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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:  penny.o[email protected]   231-922-2014 (Please leave a message)


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Sprouting! 2016 O’k CSA Cooperative, share/member/grower offerings

Getting Sprouty

Welcome, again to the 2016 O’k CSA growing season!

It’s time to finalize garden-farm planting charts and seed orders, and begin the $ investing in start-up costs, so please do respond this weekend if you are planning to join our O’k CSA Cooperative again.  Early bird membership fees end on Monday, February 29th! Below are the membership designations.

Here they are–NEW Membership options 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. Member/Grower fee:  $45, yearly membership, PLUS cost of plant starts and any on-site work.
  • 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.  Your support will help cover the registration fees for our CSA crew members to take the upcoming Traverse City Permaculture Design Course.

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.  Below is a list of our current 2016 garden-farm sites, and also a link to the announcement of the LLOOF work-exchange program which is accepting applications and trains garden-farming interns/students in our cooperative.

2016 O’k CSA Garden-Farm sites in and around Traverse City, Michigan:

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)

Frida’s Folly, 1120 W. Front St., TC (Mainly onion/garlic and lettuce growing garden-farm)

Little Artshram Teaching Garden,  875 Red Dr. TC (Longtime, wonderful sunny growing space, with perennial herbs & fruit)

Peace Patch, Seventh St., TC (This is our “host” on share-day, and full of brassicas and a variety of veg.)

The Sunshine Farm, 501 Seventh St.,TC (A new garden hosting potatoes, tomatoes and peppers and more.)

And a warm WELCOME to our new Member/Growers, so far:

Karen Comella, 8th Street, Traverse City, MI
Barb Tholen homestead, Cochlin Ave., Traverse City, MI
Levi & Brenda Meeuwenberg, Realeyes Homestead, Traverse City, MI

And, if extra space is necessary, we may continue growing a few viney crops at our Far Away Garden, @ Baker’s Green Acres in Marion

Information on the LLOOF (Learning Local on Organic Farms) program–Applications due March 1st:

That’s all for now.

Adios, and see you real soon!

`penny Krebiehl[email protected]


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Year of Monkey Yoga 2016 Calendar
























We are pleased to share an illustrated journey of time to enliven the monthly experience of the New Year of 2016:

The Year of the Monkey and Monkey Yoga!

This is a 12 month calendar, which follows along the Chinese New Year tradition with a meaningful mid-western twist of imagination and story-telling.

As an artist, storyteller and seeker of what-when-how and why, I find Monkey to be an entertaining, delightful imagined compañero. I think of the Monkey in this illustrated calendar-story as a “he”—a little brother type companion who sometimes, like the character Hanuman in the Ramayana, is a bit of a forgetful prankster—but also dearly holds the quality of a devoted little furry amigo, comforter, challenger, a special imagined companion.

As we step into another year of work and play, this little Monkey can also keep us moving on a wonderful Yoga path. We’ll learn and relearn together, the relationship and connections of moving our body and minds into a healthy and purifying place of balance. Why not? Monkey Yoga––Yahoo!

Just in time for the Year of Monkey to officially begin on February 8th.

More details about the calendar:

  • A 12 Month Calendar, February 2016-January 2017 ~ With original drawings and inspired messages, offering a way, month to month, through pictures and words of honest, playful and positive guidance by the inspired teachings that link a wise little Monkey friend with the practice of Yoga.
  • Monthly New & Full Moon notations, and NEW this year, Bio-dynamic Sowing & Planting notations
  • Illustrated & created by `penny Krebiehl

A portion of the sales of this calendar will benefit Little Artshram’s Permaculture and Art Education programs in Michigan, specifically an upcoming Permaculture Design Course in Traverse City (More information: 2016 Traverse City Permaculture Design Course).

Click here to head over to the O’k CSA Shop!
Pre-order your 2016-2017 Calendar now!

Click here to head over to the O'k CSA Shop and pre-order your 2016-2017 Calendar now!

Click here to head over to the O’k CSA Shop!
Pre-order your 2016-2017 Calendar now!

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2016 Permaculture Design Courses in Northern Michigan

Sharing news about a few permaculture design courses that are being offered in the Northern (lower)Michigan area, and I have the pleasure of being a part of the teaching teams:
2016 Traverse City Permaculture Design Course

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: 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

Preview of “TC PDC 2016 Header-NMI Permaculture”