This week on the farm:

This week has been named CSA member appreciation week. To thank you all for supporting our local organic farm,you should all find a lisianthus bouquet in your boxes. We have had a great season so far, and expect it to get even better.

We are in need of rain, as always. But there is a chance of rain tomorrow in the day. Keep your fingers crossed…

On a more personal note, i finally splurged and bought myself my first digital camera. It is a Sony A350, and I will be using it to make my infamous Garden Greeting Cards. Also to post pictures on the website as soon as I learn how.

In your boxes this week:

1. Tomatoes: Our buffalo tomatoes are just coming on in the tomato hoop house. Some will be riper than others, so you have some for now and some for in a few days. We just started to harvest our heirloom tomatoes, so that’s something to look forward to in a couple of weeks when we have enough to give out.

2. Green Peppers: Very delicious. Also purple peppers, which taste about the same as the green ones.

 3. Onions: 2 bunches for full shares and 1 for half. A wonderful companion for all your cooking needs. 

4. Beans: We are absolutely swimming in beans right now. This week you are getting green beans, but we also have yellow and purple beans.

5. Garlic:Can be stored up to 9 months, or ready for you to enjoy today!

6. Peas:These sweet sugar snap peas can be eaten whole, and are perfect for crisp summer salads.

7. Zucchini: Our yellow and green zucchini are just coming on. In a couple weeks we will give you a recipe for them.In the meantime, bear in mind they will be here for quite a few weeks.

8. Basil:This aromatic herb can be used in a variety of ways, including the recipe below.

9. Hot Peppers:CAUTION!!! these medium to hot peppers are delicious for those that like it hot. This week we are giving out Garden Salsas. 

10. Chard:Can be used in place of spinach in recipes and is packed with vitamins and minerals.

Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto

This variation on pesto is so delightful, it’s a surprise it’s not more common. The tomato flavor so superbly highlights the rich basil. This pesto is great on pizza, pasta, and an omelet.

serves 2

                                        1 large fresh tomato

        2-3 cloves             garlic, peeled, halved

     3 tablespoons       pine nuts

     2 tablespoons         extra virgin olive oil

                      1 cup          fresh whole basil leaves

                  1/2 cup          freshly grated Parmesan cheese

     2 tablespoons          butter, softened


                                            freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, pine nuts, and oil in a blender and process until just combined. Add a handful of basil and process again briefly, continue adding the basil in small amounts until all is combined.

2. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

 Hope you enjoy, and thanks again for supporting our farm!

                                                Richard, Pooh, Cody and Taylor


I missed writing the newsletter last week. After distribution we had some time but the ground was near-perfect for some major large weed cultivation, especially in the flower garden, so that’s where my energies went. But all week long I had a huge case of the “I should have.”

Last week was a huge week because we harvested the garlic. That always seems almost like a rite of passage; a clear mid-point of the summer when the real summer veggies start in earnest. The garlic looks great. We still need to sequester the largest bulbs for planting so what you are getting early on are smaller ones but just as potent and delicious. We grow both soft neck (redder on the outside, stronger flavor) and hard neck (white bulbs, doesnt last as long as soft neck) varieties. The garlic you got last week should have dried a bit longer. If you used it , it was probably hard to peel. All the garlic should be dried down by this week.

Beans, beans beans….they are really coming in now. See recipe below. We hope to have them for a couple more weeks depending on the rain fall. It looks like we are coming in to a dry spell. We could use some rain.

If anyone wants a flower bouquet on a given week call me in the morning and we can have one for you, either at the farm or Okemos. They are $8.00 each. Thanks everyone for bringing your boxes back. Here’s something else: we sometimes get a gathering of kids on the farm during pick-up time running around here and there. Probably a good idea to drive up the driveway slowly.

In your boxes this week:(Things may change between this post and pick-up time)

1. Beans: green, yellow and possibly purple. (The purple turn green when cooked)

2. Onions: probably some yellow ones too.

3. Cucumbers: They are starting slow, both in the field and in the greenhouse.

4. Garlic:Very strong so use wisely.Oh so delicious! It will keep for up th 9 months. Did you know that most of the garlic at grocery stores comes from China?

