We still have lot’s of great food growing in our gardens, with a lot more succession planning/planting taking place out at our larger production garden at Realeyes Homestead. Greens, Roots, Squash & Pumpkins—along w. other O’k garden-farm-art perks. We have fun and it’s Very O’k! Please check out our Fall Share offering, details in the photo.
The Fall share is $200 single/$350 full, and will begin on Friday, October 6th through November 17th–this will be a 7 week share, with the O’k Art & Crafty Fair scheduled in December, over the weekend of Dec. 9-10th.
EXTENDED!!! It’s a fruit day!!! So it’s also a Sunday Tomato Plant Sale day! 12:05 until 5:05 pm. 510 Second Street, Traverse City. If I’m not here, it’s the Honor System and serve yourself! We can’t let our little tomato babies sit much longer in these little plastic incubators! They want you….
For your Health and Wellness —-Grow your own Heirloom, Organic Tomatoes!
Flint and I have grown over 35 different varieties of indeterminate(climbing/vining) and determinate(bush) tomato plants. Add a few more tomatoes to your gardens! Come and get em!
These tomato plants, all organic and many are grown from saved seeds from previous years in our O’k Gardens. Beginning in March they have been tended w. much love and we are doing our best to make sure you know what varieties we have for you to choose from.
$1.50 – $3.00 per plant —-depending on size and heirloom-variety
Here’s a partial list of tomato types we have for you to consider growing at your home-place:
Heinz 2653 Paste (D) 68 days – Early Red Plum
Hogheart Paste (I) 86 days – Heart shaped and meaty
Opalka Paste (I) 82 days – Massive solid fruit, bull-horn shape
Orange Banana Paste (I) 85 days – Attractive orange cylindrical 3-4″
Blue Beech Paste (I) 83 days – Roma type, mild flavor, great sauce
Garden Peach (I) 71 days – Yellow fruits blush pink when ripe and have thin fuzzy skins somewhat like peaches, soft-skinned, juicy and very sweet.
Glacier Tomato (D) 56 days – Originally from Sweden, rich tomato flavor
Goldie Yellow — Gold Nepal (I) Heirloom, originated around 1875–Yellow beefsteak–SO Beautiful and delicious!
Black Prince (I) Heirloom–72 days- Originally from Siberia, small red slightly pear-shaped
Black Cherry (I) 65-75 days Dusky purple-black clusters of fruit
Cosmonaut Volkov (I) 68 days Deep red, w. green shoulders– sweet and rich
Grandma’s (I) 75-80 days Large, squat, pleated fruit–averaging 3 1/2 inches wide–High lycopene content
Yellow Platfoot– (I) Heirloom, Lovely Orange Brandywine–Large beefsteak shape
Super Sweet 100 (I) 70 days – Cherry type. Extra prolific in yield
Mortage Lifter (I) 80 days. Heirloom Beefsteak type up to 2.5 lbs in size
Matts Wild (I) 55 days. A wild type of cherry tomato that can be grown in hanging pots or I think we could throw around compost piles and let nature take its course. They need little attention
Bush Steak (D) 65 days. Big 8-12 oz meaty fruit. This is the tomato we should plant in buckets so we may not have these to sell.
Cherokee Purple (I) 72 days. Heirloom. Large Beefsteak 12-16 oz. organic.
Burpee’s Supersteak Hybrid (I) 80 days. Beefsteak 1-2 lbs.
Peacevine Cherry (I) 78 days. High yield 18 tomatoes per cluster. This is a CRACK resistant type.
Pruden’s Purple (I) 72 days. Large beefsteak heirloom. organic.
Brandy Wine (I) 88 days. Heirloom.
Orange Slice (I) 75 days. High yield. 16 oz.
Burpee’s Jubilee (I) 72 days. Heavy yield. 3″ fruit. Heirloom.
Gilbertie Paste (I) 85 days. Great canning. Heirloom. Organic
Rose de Berne (I) 75 days. CRACK resistant. organic
Roma (D) 76 days. Paste type. Can be grown in containers.
Yellow Pear (I) 70 days. Yellow pear type. organic
Moskvich (semi determinate) (?) 60 days. Heirloom slicer. Little staking needed.
