Posted on

EXPANDING & Extending the 2016 LLOOF (Learning Local on Organic Farms) Traverse City, MI: Two positions available!

The 2016 LLOOF program is gearing up for another season of growing, learning and sharing, and is offering an opportunity to area youth through adults to participate in a “grow your own” food and gardening experience in Grand Traverse County.  Beginning in 2003, O’k CSA has worked to develop a model 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.


General info. about O’k CSA and Market Garden, and the LLOOF Program
O’k CSA, and our supportive partner, Little Artshram, and Northern Michigan Permaculture celebrates our 10th year as TC’s first Urban CSA involving area youth and adults as market garden-farmers.

In 2016, 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 new member/growers joining O’k CSA this 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 2016 season will begin near the second Friday of June through September at our Peace Patch garden site on the corner of 7th and Oak Streets.

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.

Kerry Alspaugh, 2012 LLOOFer, harvesting rhubarb in the DIGS garden

Apply for a 2016 LLOOFing position by April 5th!

For an Application, Contact:  [email protected]   231-922-2014 (Please leave a message)

Basic HOW-to become a LLOOFer:  ALL applicants must have some basic experience in gardening, farming, and able to transport themselves to the garden-farm sites.  LLOOFers fill out application and sign an agreement that informs them of their work schedule/hours; and the Traverse City Permaculture Design Course schedule.   The value of the six-month training for each LLOOFer who completes the work-exchange agreement (commitment ) is offered as follows:

  • One on one, weekly garden-farm instruction/mentoring
  • CSA weekly food share, 10 weeks (July-Sept)
  • Permaculture Design Course, beginning NOWt hrough August (72 weekend hours, more infoon the course here: 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-six months of Permaculture and Garden-Farming experiential learning, beginning in March through October 2016.

For an Application, Contact:  [email protected]   231-922-2014 (Please leave a message)


Posted on

O’k CSA Friday Fall Markets, begin today Oct. 2–every Friday until Oct. 30th

TODAY’s the day that you all can visit another of our O’K CSA Cooperative garden-farm sites, just off the corner of Second and Oak St. in Traverse City. We plan to offer this little market share every Friday through the month of October, 4-6 pm!

JOIN us for our first fall neighborhood veg and art share date, at the DIGs Garden-Farm site—-our little plant-start nursery garden–where we’ll give you a tour of this mostly perennial garden and our Alley Beds too: 510 Second St. Traverse City, Just off the corner of Second and Oak St., Front yard—-third house on the right!

TODAY we have these veg and fruits for sale, at a very O’k price:

Winter Squash and a few Summer squash
Gourmet Little Reds (cabbage)
Frissee Endive
Lemon Sorrel
Good King Henry—a perennial spinach
Lovely, gorgeous Kale & cooking greens
Cherry Tomatoes—galore
Last of our peppers: Jalepenos—Italia Sweets
Choices of (smaller quantities): broccoli, taters, garlic, onions,
Herbs: Lemon Balm, Mint, Stevia


Art prints from my Hand-Print Series, and hand-made and home-canned goods (Prepared in a home-kitchen—which is not inspected by the MI Dept of AG and Rural Development)

Adios for now, and hope to see you real soon!

`penny Krebiehl

[email protected]

Friday Fall Market

Posted on

Farmer and Chef Dinner No. 2, in Traverse City, Oct. 14th

Farmer and Chef Dinner No. 2, in Traverse City!

October 14th. Please consider making a reservation and join us as we continue to share the fall bounty from our gardens!

Limited to 25 guests, w. advance reservations only, 248-565-6494

Much gratitude, to soil, sun, plants and people, as we share this dinner!

Poster artwork will be available for purchase at the dinner: “Rooting for the Gold” from Hand-print series, each © `penny Krebiehl 2015 11 X 17 “, color print on ivory card stock, signed w. love by herself, the art-farmer.

Preview of “No. 2 FARMER AND CHEF Dinner Poster Final”

Posted on

O’k CSA Harvest Potluck, Sept. 25th in Traverse City, MI

Preview of “O'k CSA Fall 2015 Harvest Potluck”

O’k CSA Cooperative is celebrating with great thanks our 2015 garden-farm growing places: The Little Artshram Teaching Garden at the TC Community Garden, and the Sunshine Farm, our Faraway Garden at Bakers Green Acres, Frida’s Folly, The DIGs Nursery Garden & Alley Beds, and Little Bird Farm. Next year we will be welcoming additional growing places at The Cedar Lake Gardens, and Realeyes Homestead, bringing our model of a land-share cooperative and “growing food in yards” to a total of 10 garden-farm sites–approx. 3000 sq ft. of growing space.  We are ever so grateful!

