Traverse City’s O’k CSA Cooperative is Grow, Grow, Growing!

Need to join a wonderful and very O’k CSA? We invite you to join ours!

Spring Greens: 2017

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.)

You can read more here about our wonderful Traverse City based CSA Cooperative: http://www.pennyokart.com/…/sign-up-for-ok-csa-cooperative…/

We offer On-line subcriptions: http://www.pennyokart.com/product-category/2017-csa/

You can also snail mail your membership w. a check to:

Penny Krebiehl
510 1/2 Second St., Traverse City, Michigan 49684

Make checks payable to: Penny Krebiehl

Answers for questions? Give me a call or send me an email.

[email protected]

231-922-2014

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!

Here’s our little blurb in their “Find Farms & Food” section:  O’k CSA Cooperative

We feel happy, proud and a little special to be a part of this good work in the Great Lake State of Michigan!


Sign-up for O’k CSA Cooperative local, seasonal Veg-fruit-herbs!

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”.

On-line sign up is quick and easy here: 2017 O’k CSA Share Options

Here’s the info on our share offerings for 2017:

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.

Sign-up online here:  O’k CSA Share Options

CONTACT:
[email protected]
231-922-2014

Sandy and Doug, 2016 CSA

 

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Join our O’k CSA Cooperative, Summer 2016 membership info

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Hello Very O’k friends and families,

Welcome to the 2016 O’k CSA growing season!

It’s that time of year again—the snow is no longer piled HIGH and we’ve begun celebrating the “Year of Monkey” according to the Chinese New Year. (More on monkey-biz below.) and it is, in fact, the beginning of our 2016 growing season.

In addition to breaking ground w. Levi and Brenda Meeuwenberg out at their Realeyes Homestead property for our newest garden-farm site, this year’s membership options have changed up a bit, as we suggested last fall that they may.

 

Here they are–NEW for 2016:

  • BECOME a O’k CSA Cooperative Member/Grower!  For folks who have been or interested in hosting a garden-farm site, have an option to take on their own garden-growing space if they so wish with a minimal input by myself and the O’k CSA garden-farm interns at the beginning of the season to get you off to a great start.   Member/Growers will tend, gather and deliver their weekly harvest to the Peace Patch garden site on Friday mornings, in exchange for a CSA share box from other member/growers.  Additionally, for Member/Growers, I would offer a consultation for a fee, which would familiarize you w. the garden-farm site’s beds already in production and/or cover a spring consultation and garden bed design plan, also offering an opportunity for you to order plant starts from our stash. Fee negotiable/cost of plant starts TBA.
  • BECOME or continue to be one of our O’k CSA Co–op Share-holders.  This year, we are offering Full shares @ $450 and Half-size shares @ $275 of fresh vegetables, herbs and flower bouquets,  beginning June 15th, through September, with pick-up on Friday’s at our Peace Patch Garden at the corner of 7th & Oak, in Traverse City, Michigan.
  • BECOME a O’k CSA Sponsor and help grow the “green-collar” jobs we offer to youth 18 years and older, by helping to provide an apprenticeship and mentoring relationship with educational opportunities for two positions in the 2016 growing season.

Please share our good news with others that you think may wish to join us as growers, members or sponsors of our community and neighborhood garden-farming CSA.

OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT OUR O’k CSA COOPERATIVE:

Check out our garden-farming (w. Biodynamic & Full/New Moon notations) and playfully illustrated 2016 Year of Monkey calendar, they can be ordered by clicking here.

ALSO, you are warmly invited to attend a special evening of music, pie and permaculture sharing –on Sunday April 3rd in Traverse City–More info by clicking on here: Seth Bernard & Friends, Fundraiser for Permaculture Design Course.

That’s all for now. Adios, and see you real soon!

`penny Krebiehl

[email protected]

 

Market-Garden CSA 2016 Kick-off Flyer

These two wanna feed You! Farmer & Chef Dinner Wednesday, Oct. 14th in TC

The Farmer & The Chef Dinner, No. 2

Hosted By The Blk\Mrkt Coffee & Eatery
144 Hall St., Traverse City, MI 49684

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015, 6:00 pm

A special evening of fresh, local food, grown by O’k CSA Cooperative, and prepared by a local Chef!

  • Limited to 25 guests
  • Family style service
  • BYOD & T (Drink and Tableservice)
  • $35.00 per person

Advance Reservations, by calling:  248-565-6494

With grateful thanks to our hosts, the Farmer and Chef Dinners are brought to you by,

Chef Ali Lopez, ali-lopez.com

and, Art-Farmer, Penny Krebiehl, pennyokart.com

11949305_10156063304295455_2726919163323990872_nPreview of “No. 2 FARMER AND CHEF Dinner Poster Final”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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.

 

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