5. Tomatoes: Yeah! The first red ones of the season.Enjoy….lots more to come.

6. Beets: Red ace, Bulls Blood and Golden. Remember to use the greens as you would spinach.

7. Zucchini: Maybe, probably just for full shares. More to come.

8. Hot Peppers:Last week everyone received Anaheim peppers. The long skinny green peppers. They are medium in heat. If you want less heat, don’t use the seeds. Can be dries by stringing upside down, away from the sun.

9. Bell peppers:The first on the bell peppers. The variety is called Ace. Very sweet and juicy.

10. Peas:So, so good. They are sugar snap peas, same as last week.Eatable pod and all. Great fresh or cooked.  This is the first year we have grown this tall variety. Greta to be able to stand while harvesting.

11. Fresh herbs. Basil for sure, hopefully thyme and oregano.


Serves 4 to 6

1/4cup coarsly chopped walnuts

1 pound green beans

salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)

3 Tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces Parmesan cheese. Best thinly shaved but you can use grated

1. Toast walnuts in a dry heavy skillet over high heat until the start to brown and become fragrant. Careful not to burn.

2. Bring large pot of water to boil. Add beans and salt; cook until tender but still firm, 3-5 minutes

3. Transfer beans to a colander and run cold water over them. Trim beans if desired.

4. Toss beans with walnuts. Season with salt and pepper.

5. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice and olive oil. Pour over beans and toss until well coated. Cover with parmesan right before serving.

Well that’s about it for week #8. Thanks again everyone for supporting the farm.

                                             Always, Pooh, Richard, Cody and Taylor


  My brother was visiting from Colorado last week and he was hip deep in farm work: spinning lettuce, weeding, harvesting. It was a great week. We ate at the Wrought Iron Grill one night and watched the sunset and the fire flies come out almost every night. It was sad to see him go.

We had a good rain on Monday (or was it Tuesday?).  Finally got the peas trellised and some more lettuce planted, lots more cultivation, another planting of summer squash.  The Organic inspector came on Thursday, spent the rest of the day and Friday getting ready for the market. Days are starting to blend together as the crops accelerate towards maturing. Pretty soon we will be so busy harvesting that there won’t be time to pull many weeds. Hopefully our diligence at early cultivation will hold us into the harvest season. 

Green leafy things still dominate your box as we slowly move into the main season crops. All the local farmers are complaining that the season has been slow, perhaps all the cool weather we’ve been having.

In your boxes this week:

Growers Mix: Another week of lovely baby greens and Swiss chard.

Kale:This first bunches of the season. We try not to do kale too often. We know that there are both kale lovers out there and kale haters. Please, try it if you never have. See the last few weeks newsletters for recipe ideas. Use in replacement of braising mix.

Onion bunches:White and red. They aren’t good keepers so enjoy there sweet flavor now.

Green Peppers: The first of the season. These are the first of the peppers we planted in the greenhouse. Enjoy….there are lots more to come!

Basil: The ultimate taste of summer. Also fresh oregano( and rosemary for full shares.) If you don’t use the herbs you can dry them by hanging the bundle upside down.

Heads of lettuce:Some buttercrunch mostly a romaine/ leaf lettuce variety called Nevada. Beautiful, crisp and sweet as only can come out of the greenhouse.

Green Tomatoes:  See recipe below. If you’ve never tried fried green tomatoes you should. I’ve given out FGT recipes in past years. This one is different and seemed so simple and elegant.

                                       FRIED GREEN TOMATOES WITH CRISPY CORNMEAL CRUST

This is a wonderful recipe for those of you who have never tried green tomatoes before. They are very good, but different from red ripe tomatoes. If you have never tried green tomatoes before, you are missing out on a seasonal treat!