Gold Nugget (D) (?) 60 days. Yellow cherry type. Resistant to cracking.
Husk tomato. 80 days. Ground cherry type. Can be grown in compost pile and left unattended.
Tomatillo Purple 80 days.Ground cherry type. Can be grown in compost pile and left unattended.
How about all that?
Want me to set aside a special selection for you? Send me a text w. your order and I’ll do that too.
Need to join a wonderful and very O’k CSA? We invite you to join ours!
I always make some kind of personal wish/intent at the beginning of each growing season, and this year in addition to devoting myself to growing really tasty lettuces for you all, I’m also delving deeper into Bee-land. We are going to work at making sure each one of our garden-farms has an even MORE generous amount of bee-friendly plants flowering all season long! Here’s a partial list of common plants we’ll be growing and what you’ll see some of these in the herb and flower bundles: Giant Hyssop, Cosmos, Sunflower, Mint, Four o’clock, Basil, Rosemary, Mullein, Zinnia, Borage, Cleome, Globe Thistle, Joe-pye weed, Bergamot, Sage, Thyme, Verbena and more…
AND, Here’s the info on our share offerings for 2017, which also will include an art-share now and then:
Summer CSA (12 weeks, June 23-Sept. 16th) $400-All Pay, or $200-Work-Share for season. Produce includes: salad mix and greens, cooking greens (Swiss chard, kale, collards), carrots, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, beets, cucumbers, summer and winter squash, potatoes, radish, green/yellow beans, soup beans, turnips, scallions, onions, garlic, basil, herbs, flowers and more!
(For any of you who have been in our CSA in years past, and have had a half share and wish to continue w. a full pay for a half-share, we can continue at the same share fee we used last summer which would be $275.00.)
We’re happy to share our O’k CSA local news about becoming a local partner to a local organization:
Now folks searching for an awesome little CSA operation within the city limits of Traverse City will have a good chance of finding us PDQ via the Taste the Local Difference® publications and online sources. TLD is Michigan’s local food marketing agency. Now O’k CSA Cooperative is a partner with TLD, and likewise support the Michigan Good Food Charter and resolution seeking to have 20% of all food sold in Michigan come from Michigan farms and food businesses by 2020. Let’s ALL do this!
We are STILL announcing and inviting folks to register for the class: “Making your Bountiful Garden a Perennial Polyculture”, which officially begins next Wednesday, March 29th(soft opening this week) and will highlight 3 of our O’k CSA garden-farm sites in Traverse City: DIGs garden (510 Second St.), the Peace Patch garden (501 Seventh) and Realeyes Homestead (9775 Cherry Bend Rd.)
We are super proud of our on-going efforts to grow more garden-farms and garden-farmers within the city limits of Traverse City—our version of a local/local/local urban farming project!
I’m including and especially honoring our Peace Patch garden-farm at the corner of 7th and Oak, as our first neighborhood and community growing site, which has hosted our Friday market and many local/foodie/farming & permaculture gatherings for the past 5+ years.
Please help us share this opportunity. Gracias.
Check out our little green growing sprouts and Learn how the Peace Patch neighborhood garden came to be! Join us and learn the how-to’s of kickstarting a neighborhood garden-farm cooperative!
Making your Bountiful Garden a Plant Polyculture is a Spring Class, 4 weeks in length March 29th – April 19th, of hands-on learning; demonstrations and sharing tips on how to make your garden, over time, grow an abundance of annual and perennial food.
We’ve created a collective of garden-farm sites in many neighborhoods, focusing on improving the soil, planting a diversity of annual and perennial veg, fruit and herbs—and all with a focus on educating and bringing neighbors and community together in many ways! This has especially been true of our very first garden-farm site, our beloved Peace Patch garden!
With a little permaculture planning and design you can create a series of polyculture “patch” gardens that together create an incredible garden-farm that is brimming with resilience, diversity, and saving you time watering, weeding, and dealing with pests.
Much information and many examples will be shared: Annual and perennial food plants, perennial support plants, minimal competition and maximum cooperation, and how each plant/shrub/tree species are adapted to it’s little patch/niche.
What is LLOOF? LLOOF stands for: Learning Local on Organic Farms, a program we developed ourselves—modeled after and with a bit of a twist from the worldwide offerings via WWOOF.
