Join a great group of folks who have been learning the ways of growing our own food in a cooperative of downtown Traverse City neighborhood gardens! Whether you would like to choose a workshare and join us in tending and harvesting—or simply stop by our weekly market stand and pick up your share we are welcoming new members in our 2018 Summer Share season.
Contact us soon!—The Season begins the first week of July!
SUMMER Share (12 weeks, July 5th – September 20th) $400 Family size, 4 people, All pay, or $200 Work Share (25 hours, reg. scheduled) $275 Half share, 2 people, All pay, or $137.50 Work Share (25 hours, reg. scheduled)
Includes Salad mix and greens, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, beets, cucumbers, summer and winter squash, potatoes, radish, green, yellow and soup beans, turnips, scallions, onions, garlic, basil a plethora of herbs, flower bouquets, specialty garden-farm tea-mixes and occasional artwork!
PLUS, we put together fantastic potlucks and are the originators of “The Farmer and The Chef” dinners! Look for announcements and invitations to join in on these community “foodie” gatherings this summer and fall!
You can read more about us on our Facebook O’K CSA page where post weekly garden-farm news and photos, or at our website where we offer online payment.
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:
Beginning March 19th-20th 9 am-5:30 pm (one weekend per month, thru August) This is a non-residential, modular 72 hour course with hands-on skills and training. Meets one weekend per month, March thru August in Traverse City, Michigan.
Teaching team: Kate Heibler Cobb, Rhonda Baird, Penny Krebiehl, and, Bridget O’ Brien—along with permaculture teachers/presenters: Toby Hemenway, Dan Kitteridge and other local, regional permaculture designers and practitioners.
On-line registration for the 2016 TC PDC here: www.nmipermaculture.org Registration/payment plan contact: Penny Krebiehl 231-922-2014 [email protected]
ALSO, Two permaculture courses happening in Onaway, Michigan with over 72 hours of classroom and hands-on education.
Summer: July 17-3, with Peter Bane, Keith Johnson, Rhonda Baird and guests
Fall: October 9-21, with Penny Krebiehl, Kate Heiber-Cobb and guests
Those of us who live in Northern Michigan, love it here and want to keep the beauty we have found in nature, our neighbors and our lifestyles. We can take charge of our future! To preserve the best and improve the rest, we need a broader understanding of what has been going on, what it means and where it is heading. To prevent negative changes, enough of us need to see what is not obvious to everyone yet, nor visible at a glance. Limited to 40 students, each course. To register for the Onaway courses, contact: Bob Lawrason, 989-733-5267
Original art, crafts and Special Wonders!!! Healing salves from the gardens, Solstice Swags and wreaths, Knitted goods, Aprons, Kootie-Buster Tea, Paintings/Drawings and Greeting Cards, Hand-dipped, Beeswax Candles 6 to10 inch pairs, from $6.00 to $9.00 per pair. Lovely Solstice Swags, Year of Monkey Yoga Calendar and cards, and lotsa, really beautiful hand-knit goods!
Come share a cup of tea and a slice of Lemon Poppyseed Solstice Cake!
O’k Art Studio’s Annual Solstice Crafty Fair is NEXT weekend:
Saturday, Dec. 19th, 10 am to 4 pm
Where: O’k Art Studio (Penny’s little home-place)
510 1/2 Second St., Traverse City, MI
Brought to you by a couple of O’k and Pretty-Good, artsy-craft sisters: Clarice Krebiehl Gallimore and Penny Krebiehl
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!
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.
Amongst 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!