ARTfarm New Year’s Eve’s Eve’s Eve Farmstand! 4:30 – 5:30pm Wednesday 12/29/2021!

Dystopian Hybrid Mongoose. Sumi ink and gouache on paper, 6″ x 6″. ©2021 Marina Gasperi

Happy couple last days of 2021! Here’s hoping next year will morph into something magical and highly adaptive. We are back to weekly (socially distanced) farmstands: ARTfarm will be open every Wednesday afternoon 4:30–5:30pm. For now these will be first-come, first-served socially distanced distributions, but we may revert to the online pre-order system and longer open hours/days soon for safety. Your feedback is always welcomed.

Wednesday afternoon 12/29/21 might be your last chance to see Farmer Luca this year… in the breezy parking lot once again: Sweet salad mix, baby spicy salad mix, BABY ARUGULA’s back kids!, cucumbers, long green beans, summer squash, red and white turnips, radishes with cookable green tops, cilantro, dill, garlic chives, Italian basil, baby ginger, baby turmeric, chili peppers, Swiss chard, kale, dandelion greens and zinnias… plus a few early bird specials… shhhhhhh…

and eggs from Mongoose&Zinnia (still just one or two cartons, as our chickens are STILL on a laying strike). And…

Looking to grow some food at home? Farmer Luca still has a few extra Black Plum tomato slips ready for transplanting into your garden or container (this is a cherry-sized oval shaped sweet, flavorful and rich tomato for eating and cooking). We’ll also have pineapple slips available. If you want seedlings, please text us ahead so Farmer Luca can prep them and bring them up to the gate ahead of time for you. Text your name and number, variety and quantity to the farm phone at (340) 514-4873.

The painting above is an original artwork by Marina Gasperi recently shown in her exhibition, “Small Life” at Café Christine Tues-Fri 10am-2:30pm. The exhibit is officially closed now as the collectors are picking up the purchased works, but we’ll leave a few pieces up through January 11th or so, and this painting and many others are still available at the Café as high quality art print cards. Marina has also created some adorable Chicken vs. Mongoose holiday ornaments out of recycled irrigation supplies. Please visit the Café in Christiansted over this holiday time and enjoy this ARTfarm production!

Love, ARTfarmers

ARTfarm Holiday Farmstand! Bells On! 4:30 – 5:30pm Wednesday 12/22/2021!

Two egg carton labels with merry winter holiday drawings of anthropomorphic mongooses celebrating
Mongoose & Zinnia Holiday Egg Carton Labels. Gouache and mixed media on watercolor paper, 7” x 12” ©2021 Marina Gasperi. We’re short on eggs lately at the farm, but we have lovely egg carton labels!!

Happy Winter Solstice today! And merry holidays to all! We are back to weekly (socially distanced) farmstands: ARTfarm will be open every Wednesday afternoon 4:30–5:30pm. For now these will be first-come, first-served socially distanced distributions, but we may revert to the online pre-order system and longer open hours soon for safety. Your feedback is always welcomed.

Wednesday afternoon 12/22/21, visit Farmer Luca in the breezy parking lot for a whole lotta harvest: fresh sweet salad mix, BABY SPICY MIX!!!!, CUCUMBERS ooooh boy, long green beans, green and yellow summer squash (aka zucchini), baby bok Choi, Swiss chard and dandelion greens, tantalizing turnips, ravishing radishes, cilantro, dill, garlic chives, Italian basil, baby ginger (super thin skin no fibers), green hot chili peppers, sorrel in 8oz bag from Farmer Bob, gorgeous happy zinnia flowers that all the bees have crushes on, and eggs from Mongoose&Zinnia (still just one or two cartons, as our chickens are STILL on a laying strike). And…

Looking to grow some food at home? Farmer Luca will have a few extra tomato slips ready for transplanting into your garden or container: Black plum and Hawaiian slicer tomato varieties. We’ll also have pineapple slips available. If you want seedlings, please text us ahead so Farmer Luca can prep them and bring them up to the gate ahead of time for you. Text your name and number, variety and quantity to the farm phone at (340) 514-4873.

The painting above is a new original artwork by Marina Gasperi recently added to the current exhibition, “Small Life” showing at Café Christine Tues-Fri 10am-2:30pm, now through December 26th. Marina has also created some adorable chicken holiday ornaments out of recycled irrigation supplies. Please visit the Café in Christiansted from now until January 26th, over this holiday time and enjoy this ARTfarm production!

Love, ARTfarmers

ARTfarm Salad Greens!!! Art Thursday Farmer Fun! See you 4:30 – 5:30pm Wednesday 12/15/2021!

