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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]

231-922-2014

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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!

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KALE Yes!

KALE Yes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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
KALE Yes!
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

231-922-2014

www.pennyokart.com

 

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Ode to Growing Squash, Part One

Whew! Just completed our first O’k CSA newsletter of the season and thought we’d share “An Image and An Ode” reflecting upon the up and coming wonderfulness that is mixed in w. a whole lot of garden-farming sweat…along w. a little blurb from the O’k CSA Summer calendar:

Lady Godiva

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ode To Growing Squash
Part One

The lovely Lady Godiva
Reveals embryonic first leaves,
Unfurling plump, oblong cotyledons
With strong presence and tender heart
She brings a full figure of potential
Alongside of green spiked shoots
Taking the wonder-filled breath of the
Gardener to a place of
Vine-borer-less
Squash dreams.

~ ~ ~`p. o’K

Opportunities abound for interested and friendly folks to join us in the O’k CSA Cooperative gardens:

We’re inviting members and friends to lend their hands and choose 2-shifts (or more)per month. What do you get for this great gift of time and labor? You can take home first hand garden-farm knowledge and fresh, organic food! Your name(s) will be added to the calendar and contact info w. the O’k CSA crew will be shared. PLEASE, SIGN-up via email message in advance (we’d like to have the JULY calendar complete by next week) to find out the weekly/daily tasks and what garden location you’re needed at: [email protected]

Sunday-Thursday(skip Friday/Saturday), we have two, 2-hour shifts,
9-11 am,
and 7-9 pm to water/tend gardens w. an O’k CSA crew member in TC

Friday Pick-up days, we have three, 3-hour volunteer shifts available:
1. Harvest, 8-11 am (LUNCH-BREAK—11-12 noon)
Cleaning/Packing, 12 noon-3 pm,
Set-up/Distribute/Clean-up, 3-6 pm

Saturday is a rest day for humans, plants and soil.

Our garden-farm sites & addresses, in the lovely Traverse City and NW Michigan area:
Cedar Lake East & North Garden-Farms, 12408 West Bay, TC (Beginning to design/layout, prep beds, amend soil)
DIGs, 510 Second St., TC (Our home-base for plants, seedlings and small mostly cold crop beds)
Far Away Garden, @ Baker’s in Marion (BIG space to hopefully grow lotsa’ corn, viney, and root crops)
Frida’s Folly, 1120 W. Front St., TC (Mainly onion/garlic and lettuce growing garden-farm)
Little Artshram Teaching Garden & Cordia Plot, 875 Red Dr. TC (Longtime, wonderful sunny growing space, with perennial herbs and some fruit)
Peace Patch, Seventh St., TC (This is our “host” on share-day, and full of brassicas and a variety of veg.)
Sunshine Farm, 501 Seventh St.,TC (A new garden hosting potatoes, tomatoes and peppers and more.)

 

To volunteer in our O’k gardens or for more information:

[email protected]
www.pennyokart.com

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Spring Open House & O’k CSA Cooperative 2015 Summer Share

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You’re invited to join a great group of Veg, Fruit and Folks at our Spring Open-House and learn more about our 2015  Summer O’k CSA Cooperative!

JOIN US at our Spring Open-House and 2015 Summer CSA kick-off and potluck:

Friday, May 29th, 6 to 8 pm, at our DIGs garden-farm site,

510 Second St., Traverse City, Michigan

Bring a dish to share and your own tableware, we’ll be dining picnic style in our backyard around a campfire, if weather permits!

O’k CSA believes that food is art and art is food.

In 2005, our idea of “sharing” what we grow began in the winter months by sharing artwork, with
a series of drawings, paintings and an annual “Year of…” calendar, featuring a Mid-Western version of the Chinese New Year calendar.

It’s now 10 years later and our unique Traverse City based, urban CSA continues to share local and regional Michigan artworks, alongside of good, healthy, pesticide & chemical-free produce. Each of our gardens are designed with permanent growing beds, and reflect a beautiful nature inspired, organizational structure following permaculture design practices.

As the summer season approaches, with just a few shifts and twists and turns, the O’k CSA Studio and garden-farm sites are gearing up for another great season, and we invite you to join this great, little, local community gathering of folks who care about the food they eat and act on the urge to be supportive of the arts!