Serves 4 to 6 people

                       1/2 cup    milk, or 1 egg beaten with 1/4 cup water

                      1/2 cup      cornmeal or flour, or a combination

      1   1/4 teaspoons      salt plus more to taste

             1/4 teaspoon      freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste

                                          mild-flavored vegetable oil

                     4 large         firm green tomatoes, cored, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1. Line a plate with paper towels.

2. Put the milk or the egg-water mixture in a shallow bowl; set aside. Put the cornmeal or flour in another small, shallow bowl and stir in the salt and pepper.

3.Fill a large skillet 1/4-inch deep with oil. Heat over high heat until the oil just begins to smoke, about 3 minutes.

4.  Dip each tomato slice into the liquid, then into the cornmeal or flour. Carefully place the tomato slices in the oil and cook until golden and soft (but not mushy), 3 to 4 minutes on each side (working in batches as necessary). Adjust the heat as necessary to prevent burning.

5. Transfer the fried tomatoes to the paper towel lined plate to dry. Season with more salt to taste. Serve immediately.

That’s it for this week. Thanks everyone for your support of our farm and local produce. Remember to keep bringing your boxes back.              Always, Pooh, Richard, Cody and Taylor.


  Welcome to week #5. We had some great rains this week and today as we were harvesting. The tomatoes in the greenhouse are getting bigger, (see your green ones in the box) and the lettuce mix just keeps on growing. We trellised up the snap peas on Sunday and should be picking on those in the next couple of weeks. The zucchinis have flowers so they aren’t too far away as well as the cucumbers, in the greenhouse and in the field. The flower shares have finally started. If anyone wants to get in on a flower share, just let me know; we can prorate a seasons share for the next few weeks.

   So far, pick-up on the farm and in Okemos has gone pretty smooth. Here are a few reminders about some details:

1. If you are not in town to pick-up your box, the best thing to do is have a friend pick it up for you. If this is impossible, let us know 24 hours in advance and we can try to work something out. The only safe way to reach us is by our cell at 989-494-8247. We don’t regularly check our E-mail in the summer so don’t try to reach us there.

2. On the farm pick-up is from 5:00 -7:00 PM. If you are going to be late, just let me know, your box will be there until dark, with the CSA shed door open. With prior arrangements, you can pick-up your box on Tues AM but we don’t have refrigeration so some items won’t hold. Okemos pick-up options are more limited. We are there in Okemos from 6:00 to 7:00 PM. That is pretty much the window to pick-up. It’s never an option to go to our friends who live at the Van Atta road house to ask them anything about your box.  We really don’t want the pick-up to be a hassle for them in any way.

In your boxes this week:

Growers Mix: Another blend of baby and leaf lettuce with baby Swiss Chard

Braising Mix: Probably the end of the collards. We will do a kale mix from here.

Fresh Thyme:Use now or dry for later. See recipe below. Thyme is great for fish recipes, Quiche and of course


Beets: Red and Golden beets together. See recipe below

Green Tomatoes:Use in your favorite green tomato recipe or save on your windowsill until red.

Dill:These were meant to come with the cucumbers but came early.







1 1/2 t OLIVE OIL

1.  cook beets until tender

2.Cool beets, slip skins off by running them under water. Julienne strips to match stick size.

3.Put beets in bowl; add fresh dill

4.Whisk the Umeboshi vinegar, barley malt or rice syrup, tamari and olive oil in a small bowl. Pour mixture over beets and toss until well combined. Set aside at room temperature to marinate for 30 minutes.




 This is an easy, hearty dish It’s great with steamed beet greens or braising Mix and fish of broiled Tofu.

 3 T vegetable oil

2 small onions diced

4 medium red or white potatoes grated

2 medium beets, peeled and grated, (uncooked)

2 t fresh thyme

1t minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, cook for 5-7minutes.

2. Stir in potatoes, beets Thyme and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, turning occasionally until potatoes and beets are tender and slightly crisp, about 15-20 minutes.

