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.
EXTENDED!!! It’s a fruit day!!! So it’s also a Sunday Tomato Plant Sale day! 12:05 until 5:05 pm. 510 Second Street, Traverse City. If I’m not here, it’s the Honor System and serve yourself! We can’t let our little tomato babies sit much longer in these little plastic incubators! They want you….
For your Health and Wellness —-Grow your own Heirloom, Organic Tomatoes!
Flint and I have grown over 35 different varieties of indeterminate(climbing/vining) and determinate(bush) tomato plants. Add a few more tomatoes to your gardens! Come and get em!
These tomato plants, all organic and many are grown from saved seeds from previous years in our O’k Gardens. Beginning in March they have been tended w. much love and we are doing our best to make sure you know what varieties we have for you to choose from.
$1.50 – $3.00 per plant —-depending on size and heirloom-variety
Here’s a partial list of tomato types we have for you to consider growing at your home-place:
Heinz 2653 Paste (D) 68 days – Early Red Plum
Hogheart Paste (I) 86 days – Heart shaped and meaty
Opalka Paste (I) 82 days – Massive solid fruit, bull-horn shape
Orange Banana Paste (I) 85 days – Attractive orange cylindrical 3-4″
Blue Beech Paste (I) 83 days – Roma type, mild flavor, great sauce
Garden Peach (I) 71 days – Yellow fruits blush pink when ripe and have thin fuzzy skins somewhat like peaches, soft-skinned, juicy and very sweet.
Glacier Tomato (D) 56 days – Originally from Sweden, rich tomato flavor
Goldie Yellow — Gold Nepal (I) Heirloom, originated around 1875–Yellow beefsteak–SO Beautiful and delicious!
Black Prince (I) Heirloom–72 days- Originally from Siberia, small red slightly pear-shaped
Black Cherry (I) 65-75 days Dusky purple-black clusters of fruit
Cosmonaut Volkov (I) 68 days Deep red, w. green shoulders– sweet and rich
Grandma’s (I) 75-80 days Large, squat, pleated fruit–averaging 3 1/2 inches wide–High lycopene content
Yellow Platfoot– (I) Heirloom, Lovely Orange Brandywine–Large beefsteak shape
Super Sweet 100 (I) 70 days – Cherry type. Extra prolific in yield
Mortage Lifter (I) 80 days. Heirloom Beefsteak type up to 2.5 lbs in size
Matts Wild (I) 55 days. A wild type of cherry tomato that can be grown in hanging pots or I think we could throw around compost piles and let nature take its course. They need little attention
Bush Steak (D) 65 days. Big 8-12 oz meaty fruit. This is the tomato we should plant in buckets so we may not have these to sell.
Cherokee Purple (I) 72 days. Heirloom. Large Beefsteak 12-16 oz. organic.
Burpee’s Supersteak Hybrid (I) 80 days. Beefsteak 1-2 lbs.
Peacevine Cherry (I) 78 days. High yield 18 tomatoes per cluster. This is a CRACK resistant type.
Pruden’s Purple (I) 72 days. Large beefsteak heirloom. organic.
Brandy Wine (I) 88 days. Heirloom.
Orange Slice (I) 75 days. High yield. 16 oz.
Burpee’s Jubilee (I) 72 days. Heavy yield. 3″ fruit. Heirloom.
Gilbertie Paste (I) 85 days. Great canning. Heirloom. Organic
Rose de Berne (I) 75 days. CRACK resistant. organic
Roma (D) 76 days. Paste type. Can be grown in containers.
Yellow Pear (I) 70 days. Yellow pear type. organic
Moskvich (semi determinate) (?) 60 days. Heirloom slicer. Little staking needed.
Gold Nugget (D) (?) 60 days. Yellow cherry type. Resistant to cracking.
Husk tomato. 80 days. Ground cherry type. Can be grown in compost pile and left unattended.
Tomatillo Purple 80 days.Ground cherry type. Can be grown in compost pile and left unattended.
How about all that?
Want me to set aside a special selection for you? Send me a text w. your order and I’ll do that too.
We are STILL announcing and inviting folks to register for the class: “Making your Bountiful Garden a Perennial Polyculture”, which officially begins next Wednesday, March 29th(soft opening this week) and will highlight 3 of our O’k CSA garden-farm sites in Traverse City: DIGs garden (510 Second St.), the Peace Patch garden (501 Seventh) and Realeyes Homestead (9775 Cherry Bend Rd.)
We are super proud of our on-going efforts to grow more garden-farms and garden-farmers within the city limits of Traverse City—our version of a local/local/local urban farming project!
I’m including and especially honoring our Peace Patch garden-farm at the corner of 7th and Oak, as our first neighborhood and community growing site, which has hosted our Friday market and many local/foodie/farming & permaculture gatherings for the past 5+ years.
Please help us share this opportunity. Gracias.
Check out our little green growing sprouts and Learn how the Peace Patch neighborhood garden came to be! Join us and learn the how-to’s of kickstarting a neighborhood garden-farm cooperative!
Making your Bountiful Garden a Plant Polyculture is a Spring Class, 4 weeks in length March 29th – April 19th, of hands-on learning; demonstrations and sharing tips on how to make your garden, over time, grow an abundance of annual and perennial food.
We’ve created a collective of garden-farm sites in many neighborhoods, focusing on improving the soil, planting a diversity of annual and perennial veg, fruit and herbs—and all with a focus on educating and bringing neighbors and community together in many ways! This has especially been true of our very first garden-farm site, our beloved Peace Patch garden!
With a little permaculture planning and design you can create a series of polyculture “patch” gardens that together create an incredible garden-farm that is brimming with resilience, diversity, and saving you time watering, weeding, and dealing with pests.
Much information and many examples will be shared: Annual and perennial food plants, perennial support plants, minimal competition and maximum cooperation, and how each plant/shrub/tree species are adapted to it’s little patch/niche.
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:
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.
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: www.nmipermaculture.org) 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.
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
The monkey in me, likes to begin the growing season w. fond memories of the fun-fun-fun of the work-work-work of planting and tending a garden and growing food for myself and others! While I may not be quite this flexible in 2016 as I was back in 2000, we still do our daily yoga in the gardens–once the snow takes leave!
A GREAT way to join in on the fun-work is to support and/or join our Very O’k CSA Cooperative—a community supported group of garden-farms right in the Traverse City–city limits!
And because of all of this monkey-bizness—the first five folks/families that sign up or renew their membership will also receive a “Year of Monkey” calendar that is coming hot of the press this week!
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).
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