Beginning in 2003, O’k CSA has worked to develop this apprentice/intern/mentoring program along with the support of Little Artshram to offer a comprehensive garden-farming educational experience, and fresh way to change our lifestyle and behaviors as a community of consumers. The focus of our garden-farming programs are linked to building a local Traverse City food shed, sharing, celebrating and strengthening our NW Michigan and Traverse City community via these neighborhood/community garden learning and gathering places, and to spread permaculture education and practices in Northern Michigan.
In 2017, we continue to work towards tweaking and making improvements, and have created a “Cooperative CSA”. Expanding beyond growing annual and perennial food in our 5 garden-farm sites in Traverse City, and 3 grower/member gardens joining O’k CSA last year. We also include arts, crafts, produce and farm products like meat and eggs (on occasion) in our weekly Market Garden and O’k CSA shares. The 2017 season will begin with a Spring Greens share on March 24th and the Summer Share beginning June 23 through September at our Peace Patch garden site on the corner of 7th and Oak Streets, in Traverse City, Michigan.
The LLOOF (Learning Local on Organic Farms) program which works in tandem w. the CSA, will continue to provide a work-exchange and permaculture training with green-collar jobs for older youth through adults.
The LLOOF program is based on providing opportunities for beginning gardeners/farmers interested in learning how to grow food—both perennial and annual crops adding a business/entrepreneurial aspect through the concept of CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture. On a CSA farm, buyers invest up front in a full season of vegetables. The commitment of the sponsors and shareholders to the farmer stabilizes the farmer’s income, assures subscribers of fresh, healthy, local produce, and distributes agricultural rewards and risks fairly within the community. This popular economic model establishes a practical and mutually beneficial relationship between farmers and subscribers, building a strong community as a result.
Apply for a 2017 LLOOFing position by March 10th!
For an Application, mail a letter of intent and your availability March-October 2017 to: [email protected]
Basic HOW-to become a LLOOFer: ALL applicants must have some basic experience or a passionate interest in learning gardening, farming; strong work ethic; reliable (early morning, evening and weekend shifts—we don’t work in the hot/middle part of the day); enjoy working outdoors in all kinds of weather; and able to transport themselves to the garden-farm sites. LLOOFers send a letter of intent, then will be sent an application to fill out. After a phone/in person interview LLOOFers sign an agreement that informs them of work schedule/hours; and the Northern Michigan Permaculture Design Course schedule. The value of the nine-month training for each LLOOFer who completes the work-exchange agreement (commitment ) is offered as follows:
One on one, weekly garden-farm instruction/mentoring throughout a growing season
Permaculture Design Course, tentatively scheduled for August (72 hours, more info COMING SOON here: www.nmipermaculture.org) To earn a PDC certificate requires no less than 72 hours of class time plus a group design project, field practice and a final test.
In order to meet the pre-season and post-season work schedule for our CSA and Market garden, we’ll be staggering the LLOOF positions to cover a full-eight months of Permaculture and Garden-Farming experiential learning, beginning in March through October 2017.
It’s time to get our final numbers together for the 2017 Spring and Summer CSA shares! Cut off date for registration is coming up, February 28, 2017.
It’s also time for me to come out of Gramma-land (for a minute) and Winter-Studio hibernation to pay rent for O’k CSA’s headquarters on Second St., make final seed orders and get the ole’ farm truck insurance paid.
BIG news is that this winter, I’ve been working to complete a whole BIG bunch of garden-farming work in my studio: a series of garden-farming and permaculture inspired story books and curriculum guides for little and big people. This work has been on my drawing board in one form or another for several years, and this winter w. my downstate travel to tend to my daughter, Allison’s needs and my grand.babe, Josie, I was able to take it along and delve deeper into that work. I’m excited to share this w. you all as a part of the 2017 seasons’ “art-share”! I’ll keep you posted on the (cross my fingers) printing/publication dates!
Here’s the info on our share offerings for 2017:
NEW! Spring Greens (9-weeks, March 24th-May 19th) $100 for season. Produce includes: salad mix, spinach, and cooking greens (Swiss chard, kale, collards) and herbs
Summer CSA ( 12 weeks, June 23-Sept. 16th) $400-All Pay, or $200-Work-Share for season. Produce includes: salad mix and greens, cooking greens (Swiss chard, kale, collards), carrots, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, beets, cucumbers, summer and winter squash, potatoes, radish, green/yellow beans, soup beans, turnips, scallions, onions, garlic, basil, herbs, flowers and more!