SIGN-UP for a Summer Season of great company, good food and art. Check out info on our website where you can sign up online here:

http://www.pennyokart.com/?page_id=1147

MORE INFO:
[email protected]
www.pennyokart.com
231-922-2014
Above illustration: 
“Veg and Fruit Marathon”
by © `penny Krebiehl 2012
Below:

“Veggie Fist” from the Garden Hands for Diego Series,
by © `penny Krebiehl 2014

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O’k CSA Cooperative Summer 2015, Traverse City’s Urban CSA!

“O’k CSA Cooperative Creatively Supported Art and Culture In our Gardens, our Minds and our Bellies”

It’s time to “sign-up” to receive a weekly share of very O’k and REALLY good fresh food!

And you can do so on-line here, quick and easy.

REGISTER HERE, We need an accurate tally of friends and families, by April 1st: http://www.pennyokart.com/?product_cat=ok-csa-co-op-2015

~Fresh, organic veggies and fruit

~Culinary herbs and medicinal herbal teas and Lovely Flower bouquets
~Original ART by artists around the Great Lakes!
~Weekly options to order Fresh Milk, eggs, meat & mushrooms!
~Community gatherings & workshops all about growing food, permaculture and creative, neighborly fun!

~NEW this year for our CSA share families and neighbors:  “The Farmer and The Chef” dinner parties, taking place at our garden-farm sites and other special locations.  Our O’k Garden-Farmers will team up with Chef Ali Lopez preparing wonderful, healthy meals for you and yours—straight from the gardens!  Learn more about Chef Ali here:  http://www.ali-lopez.com/
We begin our 2015 O’k CSA Cooperative season sometime between the end of May and the 2nd Week of June-September, with 12 Weeks of goodness!  Below is a general list of produce we grew in our co-op last year and plan to grow in 2015:

Kale
Salad Mix
Arugula
Spinach
Swiss Chard
Broccoli
Green Beans
Soup Beans
Beets
Heirloom tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes
Cucumbers
Onions
Potatoes
Green Peppers
Eggplants
Basil
Chamomile
Sage
Parsley
Thyme
Cilantro
Calendula
Echinacea
Bee Balm
Radish
Carrots
Turnips
Mint
Lavender
Peas
Collard Greens
Lemon Balm
Bok Choy
Pak Choy
Squash
Pumpkins
Cabbage
Strawberries
Grapes
Apples
Chestnuts
Market Garden & O'k CSA
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Consider the soil and let the little seeds be planted!

Irregardless of the snow piled up, we’ve been deep in the soil and plant biology studies just completing the “High Bionutrient Crop Production” 2-day intensive workshop, with over two dozen gardeners and farmers.  The course presenter was Dan Kittredge of the Bionutrient Food Association, and Mark and Jill Baker were the hosts at their farm in Marion, Michigan, with O’k CSA as the organizing sponsor!

Sunday Group, bfa, 2-21-15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through Dan Kittredge’s presentation and info sharing, we learned how to detect and understand unique advantages and limitations of soil and crops, as well as the interactions between plants, soil, and air.  We learned how we can grow better food, and work towards increasing quality in the food supply.  There was much eagerness amongst the participants to learn more about the principles and practices of this form of biological and energetic farming and gardening, and plans for several local chapters in Michigan, under the Bionutrient Food Association umbrella are underway!  To learn more about the BFA:  www.bionutrient.org  or, to learn a bit more about BFA Chapters – click here.

Build SoilAmongst other things, in the two day course we were advised and learned how to look and read our soil tests and make our own recommendations to improve the soil life, integrating whole system understanding, visual plant guides of growth and status, and using plant and soil monitoring to trouble shoot problems.  The course concluded with discussion about local, natural solutions and a brief (re)introduction to seminal thinkers like Mae Won Ho, Phil Callahan, Richard Olree, Stephen Herrod Buhner, Bill Mollison/David Holmgren, and Rudolf Steiner to name a few.

This winter-time, pre-garden planting gathering of minds and hearts at the Baker’s farm was a fantastic and very worthwhile, inspiring learning endeavor, and we plan to continue on the “nutrient-dense” food and farming pathway.  Here is a well written article and account of a couple of farmers in Vermont who have begun and well on the way of remineralizing their garden/farm soil:  http://www.grit.com/farm-and-garden/crops/remineralize-soil-ze0z1502znut.aspx?PageId=3[binnashfbalbum4wp album_id=undefined]

NOW,  it’s time to sort, organize and layout the seeds and garden farming plans for the five O’k CSA 2015 gardens.  For the past several years, we’ve been saving as many seeds from healthy plants—fruit and vegetables,  and,  herbs and flowers, as we possibly can.  We still have a lot to learn about seed saving, but have managed to save many different types of tomato, squash and several varieties of pepper seeds. Making friends with other gardeners who are VERY proud of their produce and willing to share seed is a wonderful part of community and neighborhood gardening. I have up to 10 different tomato variety seeds from our O’k market gardens and the give-away plot at the community garden.