3. Remove from heat, add more salt and pepper if desired.




Here we are, almost the end of June. We got some really good rains this week, no hail thankfully. The crops are coming along well; in just a few weeks things should really break loose and the boxes should have more variety. We are still in the green leafy stage of the CSA, along with a few interesting additions.

In your box this week:

Growers Mix:Another interesting mix, this week with Romaine, Green leaf, red leaf, baby Swiss chard and a touch of beet greens. Getting tires of salads? See dressing recipe below.

Garlic Scapes: A larger portion for everyone to play with. Remember, use them as you would a scallion, use the entire thing. It has a lovely garlic flavor. See recipe from week #2.

Braising Mix: This has been really popular at the market. If you haven’t tried them yet a strongly suggest you do. See recipe below.

Carrots: Again a modest portion. Carrots and clay soil…..what a bad combination.

Peas: Most likely for just full shares, they are snow peas. We planted peas three times and only got one planting to produce. One planting was too early and they rotted on the ground, one got entirely too weedy and this is what remains of the third. We have another planting of snap peas we will harvest in a few weeks. The vines are supposed to reach 6 feet tall!

Popcorn:No we didn’t grow this but it is a precursor for things to come. It is organic popcorn that we think is just delicious. So get out that old big pan and cook yourselves up a big batch of old fashion popcorn with lots of real butter and salt. Also try sprinkling chili powder and/or garlic powder on top.

                                   SWEET MAPLE AND BALSAMIC VINEGAR DRESSING

Try this over your growers mix or over any steamed vegetables. In the summer use fresh basil.

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 T maple syrup

2T balsamic vinegar

2T fresh basil or 2t dried basil

1T fresh squeezed lemon juice

1t dry mustard (This is optional)

1 clove garlic minced, more to taste

fresh ground pepper

1. Combine the oil, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, basil,lemon juice,dry mustard, and garlic in a large jar. With lid tightly screwed on shake vigorously until well blended. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.


This classic Mediterranean preparation of greens is really good. It goes well with just about any entree, makes a great  bed for grilled meat, good stuffed in portabella mushrooms,an outstanding topping for pizza and even in the inside of a grilled cheese sandwich.

1/4c extra virgin olive oil

1/2c thinly sliced onions

1 clove garlic minced

one bag braising greens

1/3c raisins

1/4c pine nuts

1T fresh squeezed lemon

salt and pepper

1.Heat 3T of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium to high heat. Add onions cooking until golden, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook one more minute.

2. Add greens and cook until wilted. Stir in raisins, pine nuts, lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add more olive oil before serving if you want.

That’s it. Have a good week everyone. Remember to bring your boxes back each week. Thanks……….Pooh, Richard, Cody and Taylor.


Monday June 16, 2008

Here we are! We made it through week one with only a modicum of mistakes. Most everyone remembered to pick-up and those that didn’t came quickly with a phone prompt. Thanks everyone and sorry about forgetting you Mrs.Paez. How could we forget you! If I didn’t remind you, please bring back your empty boxes with you each week. They do unfold easily for easy transport.

We hope everyone ate all the copious amounts of green leafy things last week. This week there are still quite a bit of greens but perhaps slightly less. In your box this week:

Romaine Lettuce: Caesar Salad anyone. Also green leaf lettuce for full shares.

Growers Mix: This week a blend of baby lettuce and baby Swiss chard and a few baby beet greens. We always wash and spin the lettuce mix but suggest you wash it before eating.

Braising Mix: Similar to what you received last week. This is a cooking mix. You can use it as you would in a recipe that calls for cooked spinach. See Week #1 newsletter for cooking suggestions.

Carrots: They came through for us this week. Admittedly a rather small bunch. We have heavy clay soil and carrots really don’t like our soil. These are from the greenhouse. Enjoy them. We don’t grow very many carrots.

Garlic Scapes: The flower  stalk from the garlic plant. We snap off the scape to encourage the bulb to form. Garlic is a fall plant; we planted it on a warm fall day last October. The scapes can be used just like a scallion, use the entire thing. They have a lovely mild garlic flavor. See recipes below. The scapes are just starting so look for more to come in your box next week. Their season is very short. Six to eight weeks after the scapes are harvested the garlic is ready to be pulled.