Can You Notice Us? Sumi ink and gouache on paper, 4” x 6” ©2021 Marina Gasperi.

Less than two weeks to Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, Xmas and all that coquito celebrating! We are back to weekly (socially distanced) farmstands: ARTfarm will be open every Wednesday afternoon 4:30–5:30pm. For now these will be first-come, first-served socially distanced distributions, but we may revert to the online pre-order system and longer open hours, as the season gets underway and crowd sizes increase. Your feedback is always welcomed.

Wednesday 12/15/21, visit Farmer Luca in the breezy parking lot for fresh sweet salad mix, lots of radishes and garlic chives, green and yellow summer squash (aka zucchini), baby bok Choi, and lots of zinnia flowers! Early birds will also get pick of: turmeric, cilantro, dill, turnips, baby ginger (super thin skin no fibers), Thai basil, lemongrass, green hot chili peppers, sorrel in 8oz bag from Farmer Bob, and eggs from Mongoose&Zinnia (still just one or two cartons, as chickens island-wide seem to still be on a laying strike). And…

Looking to grow some food at home? Farmer Luca will have a few extra tomato slips ready for transplanting into your garden or container: Black plum, Hawaiian slicer, Cherokee green varieties. We’ll also have pineapple slips available. If you want seedlings, please text us ahead so Farmer Luca can prep them and bring them up to the gate ahead of time for you. Text your name and number, variety and quantity to the farm phone at (340)514-4873.

The painting above is a new original artwork by Marina Gasperi recently added to the current exhibition, “Small Life” showing at Café Christine Tues-Fri 10am-2:30pm, now through December 26th. Please visit the Café in Christiansted from now until January 26th, over this holiday time and enjoy this ARTfarm production! We’ll be at the Café for Art Thursday from 5:30pm this week December 16th!

Love, ARTfarmers

What Do We Do With All This Zucchini?

Okay, a few customers were asking for ideas on what to make with zucchini and summer squash. Well, the volume of culinary creativity can just about meet the volume produced by our giant Hugel-bed-fueled squash vines. Here are a few of our faves:

Zoodles

Gluten-free products abound in the grocery store, but they can be really expensive compared to their wheat-based inspirations. $6 for a 1lb. box of GF corn and rice pasta? How about an alternative that has all the nutrition of the mighty ZOOK?

Basically, everything but the seedy core of a zucchini or summer squash can be cut into quite narrow pasta-like noodles, lightly baked and then stored in a ziptop bag in the fridge for 5-7 days. You can get a $25 bulky, entertaining kitchen gadget called a spiralizer to make hilarious fifty-foot continuous noodles from a zucchini while spitting out the core, or just use a mandolin or other handheld julienne-inducing type of potato cutter along the length of the squash for zoodles. Check YouTube for lots of videos of happy people, mostly moms, making zoodles.

Zucchini releases a lot of liquid when cooked, so unless you’re going to put them directly into soup broth, it’s a good idea after slicing up your zoodles to place them on a cookie sheet on clean (non-fuzzy) dishcloths or paper towels, salt-an-pepa them and toss a bit, and bake them in a very low oven for about 15 minutes. Then gently squeeze them out in another dry dishtowel to remove more of the liquids.

To cook, just make your favorite spaghetti sauce – and about 5-7 minutes before it’s done, throw the appropriate amount of zoodles in the pan with the sauce to warm up a bit and cook just a little. If you’re not feeling saucy, just sauté them in butter and crushed garlic until tender, 5 minutes or so. Try throwing them on the grill! Who knows what will happen! It’s crazy! Experiment!!

We find these yummy and very filling. Plan about 1 medium sized squash per person. Makes nice re-heated leftovers, too. And if you really get tired of them, bake them into zucchini bread, see below.

Stuffed Zucchini Ideas

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We love seeing what you do with our produce! Here is a stuffed zucchini with a side salad! Thanks Isabel Cerni & family!

So, this isn’t so much a recipe as it is a brainstorm. A brief survey of stuffed veggie recipes shows the basic options of what to put in the cavity of the zucchini or summer squash after scooping out the seeds:

  • Stuffing, as in American Thanksgiving type with breadcrumbs, carrots and celery, and some kind of soup
  • A meatloaf-like mixture for meat lovers
  • A greek version with feta and cherry tomatoes drizzled with olive oil
  • A pizza-like option with grated parmesean cheese, sauteed veggies, mushrooms, tomatoes and the like, topped with mozzarella and basil.