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Even in our shorter Northern Michigan climate we can grow fantastic crops of tomatoes. If you’ve never saved seeds it’s SOOOOOO easy to save tomato seeds in particular.  Have you’ve noticed that where a rotten tomato lies it will likely sprout another of several other tomato seedlings if left somewhat covered with soil, protected and undisturbed? That was my first aha! moment of seed saving—observing which ones wanted to be saved! Those that had already decided to save themselves! All I had to do was pick them up, tuck them into an used seed package and label them with their tomato variety name and the year!

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This year we’re planning to put extra effort into our pepper and onion crop and learn more about care-taking them to encourage a greater yield. They are a bit more finicky than tomato plants and will likely spend a bit of time in the Hobbit Greenhouse once sprouted and when it warms up.

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Saving tomato and pepper seeds is pretty simple, and included below is a good link with almost all you’ll ever need to read/know about saving seeds. BUT, the best way to learn is not to just read, but to actually do it—-make time now, while planning and ordering seeds to set up a system to save your own.

It can be a fairly simple act of observing as the fruit ripens on the vine, remembering to make note and select a few of the most beautiful and fully ripened for seed saving. It’s a difficult to refrain from eating the lovely fruit as you watch it grow to maturity—but remember, you’ll be carrying that loveliness into your garden growing the next year.

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It’s as important to know where our seeds come from as it is where our food (in the store) comes from. Gardeners can effect BIG change in the current Monsanto-Genetically Modified seed debacle and crises by simply purchasing heirloom, untreated, open-pollinated seeds, and then saving your own seeds from the crops you raise.

Join O’k CSA and many other seed-savers and read up on Seed Saving: http://www.seedsave.org/

Our most recent and still enduring favorite gardening book is John Jeavons “How to Grow More Vegetables*” *than you ever thought possible on less land than you can imagine.

In addition to having the best gardening book title—EVER—the work of Ecology Action has spanned the planet with such a positive garden-food-security impact that I’m pleased to know of. Likewise, most of the needed seeds, beyond my own efforts to save-seeds, are ordered through Bountiful Gardens—which is a project of Ecology Action.

In the Bountiful Gardens catalog, one of our Northern Michigan neighbors, Craig Schaaf’ has a small published book the “Golden Rule Farm’s Guide to Growing Early Tomatoes”! 28 pages of tomato growing wisdom, “with detailed text and clear color photos for $11.95”! SO wonderful and proud of Craig’s wisdom sharing! http://www.bountifulgardens.org

We still have 2015 O’k CSA shares available—-and will have an updated, and on-line signup available soon.  REGISTER BY MARCH 20, 2015: AND GET A FREE Worm Farm Bucket comes with your 2015 O’k CSA Cooperative subscription! 

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Permaculture & Garden-Farming Intensive: Become a LLOOFer, Learn a lot….

What is LLOOFing (Learning Local on Organic Farms)?

Written by Kerry Alspaugh, 2012 LLOOF program: “Urban gardening in the summer of 2012 made me appreciate “Home grown” at a whole new level. I have never tasted tomatoes that were so delicious. I can see why farmers feel proud at the end of the day.

Working outside everyday alone expanded my horizons literally. I felt a sense of purpose, showing up everyday, nurturing new gardens into being. Even though I still don’t know very much, I appreciate now how much fun it can be to work alongside of friends who are working hard right alongside you, to bring new possibilities from the earth in exchange for some sweat. I learned so much just sharing observations with my fellow gardeners.

I learned that sometimes the things you plant; just don’t make it, even though you have the best intentions for those wondrous seeds and plants. (I felt discouraged at times.) I initially thought that because I was working with someone who is experienced that that wouldn’t happen. It’s just the way it is. That doesn’t mean you give up!