2 large eggs

1/2 cup canola oil

2 minced garlic scapes

1 onion minced

3 cups unbleached flour

1/2 cup poppy seeds

2 T water

2t baking powder

1 1/2t salt

1t sugar

Preheat oven 400. Lightly coat 2 baking sheets with oil or butter

Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in oil and minced garlic scape, water and onion. Sift flour, add poppy seeds, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix wet with dry until just moistened. Don’t over-beat.

Drop mixture by the tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Great with soup or salad. Try adding your favorite herb to the batter for variety.

That’s it for week two. Peas will hopefully be coming soon. Broccoli is not too far behind…

Thanks again, Pooh, Richard, Cody and Taylor


CSA#1    Monday June 9, 2008

It’s finally here!  Our first CSA of the 2008 season. In your boxes this week are lots of green leafy things. It has been, until the last three days, a very dry season, so some products will be coming in later than planned, peas for instance. But the rains of this weekend should really get things going now…especially the weeds.

In your boxes this week. (I write this on Sunday PM. Things may change during the work day tomorrow  Things listed may not appear in your box and things in your box may not be listed.)

Growers Choice Lettuce Mix. A mix of green and red leaf lettuce, baby Swiss chard and baby beet greens. We wash it and spin it but as always we suggest you wash your produce before eating.

Braising Mix. A blend of baby collards, baby kale and baby beet greens. This has been very popular at the farmers market this spring. A cooking suggestion: Saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Add braising mix and cook quickly until tender. The greens and baby so they will cook fast. If you have never had greens like this we really suggest you try them. They are very tasty.

Green and or red leaf lettuce. Full heads, great for sandwiches…

Dried Hot Peppers. these are from the 2007 season that we dried with our nice stainless steel dehydrated. Use them on pizzas,in pasta dishes, stir; fries anytime you want to add a little zip to a dish.

Honey. From our trusty hard working bees. We have five hive this year that our friends Doug and Mark maintain for us and we split the harvest with them.

Carrots. This is iffy…..Well have to see how mature the carrots are on the West end of this greenhouse when we go to harvest tomorrow.

That should be it. Remember (especially new members) that things start out slow. The product line is pretty limited this time of the year. It’s been a quirky spring with a hot,hot April….cool,unusually dry May and,oh did I mention the frost on May 27. Now that was fun. Please bring your boxes back each week so we can reuse them for distribution. I will have recipes in the coming weeks. Also my good friend Doug (not the honey Doug) who has been instrumental (pun intended) in teaching me how to do this web-site has offered his continued guidance in teaching me how to post pictures, so hopefully I have enough space left on my brains hard drive to relearn that and everyone can see pictures of the farm each week.

So as always…thanks for your support and enjoy              Pooh, Richard, Cody and Taylor.

More Greenhouse news

We are completely filled in the nursery greenhouse and have moved into the Quonset greenhouse! This is the earliest ever! In order to save on propane we built a room within the greenhouse made out of old plastic that came off the winter greenhouse. All of the lettuce, Pak Choy, herbs and other cold tolerant veggies are living in there while we keep the warm loving veggies in the warmer nursery greenhouse. I want to add a picture soon so everyone can see all the little veggies. 

Busy in the greenhouse

It’s hard to believe but the nursery greenhouse is almost full. We’ve been really busy seeding in lots of different veggies and flowers: four different kinds of lettuce, Pak Choy, leeks, snaps, eggplant, sweet peppers and hot peppers. We transplanted the greenhouse tomatoes into 4″ pots where they will grow until we plant then into the hoophouse. And today the lisianthus arrived so I am up to my elbows in transplant work. We will have to move into the quonset greenhouse very soon, possibly this weekend. All good things…..Next week we will clean out the hoophouses for planting. Oh boy, the season is here!