Join us for food and friendly conversations

at The Sunshine Farm,

501 Seventh St., Traverse City, MI,

this Friday, September 25th, @ 6:30 pm!
ALSO—to keep the CSA + A (Ag & Art) moving along we will also have this year’s featured “garden-farm art” available for sale.  The “Hand-print Series” pictured below was created by O’k CSA Garden-farmer, Penny Krebiehl (that’s me!) and represents the idea that our hands are indeed connected to the soil and the food we eat. Hand-print series, each © `penny Krebiehl 2015 11 X 17 “, color print on ivory card stock.

For more info:

O’k CSA Cooperative

[email protected]




Posted on

Perfectly Wonderful Purslane….

purslane, 2015













It’s Week #3 of our Summer CSA Cooperative and we are celebrating another week of fresh food sharing in our cool summerish–short-growing season.  Photo above from our wonderful Sunshine Farm in TC, of gobs of purslane.  Photo below from our Faraway Garden a “Still-life on a Haybale”, with our first two ripe cherry tomatoes, a mighty sprig of purslane and bunch of lambs quarters.

We are grateful for the food from the “wild” garden and our “tame” gardens….and have high hopes of harvesting more and more each week, as the rain and summer sun continue to spend time in our gardens. This year we have more growing space, so we’ve planted sweet corn, seven varieties of squash and pumpkins, cantelope, watermelon, cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes and greens, greens greens in our Faraway garden.

Were very happy to once again share purslane with our friends and families and also the following recipes for you to try:

Purslane Salad

* 2 1/2 cups of strained, thick yogurt

* 1 cup of purslane, coarsely chopped

* 1 cup of romaine lettuce, chopped in chunks

* 1 teaspoon of mashed or minced garlic, about one

* 1/4 cup of olive oil

* 3 1/2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

* 2 tablespoons of capers

* salt

* freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a salad bowl and refrigerate for a half hour to an hour

The following recipe is from Diane Kochilas, a well-known Greek chef and writer. She has several publications including “The Greek Vegetarian”.

Potato-Purslane Salad


3 medium waxy potatoes, such as Yukon golds or fingerlings, sliced into chunks, about ½ inch thick

salt to taste

1/3 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1 ½ lemons); alternatively use red wine vinegar

About 1 cup purslane, thoroughly washed, torn or chopped (stems are tangier than leaves, taste first to see if you like)

½ cup red onion, thinly sliced (alternatively, use a few chopped scallions)

Other options:

½ cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced, into half moon shapes

1 large tomato, roughly chopped

½ cup fresh herbs – mint, parsley, chervil – whatever suits you


Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil and add salt and potatoes. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly and then pour into a serving bowl, spreading even to cover bottom surface. Combine olive oil and lemon juice in a small dish, whisking until well emulsified, then pour over potatoes. In a layered fashion, add purslane, onion, plus any additional ingredients. With a wooden spoon, stir to combine, and taste for salt. Makes enough for two or three as a side dish.

This recipe from Florida’s Incredible Wild Edibles by Dick Deuerling and Peggy S. Lantz

Purslane leaves and stems may be boiled well with just enough water to cover the herbs then discard the first water and pour a smaller amount of hot water over the greens and again boil them. Reduce heat and simmer until tender. Finely chop the herbs and add salt, pepper, vinegar, cinnamon or nutmeg. You can add oil, butter, or bacon fat, and mix with diced hard boiled eggs and put them in a casserole with cheese and bread crumb topping, then bake until cheese melts. Pickled Purslane

1 quart purslane stems and leaves

3 garlic cloves, sliced

1 quart apple cider vinegar

10 peppercorns

Clean the purslane stems and leaves by rinsing with fresh water. Cut into 1″ pieces and place in clean jars with lids. Add the spices and pour the vinegar over the purslane. Keep this in the refrigerator and wait at least two weeks before using. Serve as a side dish with omelets and sandwiches. You can pickle the purslane raw or blanche it for two minutes in boiling water first, but cool off quickly in ice water.

More about Purslane and other wonderful, edible weeds can be found here:

For more information about our O’k CSA Cooperative:
[email protected]

COMING SOON! Save the date for a series of “Farmer and the Chef” dinners w. great veg and goods from our gardens!  First one being scheduled/organized now for August 18th at the Black Market in TC.  Info on the dinner and to register will be posted soon!

Still-Life on Haybale

Posted on

KALE, Yes! O’k CSA Recipes Week #2, July 2015

Red Russian at the Faraway Garden

















KALE, Yes!

