Next Produce Box Availability: Saturday March 21st. Sign up link will post soon…

 

After unusually booming productivity this winter, the end of ARTfarm’s 2020 tomato season is arriving soon…
Things are getting crispy as usual in the spring with dry hot winds…
Everything gets more pungent in flavor at the end of the season … onions full of weeds!

Hey there folks. We hope everyone is staying home as much as possible, avoiding stress, washing hands, resting, eating healthy and trying to keep that 6′ distance. Schools and many businesses and organizations across the island and the globe are temporarily shutting down over coronavirus. We are all finally hunkering down to wait out this crisis, “flatten the curve” of the timing of acute medical needs, and put our community and elders first.

Last week with the COVID-19 risks clearly laid out, we decided to cancel the regular farmstands for the rest of the 2019–2020 season. We considered the demographic of our customers and family, and the typical close proximity provided by our popularity and petite retail space.

But the lettuce continued to grow, so we tried a ‘socially distant’ distribution experiment with pre-sold boxes on Saturday. We sent out our usual email, but with an order form link. Customers signed up for a large or small prepacked box of ARTfarm produce via that one-time link on our website. The first 40 requests received an order confirmation and order number via email, then were scheduled to arrive Saturday morning at staggered pickup times, keeping a generous distance between each other and us, with a check or exact change in (sanitized) hand.

We were able to distribute the majority of the produce we would have sold at the farmstand, while maintaining a minimum of contact and virus transmission. The prepacked boxes and bags made transactions very quick.

There was more demand than supply, unfortunately, and we apologize for anyone who missed the email or the cutoff.

Farmer Luca has walked the fields and estimates that we do NOT have enough produce for a full scale mid-week (Wednesday) distribution of box shares to our customers. This is actually typical for this time of year, as the season continues to dry up. The monster tomato harvests that broke seasonal records and almost broke the cart a few weeks ago are almost finished now.

A small handful of the customers who were ‘next in line’ for a box on Saturday but missed it, have been contacted individually for a small Wednesday share this week. We are doing our best to accommodate as many people as we can with decreasing harvests.

We will post a signup link later this week on our website with pricing and contents for Saturday (March 21st) ARTfarm boxes again, probably 10 large and 30 small boxes. We’re hoping to put in place a more organized signup process and online form and continue for at least a few more weeks, so watch for another farm email sometime on Thursday or Friday! (If you’re not a subscriber, sign up!) We won’t take any orders directly through texts, calls or other means. Please stick to the signup link, later this week.

Our pineapples are looking good, the dragonfruit vines are looking very healthy and may bear heavily this year, and mango trees have set nicely. We’ll try to keep things going and growing as long as we can.

Stay safe and healthy. And thanks for your support!

Love, ARTfarm

Gratitude Season – OPEN Wednesday Nov 21st, 3pm

The epic rains of early November 2018 brought epic rainbows. In this case, leading to the arresting sculpture of Niarus Walker.

Halloween flew by like a tropical bat, Diwali brought us its hopeful message of good defeating evil, and the elongated election season is nearly over; it is time to turn our thoughts back to family, gratitude, the simple things.

We are thankful for the many dedicated customers who are eager for ARTfarm to reopen! And for eleven inches of rain that fell over the first two weeks of November, decisively ending our water shortage – but also destroying the first lettuce crop of the season and creating some other setbacks. (We’re seeing major damage to melon vines and papaya trees and possible crop failures on ginger and some of our tomatoes.) But staying grateful that some of our gardens are recovering from all of the drenching!

We will be open for a special holiday farmstand on Wednesday, November 21st, 3pm – 5:30pm with a bumper crop of beautiful cucumbers and smaller quantities of a few other things including a limited supply of salad greens. Here’s the full list:

  • Lemongrass, garlic chives, Italian basil, rosemary, spicy radishes, two types of cucumbers, some teen spicy greens, baby arugula, a few bags of sweet mix, green papaya, wild cucumbers, some small bulb onions with large green tops (use like scallions), a few marigold and zinnia flowers. And ARTfarm turkey and chicken eggs! Super fresh!
  • Need a thoughtful gift for the holiday? This is a great time of year to get plants in the ground. We’ve got pineapple slips, fig trees, and native drought resistant shade tree saplings available for sale!
  • Tomatoes will come in around December 15th.
  • Grandma’s Fabulous Cucumber Salad that Luca loves (as told to Christina)

    There is no recipe for this.

    First of all don’t measure anything.

    Mandolin a cucumber into thin slices and thinner than anything you’ve ever experienced in your life. Paper thin. Then cover them in water and add an unspecified amount of too much salt. Then go away and do other stuff. Come back in a couple of hours.

