumbers, scallions, Italian basil, and radishes with yummy green tops.

The grass on the South Shore of St. Croix has gone golden and crunchy, but the irrigated crops are looking healthy as they sip stored rainwater from months prior!
The grass on the South Shore of St. Croix has gone golden and crunchy, but the irrigated crops are looking healthy as they sip stored rainwater from months prior!

We’ve got really good ice cream from I-Sha! Honey soon come from Errol. He’s waiting on bottles. (Please note you can bring back clean honey bottles for sterilization and reuse by the beekeeper!)

Delicious local fruit flavors in single-size cups - coconut-based vegan ice cream from I-Sha is made with handmade local coconut cream, brown sugar, spices and local fruits and veggies! We've got spoons to lend at the farmstand, so take a moment and cool off with a little treat!
Delicious local fruit flavors in single-size cups – coconut-based vegan ice cream from I-Sha is made with handmade local coconut cream, brown sugar, spices and local fruits and veggies! We’ve got spoons to lend at the farmstand, so take a moment and cool off with a little treat!

ARTfarm Monday Q&A: Never the Same Salad Twice

It’s dry out here! Today’s pungent harvest: Sweet salad mix, baby arugula, baby and regular spicy salad mixes, arugula, onions, scallions, cilantro, Italian basil, lots of tomatoes, slicers and heirlooms, cherry tomatoes, and the last of the figs for a while.

Q: Why aren’t your salad greens as sweet this week as they were last week? Why are the stems larger/smaller? Why isn’t  the spicy as spicy as it was last time? etc. etc….?

A: While one could chalk this up to simple nostalgia, it’s more likely that variations are due to two main reasons:

(1) Mother nature’s treatment of our crops is the primary source of this shift in taste from week to week. Even as our recipes remain unchanged, small changes in the weather can affect the taste of our salad mix.

When temperatures are hotter during a portion of the growth cycle of the lettuce heads in our fields, they respond as many living beings do under stress: they attempt to defend themselves from being eaten as they try to propagate. Lettuce will tend to take on a more bitter flavor in hot weather as it accelerates toward the bolting and seeding cycle of its life (as it would during hot late summer months in the cooler parts of the world). If we encounter cooler and rainier weather, the lettuce will be sweeter. Even a brief few days of intense heat can alter the taste of plants. And variations in weather now can affect the salad flavor two or three weeks from now, as the plants are in their growth cycle.

Spicy greens become more peppery when the weather is very hot and dry, and will taste milder when we’ve had a lot of wet weather. Our formulas for the types of greens and their quantities in the various mixes stays consistent from harvest to harvest, but the weather can change the flavors in the bag of salad you take home.

Occasionally we do have to change the formulation of a salad mix because seed is not available for some of the tasty baby greens that add so much flavor to our mixes. We find a substitution that is similar, but this can also change the taste of our salad mixes over the course of the season.

(2) The other factor that comes into play in the consistency of ARTfarm salad greens from bag to bag is what we like to call the Jackson Pollock effect.

When we make the salad mix we use a very large sanitized stainless surface and mix in many different baby mesclun greens with multiple large chopped lettuce varieties.

When creating his splatter paint pop art creations of the 1960s, Jackson Pollock employed a similar technique. He would toss different colors in random patterns throughout his large canvases.

What we do next at ARTfarm is essentially like taking that large amazing Jackson Pollock painting and cutting it up into many small pieces. Each portion of the canvas represents a bag of ARTfarm salad mix. Some bags will have more large pieces of stem from the base of the lettuce head; other bags will contain a little bit more of the baby mesclun greens; others will be a perfect blend of all the different ingredients that we put into the salad mix. Every bag is a little different because they’re all prepared by hand, and the weather, the secret intentions of mother nature, and the randomness of our process ensure that your experience will always be fresh!

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We know that our customers seek us out because they want real produce that tastes like the place it was grown. We know you can handle a little variety. But, if you ever purchase a bag of salad greens from ARTfarm that you find inedible, please bring it back to us. We’d always like to hear from our customers, good or bad, how you feel about our products, and if we’ve goofed and a product is not up to our normal level of quality, we would be happy to replace it with something you find tastier.

We grow this stuff for you, after all!