(For any of you who have been in our CSA in years past, and have had a half share and wish to continue w. a full pay for a half-share, we can continue at the same share fee we used last summer which would be $275.00. )
You can read more here about our wonderful Traverse City based CSA Cooperative: http://www.pennyokart.com/…/sign-up-for-ok-csa-cooperative…
With the help of a little sun, rain and good earth, we have the privilege of doing beautiful work! We design and plant gardens and share food in our O’k CSA Cooperative and today, at the beginning of February, is a good day to say “Hello” to our seeds and to do our blessing and thanking of these little, amazing vessels of power!
We’ve been growing gardens in neighborhood yards and community spaces, and sharing veg, fruit and herbs with friends and families in Traverse City since July of 2008. We invite you to celebrate the current “Year of the Chicken with us by joining our CSA-Cooperative by becoming a share member of our Spring Greens Share (9-weeks, Beginning in March 24th-May 19th), and/or our Summer Share (12 weeks, Beginning June 23-Sept. 16th). We have a new system this year, along with the new Spring Greens offering, for the Summer Share, rather than a full and half size share, we are offering a “all-pay” or “work-share”.
NEW! Spring Greens (DELAYED—Will begin approx. 2nd week of April, 9-weeks) $100 for season. Produce includes: salad mix, spinach, and cooking greens (Swiss chard, kale, collards) and herbs
Summer CSA ( 12 weeks, June 23-Sept. 16th) $400-All Pay, or $200-Work-Share for season. Produce includes: Perennial and Annual veg-fruit and herbs, salad mix and greens, cooking greens (Swiss chard, kale, collards), carrots, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, beets, cucumbers, summer and winter squash, potatoes, radish, green/yellow beans, soup beans, turnips, scallions, onions, garlic, basil, herbs, flowers and more!
The aim of O’k CSA is to explore and have fun sharing connections between art education, and the practice of ecological design and thinking. We are focused on creatively and intelligently, designing ways to live wisely and well, and that means not just learning the “HOW-to’s”, but also what it takes and then the doing of it. We honor the earth and have great passion for teaching, learning, experiencing, art, community garden-farming and ecological education. Since 2008, we have been building a community network of garden-farms in Traverse City, empowering folks and whole neighborhoods to grow food not lawns, with an emphasis on soil not oil (As in what we use and care for in order to grow our food).
O’k CSA’s garden-farms in Traverse City, Michigan, are located in and around the Central School neighborhood, and at Realeyes Homestead, w. 7 active garden-farm sites (approx. 2500 sq. ft of growing space) spread out within a 3-5 mile radius—-most are within a 5-20 minute bike ride, on the Tart Trail, depending on traffic on Front Street and Hwy. 31.
Our primary goal is to GROW healthy, nutritious food nine months of the year in our temperate climate zone next to Lake Michigan; and to produce healthy, nutritional food to eat alongside of educational opportunities—developing permaculture and garden-farming skill-sets for others while we also utilize and benefit from those skills ourselves.
This includes applying hands-on learning experiences at our “garden-farm, land-share” sites where we not only re-learn and live our connection to nature, but also learn where our food comes from, how we grow it, harvest it and just what it REALLY means to feed ourselves and our families.
This year in addition to selling our CSA shares, we are working to raise funds to put in a small orchard, install drip irrigation systems in all the garden-farm sites, improve, feed and monitor soil and plant health, build a greenhouse and work-station/tool/supply building where we can also hold small classes and prep our CSA shares.
We are devoted to doing our very best which means giving VERY O’k and MORE THAN Pretty Good service. Plus, we love what we do.
It’s been a very busy and full 12 years, since illustrating and creating the first “Year of Farm Bird” calendar. This time around, the “Chicken, Our Friend” song and story-line shifts into serious territory with a deeper focus of “It takes a flock…” as the calendar’s wisdom intention, and sincere message encouraging a new path for us all.