    Rinse the heck out of them when you come back from your other activities and make sure they’re not too salty.

    Rinse them again and again and squeeze them to get the salty water out.

    Let them drain in a colander for even longer. Do other things.

    Chop up a couple of scallions.

    Add a big spoonful of mayo per cuke. Dress with vinegar and basil. Toss.

    So just make sure you have:

    • Maybe about half a cucumber per person
    • A bunch of scallions (green onion tops or garlic chives work too)
    • A generous handful of salt
    • A few spoonfuls of mayo
    • A little basil (could be dried if you don’t have fresh)
    • A little vinegar
    • Fun people to share it with!
    We finally got one of our chicken tractors rebuilt after the hurricane. The hens are thrilled with their more comfortable quarters.
    Bok. Bok.

    Opening Saturday Nov. 19th, 10am–12noon

    An animation shows a tiny farmer repeatedly bouncing high into the air from a wheelbarrow.
    Get ready for yummy salad! Farmer Luca bounces in his giant wheelbarrow to express his gratitude for the recent rains and for the end of the endless US presidential election.
    img_3845
    Our passionfruit vines are loaded with flowers at the moment!

    Thanks to all of you for your patience as we closed for our summer/fall break and began gearing up for this 2016-2017 season! We’ll be open and ready for you this Saturday with quite a few treats to reward you with:

    Dragonfruit (pitahaya) ripening on the vine.
    Dragonfruit (pitahaya) ripening on the vine in November! Extended season for this summer crop!

    Sweet salad mix, baby arugula, baby spicy salad mix, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, Ethiopian kale, a few bunches of Italian dandelion greens, kangkong (Asian water spinach), fresh herbs (including Italian basil, lemon basil, holy basil, Thai basil, rosemary, recao, garlic chives,) a few papayas, the LAST (really!) dragonfruit and passionfruit.

    We’re happy to welcome back our good friend and farmer James Love to ARTfarm this season. He’s already fixed a lot of stuff we broke since the last time he was here! Farmer Katie has reupped with team ARTfarm to work the gardens and pastures for the fall season, and you’ll see Heather back again, helping out at most farmstands and bringing her fresh eggs from ecstatic chickens and selected organically produced produce from her family homestead, Yellow Door Farm. We’ll have other special guests, including fishermen stopping by when fresh fish is available. And our farm kid is carefully tending lots of native tree varieties to plant and to sell this season! The ARTbarn gallery/studio (the old tool shed you walk through to get to the farmstand) has been repainted and patched up, and there will be some fresh new paintings to ponder.

    Last year (2015-2016) we began a slow recovery from the drought and damage from South Shore brushfires with a lot of experimental permaculture techniques (we opened in mid-December last year!). This season, thanks in part to a general return to more favorable conditions and a six-day rain bonanza in the last few weeks, our rain catchment ponds have been mostly replenished. We are grateful to make it to your holiday table this year in time for Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Fall Harvest Celebration, or however we choose to celebrate coming together in these socially progressive days! We hope you’ll enjoy time with family and friends, and count and share your many blessings.

    Thank you.
    Thank you.

    Can’t wait to see you all – we’ve missed familiar faces, we welcome new customers, and we’re looking forward to sharing and enjoying the fruits of the season! Lots more treats to add to the produce list in the coming weeks. Thank you for your support.

    Love, ARTfarm

     

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    ...the original photo...
    …the original photo…

    Wednesday Watermelon Wonderment 3-6pm 

    Water for watermelons! One of our ponds. This one replenishes the water table.
    Water for watermelons! One of our ponds. This one replenishes the water table.

    Compared to this time last year, things are blessedly moist right now. The 6+ inches of rain we got at the beginning of the month of May <insert happy dance> has continued to promote explosive growth all over the farm.

    So here’s what it brought you for today at ARTfarm, 3–6 p.m.: Sweet salad mix, baby arugula, bunched arugula, a few pints of cherry tomatoes, a few slicer tomatoes, dandelion greens, Italian basil, garlic chives, parsley, freshly dug ginger root, French breakfast radishes, sweet bell peppers, serrano peppers, Indian chili peppers, yellow seasoning peppers, fresh cut zinnia flowers, good quantities of yellow and red fleshed WATERMELONS, loads of sweet and yummy papaya, passionfruit, a few dragonfruit, a few pineapples, and very fresh, delicate and very mild local goat cheese from Dr. Bethany’s Fiddlewood Farm alpine goats!

    Cray-cray...this watermelon is sweeeeeet! You can save the seeds for roasting like pumpkin seeds.
    Cray-cray…this watermelon is sweeeeeet! You can save the seeds for roasting like pumpkin seeds.