Celebrating the things that do grow is the fun part but letting go of what doesn’t work, observing, researching, recording findings and trying new approaches is the process of permaculture. Problem solving is a core activity of permaculture and gardening. It’s an ongoing process where problems highlight opportunity.

Permaculture helps me realize that as we look to solve problems (in the garden or in our lives) we seek ways for things to work together in synchronicity. When using this as a guide, simple, new ideas and processes evolve.

Successful gardening takes a lot of attention. I always knew that but until I actually jumped in with both feet (and the rest of my body), and actually experienced the day-to-day duties, I didn’t understand.”

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Kerry partaking in a shared poetry reading, during our end of season LLOOF field-trip to Peter Bane Permaculture Activist and author of A Permaculture Handbook, and Keith D. Johnson, Permaculture designer/consultant/teacher extrodinaire, home-place in Bloomington, Indiana.

 

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Become an O’k CSA share-holder and have a spot of tea….

Spot of tea.1
     This year in our O’k CSA and Market Gardens–herbal medicine plants for teas and tinctures will be offered each week, with simple instruction to begin and/or relearn the HOW-to’s of gathering and using what healing plants grow in our tame and wild gardens. We’ll be hosting a Community Pharmacy…with special workshops in the O’k garden-farm neighborhoods to help you build and fill your own medicine chest.
     We’re learning about the plants that grow all around our O’k CSA home-place in North West Michigan, and love to gather and dry medicinal herbs—–and there are SO many of them. In the spring and summer we head out on familiar walks, where plants I’m getting to know grow, with the intention of bringing good green plant energy into our bellies when it’s winter white outdoors.
Hibernation tea
     We’ve named this tea “Hibernation Tea”, and it is a combination of: Horsetail–St. Johns Wort blossom–Lavender–Sarsparilla.  It is a tea that tastes good and feels good, with lovely, light and lavender-ish flavor that is not overpowering.
     Before sharing our teas, we learn the medicinal properties of these plants and how they interact with each other.  This tea was concocted  to address over-stimulation and frazzled nerves. It has properties of relieving anxiety and depression (St. Johns Wort), is blood purifying and cleansing (Horsetail), a hormone balancer–aiding sexual vitality and testosterone activity (Sarsparilla) AND, alleviates tension and insomnia (Lavender).
Kootie-Buster-Tea
     Kootie Buster Tea was created in 2009 and came to the aid and did great service to all of the 28 students in our first-time offering of a Permaculture Design Course in the Tc/NW MI area, during the winter months this course was offered. It’s a beautiful tea and is well-loved by many in our Northern Michigan area!
     Kootie Buster Teas’ healing properties address and alleviate symptoms of virus caused diseases like flu, respiratory illnesses: colds, asthma and bronchitis, acts as very, low-level sedative, diminishes fatigue and stress and is a liver cleanser and over-all toner.
     It’s O’k CSA and the Market Garden’s 7th year as Traverse City’s first Urban CSA involving area youth and adults as market garden-farmers.  We have exciting changes in this year’s Market Garden and CSA program, which is part of the Urban Farm Collective and includes 3 additional, neighborhood and community gardens in Traverse City. AND, also celebrating the second year of the LLOOF (Learning Local on Organic Farms) program that provides a work-exchange and permaculture training for green-collar jobs planning, planting, tending and harvesting the CSA gardens!  LLOOFers will also get out into some of our “wild” gardens in the area, and help to harvest elderberries (pictured below) and other medicinal plants for our teas and tinctures we’ll be offering in the CSA and through “Community Pharmacy” workshops.
Download a brochure to become a shareholder in O’k CSA here: http://pennyokart.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Ok-CSA-Brochure-2013.pdf
     Join our work-exchange program LLOOF (Learning Local on Organic Farms):  REGISTRATION FOR THE LLOOF PROGRAM IS OPEN, from February 1st, until March 1st, 2013 to apply for the 12  LLOOFing positions that will be offered during this growing season.This project is based on both a  CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, and inspired by WWOOF, the world-wide version of what we are bringing you locally through LLOOFing.
Find out more about the O’k CSA and LLOOF program here:
How do you learn about gathering herbs and the use of these plants as medicines? We found a wise woman and herbalist in our friend, Carol Laughing Waters, who has been studying, practicing and making herbal medicines in the form of tinctures, teas and healing salves and willing to share her knowledge. Thank you Carol!

For additional information on our O’k CSA and Market Garden or the LLOOF program, contact:  [email protected]   or 231-922-2014