All of these fillings do well with some sautéed onion, salt and pepper to taste, some fresh herbs (experiment!) and some of the zucchini chopped finely, mixed in. You can add any cooked grains: breadcrumbs, polenta, wild rice, quinoa, amaranth! Go nuts and add some crunchy seeds and nuts! Stir an egg into the mix for more protein!

Some recipes recommend pre-baking or grilling the zuc-canoes before filling, others don’t.

After assembly, bake the zu-boats in a baking pan so you catch any errant juices. Depending on the filling and how big your zukes are, they’ll probably bake for 20-40 minutes. Poke ‘em with a fork to see if the squash is tender. Check a real recipe if you’re wanting more guidance.

This is the kind of recipe you really can’t do wrong (especially if you pre-brown any meats/sausage), so go freestyle! Let your kids load up these little pirate veggie boats! Ahoy!

Zucchini Bread

Oh the GLORY of this semi-guiltless snack! Spread it with butter or cream cheese, nosh it toasted or right out of the fridge… Form it into muffins, loaves, mini cupcakes… Makes a great travel companion and gift. Our new favorite recipe is a gluten-free version cribbed from several cookbooks…

This sweet snack bread can be made with zucchini plus a fibrous fruit to sweeten it. The sweetening fruit could be a banana, a soursop or sugar apple seeded, it could be a stateside apple or pear, whatever is on hand and longing to leave your fridge. (Citrus would probably be too wet, so you would need to adjust the recipe, or go with a mealy-fleshed fruit.)

Ingredients (one loaf for you and one for a friend or the freezer)

2 cups shredded zucchini, (gently wrung out in a dish towel to remove excess moisture)

1 cup shredded or mashed sweet fruit (apple, sugar apple, soursop, banana etc.

3-4 cups almond flour (if you’re a little short, you can substitute another gluten-free flour or some coconut flour)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

6 eggs

Spices to taste: 4 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon nutmeg or slightly less of cloves, 1 teaspoon ground (or fresh) ginger.

Sweetener to taste: half a cup of honey or coconut sugar or whatever sweetener you like. If it’s very liquidy, like maple syrup, adjust the recipe accordingly so you don’t wind up with too runny of a batter. Depending on what fruit you added, you may need less sugar. The sugar adds to the texture. We like using a super brown sugar like the coconut sugar or muscavado because it is less sweet tasting. You could try molasses, too!

Directions

Preheat the oven to medium temp, 350-375 or so. Using a little butter or coconut oil, grease up two loaf pans and then line them with parchment paper. I usually butter the parchment paper if it overlaps so it sticks to the pan really well.

Grate the zucchini onto the center of a dish towel. About two big zucchinis will make 2 cups of shredded zucchini. Gather up the corners of the dishtowel and squeeze out all the juice over the sink or — over a jar and reserve for veggie broth or to feed your dog etc.

Mash or grate your fruit item,  removing inedible core/seeds/peel.

Beat together the eggs, sweetener and (mashed or grated) sweet fruit until well combined and frothy. Add in your grated zucchini and toss again until everything is nicely coated.

Place the dry ingredients (almond flour, spices, baking soda) in a mixing bowl and toss them together until they’re well incorporated without clumps. About a third of the bowl at a time, add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until wet.

Divide the batter into the two loaf pans and even them out a bit with a spoon.

Bake loaves for about 40 minutes until the top looks dry and a toothpick comes out clean. If you do this as muffins they will bake faster. Remove them from the pans after they’ve cooled a bit.

Zucchini Miscellani

There are many, many more uses for squash.

  • Sliced lengthwise they are gorgeous on the grill and take well to a marinade and a smoky flavor. Then you can roll them up and make some kind of fancy canapé or add to a shish kebab, Yum!
  • Anywhere you might have used carrots, broccoli or string beans, use zucchini squash.
  • They make a fantastic gluten free replacement for lasagna noodles in a veggie lasagna. (Slice on a mandolin, and prepare as zoodles above to remove some of the moisture beforehand)
  • They make a very elegant and colorful layered veggie side dish. Use a combination of green zucchini and yellow summer squash, layered with some goat cheese and pinenuts or pumpkin seeds in a glass casserole dish with salt and pepper. A little rosemary or tarragon is great in there, or perhaps a curry flavor? Vegans could probably go with babaghanouj in between…Cover and bake for 20–40 minutes depending on how big of a casserole dish, how thick you sliced him, and how soft you like ’em.
  • Use them as bowling pins, doorstops and throw toys for your dogs if you still have too many zucchini.