This week we shared our first bunches of “mixed” kale w. both Red Russian and Lacinato kale…Chef Ali Lopez will be giving us ideas all summer long with recipes to accompany some of our share items, this week she offered up what is becoming a very popular item on the Kale list of what to do with:  Kale Chips.  We’ve also included a simple and great recipe for Guac-Kale-Mole and finally, there is a plethora of Kale recipes join this wonderful Facebook group called National Kale Day (October 2, 2015)

ALSO, a little fyi from O’k CSA….there is a info/article being shared and circulated about the issues of possible toxicity of kale.  The article shared on the Integrative Nutrition blog starts out by saying:  “Here at IIN we absolutely love kale – in smoothies, juices, salads, and cooked. It’s been touted as the gold standard when it comes to green vegetables, full of vitamins, minerals, and countless cancer-fighting, health-supportive benefits. 

We’re always on the cutting edge of nutrition, and we acknowledge that it’s a fledgling science. So when we came across this article on the possible toxicity of kale, we were shocked, and we knew we had to share this with you ASAP. 

The latest studies show that kale and other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and collard greens contain heavy metals, causing chronic fatigue, heart issues, neurological disorders, and even Lyme disease. 

Raw cruciferous vegetables are especially detrimental for thyroid health, since they contain goitrogens, which are naturally-occurring substances that suppress thyroid function by blocking iodine absorption. By cooking these vegetables you can remove the goitrogens.”

Here’s my quick response:  Any brassica grown in unhealthy soil can and likely will draw up the toxins in it. Intentionally planting brassicas, which Kale is, is in fact a permaculture–or organic farming practice to help remove toxins from soil. You don’t eat the plants afterwards, because they did a job for you—taking care of our human “dark-side” tendencies of pollution.  Further you could compost them with mushrooms who likewise remove our human made toxins from nature. When speaking to customers/growers or whomever, please stress the importance to have soil tests done in your gardens/farms and also know your farmer that you are buying from. Logan Labs in Ohio is a good source. Healthy soil makes healthy plants makes healthy eating.

Further information about the links between crop production and healthy plants/veggies that we consume can be found at Learning what’s in your soil, and being passed to plants and then humans IS important news but isn’t shared in this article.  Let’s not start a wildfire fear that can cause undo damage to a perfectly wonderful plant and vegetable.

ANYWAYS, we still say: KALE YES! recipes below:

photo credit: Nellie Eve
photo credit: Nellie Eve


Baked Kale Chips

1 bunch kale

1 tablespoon olive oil

Sea salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 300°F. Rinse and dry the kale, then remove the stems and tough center ribs. Cut into large pieces, toss with olive oil in a bowl then sprinkle with salt. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a large baking sheet Bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp. Watch that they don’t burn! Place baking sheet on a rack to cool.

Kale Chips recipe shared by Chef Ali Lopez


Smashed avocado
Chopped kale

Chopped red onion
Diced jalapeno
Lemon juice

Mix, share and be merry! Shared by Kate W.

Thanks for checking out these recipes! For more info about O’k CSA, join our Facebook page:

[email protected]



Posted on

O’k CSA Friday Market OPENing this week!

THIS FRIDAY! July 17th, 4 to 6 pm, our first, official Friday Market will be open to share our veggie, herbs, art & craft goods with passer-bys at our Peace Patch Garden location.

Peace Patch Garden is located at the corner of 7th and Oak St. in Traverse City.

Stop by and support truly local, efforts by garden-farmers and artists who are growing and producing good food & art for good people!

O'k CSA Cooperative, Traverse City's first urban CSA!

Posted on



















KALE YES! That’s the O’k way it is…Kale every week, forever. It grows good, and is good for you. So learn all about it, love it, and eat it up!

Week #2, Friday July 11th, 4-6 pm is our O’k CSA share pick-up, and brings us to and thru (almost) a wacky week of booming and blooming, the gardens are beginning to kick-in and amp up their growing cycle, despite some very cool nights.

The National Cherry Fest is nearing it’s end….and although there is gratitude for what it may bring in so far as economy to our home-place, it wears on our garden-farming nerves—in terms of getting around to our various garden sites!

Another request to check out our Hands-on garden-help calendar and sign up for a shift or two—especially in this HOT month that begins now—and runs thru mid-August. Developing a relationship by learning hands-on how we’ve planted the beds in our urban-neighborhood gardens and learning the technique of hand-watering the plants that are producing our good food, is a way to understand and appreciate what they offer even more. At least we think so, and would like to give you an opportunity as well.

O’k, this week we are sharing:

a bunch of beauteous Green Onions
Arugula, arugula, arugula!
Snow Peas
Salad greens
a sampling of Red Currants
a lovely Lavender Bundle
and a Flower and Herb Bouquet
SPECIAL this week will be a sample of delightful and yummy handmade/home-made popsicles. Get ready for an amazing new, experience!

Recipes to accompany this week’s share will be posted on our website, SOON.

Adios and see you real soon!

`penny Krebiehl

Flint Horton & Blase Masserant