Rooster-Chicken-Phoenix-Bird is a universal symbol of transformation, rebirth and eternity. Bird year is a time of practical endeavors, conscientiousness, hard work and discipline. It is also a time of expressing inner warmth and insight, a time for quietness and privacy with our flock of friends and loved ones. Whether individually or in community, planning ahead for protection and nourishment will lend itself to taking inevitable but wise risks, facing failure honestly, and moving onward to the path of humbling, beautiful success. This year we will be strongly asked to confront and deal with any stress along the way–not ignore it—-requiring application of creativity, organization and perseverance.
Singing praise to Chicken, who like Dog is truly one of human’s best friends, we can take note of it’s remarkable physical structure—both muscular and skeletal—which allows for flight when necessary. Chickens are warm-blooded creatures, and have very strong hearts and efficient one-way breathing systems. Among other attributes, in the “permaculture world”, we feature the Chicken as a way in which to teach an important aspect of applying and understanding system design. By naming it’s intrinsic characteristics, products/needs…we begin the process of assessing a particular element, or thing, as in a chicken as one of our family friends, in a system, that together with other things, contributes to the whole. This is a good, simple, visual lesson in understanding relationship, how we are connected and what benefits or does not benefit the system and the role of the caretakers. Chicken graciously lends itself and takes a center stage role with a bit of righteous flamboyance and practical perseverance in this lesson.
In 2017, Hens and Roosters alike, will remind us of choosing the directions of up and out—or freedom and expansion is also about love and justice. This path is for us any of us choosing to become authentic, transparent, humble, and sometimes vulnerable. We individually focus our intention and choose to do the hard work to become better human beings and trustworthy in the eyes of those around us. We can personally maintain, improve ourselves by practicing yoga, exercising daily, creating healthy routines and habits—especially working at strengthening our lungs and hearts. Both security and freedom are attainable when we take on self-health, pride and well-being.
Here’s a whopping paragraph of short sentence guidelines for flocks of all sorts in 2017 inspired by an excellent, essay by a permaculture practitioner and teacher Ben Weiss. This offering of words, for the smart, just and loving Chickens, suggest that collectively through structure, deepening and experience, we build our flocks/communities and deepen relationships with others by:
Being clear about our values. Understanding oppression and empathizing with the oppressed. Understanding privilege. Recognizing privilege is the responsibility of the privileged. Understand environmental justice–the crossroads of environmentalism and social justice. Let go of intellectual superiority. Prepare to be invited. Get first-hand experience/make mistakes and learn from them. Don’t impose solutions. Withhold value judgements. Recognize personal and professional relationships. Prioritize the issues of the community. Address oppression issues before environmental issues. Have realistic expectations. When in Rome…Take some personal risks. Give gifts carefully. Be an ally & an advocate. Leave decision-making to the community. Train leaders from within the community. Channel the fire of the youth. Small victories are big victories. Know when to fold ‘em. Phase yourself out.
The Fire-bird-Rooster-Chicken, instructs us to tend to our daily chores while following the guidelines and patterns of the conscious, community oriented flock. This Chicken year asks you to play it smart and safe, with thoughtful and protracted observation–a much, much, MUCH deeper, respectful understanding of your relationship with others. It is the flock, the community, that must ultimately lead.
“When Chicken, our friend, governs, the people are hardly aware that she exists. Next best is the Chicken who is loved. Next, one who is feared. The worst is one who is despised. If you don’t trust the people, you make them untrustworthy. The Chicken our friend, doesn’t talk, she acts. When her work is done, the people say “Amazing: we did it, all by ourselves!” -Tao Te Chicken-Ching
Special Recognition and grateful thanks to the featured Chickens & Dog: Emmy Lou, Pearl, The Tree Sisters, Frida/Diego, Frodo, Merry, Pippin, Josaphina, Hazel Crow, Johnny Bingo(who got away), Half n’ Half, Bonnie & Clyde, and Marley the Good Dog–friend of Pearl. Much Gratitude:
Art for living….Shop small, and local while supporting artists who farm:
Annual 2017 “Year of Chicken, our Friend” 13 month calendar (January thru January) of original chicken portraits and monthly new & full egg moon notations, along w charmed “it takes a flock” wisdom messages, predictions and inspirational guidelines for human friends.