Farm News

Posted 11/29/2016 9:16pm by Trent Thompson.

Winter Vegetable Share Deadline is Dec. 1!

Please share widely.

We hope all our customers had a good Thanksgiving. We are grateful for the warm weather, as it has allowed us to keep plugging away on the new hoophouses. They are almost done!

This is Green Gardens' first ever winter share season. We have been working with root storage and hoophouses since 2009, learning how to store and grow food in the winter time. We now have the confidence and infrastructure (600 square feet of coolers and nearly 1 acre of hoophouses) necessary to offer winter shares to our Kalamazoo Market Customers.

Our winter credit customers are rewarded with additional bump in spending credit over the course of the winter. Here's the breakdown:

1. Small - $200 = $220 spending credit (10% extra)

2. Medium - $300 = $335 spending credit (11.6% extra)

3. Large - $400 = $450 spending credit (12.5% extra)

As always, you get to use your credit on whatever you want on the Green Gardens' stand. You can come to market on whatever Saturdays you wish. Members need to use their credit during the winter market calendar dates.

Market will be held at the Bingo Hall across from the Kalamazoo Bank Street Farmers Market from 8-12:30 PM on the following seventeen Saturdays:

12/3, 12/10, 12/17, 12/31, 2/4, 2/11, 2/18, 2/25, 3/4, 3/11, 3/18, 3/25, 4/1, 4/8, 4/15, 4/22, 4/29

Crops that will be available include: kale, collards, swiss chard, sunchokes, radishes, watermelon radishes, salad turnips, onions, potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnips, cabbage, kohlrabi, kalettes, spinach, salad, fresh and dried herbs.

  • We will also buy organic apples from the Country Mill in Charlotte during December.
  • Hiday Farms grass-fed yogurt and cheese (colby and pepper jack) will also be available.

  • Recipes will be included in e-mails and the Veggie Blog prior to market.
  • All produce sold is raised using organic practices
  • Pay with check, cash (at market), credit card, or Dwolla (online check)

Questions? Send them to Trent at trent@greengardensfarm.com and he will get back to you right away.

 

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Posted 9/15/2015 12:28pm by Trent Thompson.

Greetings %%user-firstname%%,

Tuesday is box pick-up day! Please remember bring back your wiped out, folded box when you pick up this week's box. We reuse them to keep costs down.

In your box this week...

-Cooking Onions: cured so they will store. Keep in a dark, cool, dry spot.
-Lunchbox Peppers
-Ancho Peppers:
a mild chili pepper. Try them stuffed, like with Quinoa or with Rice and Beef. Or Chiles Rellenos
-Beets
-Kale
-Cherry and Slicing Tomatoes
-Radishes
-Bok Choy: Asian cooking green. Perfect in stir fries. Can use the whole thing. Cut of bottom, then chop the stem and leaves. I always toss the stem in a couple minutes before the leaves as it needs to cook longer. 
-Carola Potatoes:
tan skin with yellow flesh. Creamy texture, exquisite flavor. Steam, boil, bake or fry.
-Sweet Corn from Scobey's Produce. Conventional.
-Acorn Squash:
I'll post some ideas for stuffing them tonight.

On the Veggie Blog: green salsa (using tomatillos if you still have them hanging out in your fridge). Member shared picture: stir fry with peppers, green beans, leeks, and onions. Rockin' Moroccan Chicken. Baby Bok Choy with Cashews. Jorah helping me make Creamy Kale.

*Do note: these weekly lists might vary slightly from actual box contents. We finish the harvest the day your boxes are delivered and occasionally, crops aren't ready or in the quantity needed for all the boxes.

In good health,

Ruthie, Trent, Jorah and the GG crew

Posted 5/1/2014 2:10pm by Trent Thompson.

Greetings, Everyone:

Well, we made it! It was quite a winter, but we all survived. At the farm, we added a new little farmer, Jorah, born March 18. She's awfully cute but not pulling weeds just yet.

This spring has been a very busy one on the farm. We've added a two-acre orchard of mostly pears and apples with some paw paws and persimmons. Renovating the pole barn to create an indoor market and washing/packing space was also a large project. And, the high tunnels have kept us moving quick with lots of planting, weeding and NOW harvesting!

This weekend is a big one for the farm. We begin the outdoor market at Bank Street in Kalamazoo on Saturday morning (7-12 PM) and have the farm stand open at the farm on H Dr N on Sunday from 12:30-5:00 PM.

Pre-ordering for the farm stand (at the farm) can take place now until 8 PM on FRI night. ORDER HERE. Your order will be ready for you when you arrive. Or, you can just show up to the farm market and see what we have available. This is new! Pre-ordering online is no longer a requirement to shop our farm stand.

We will start the season off with lots of greens (kale, chard, spinach, and salad). Radishes, chives, green onions will round out our market selection. We will have more choices on the farm stand at the farm from other local producers, including things like quiche from Erin Hill of the Bakewell Co. and ramps from Sunshine Silo Farm in Leonidas. Much more selection to come. We are just getting started!

Recipes are readily available at market and the farm to help you out in the kitchen.

We look forward to seeing many of you again and meeting some of you for the first time this weekend!

Please never hesitate to ask us any questions.

Thanks again for your support,

Trent, Ruthie, Jorah and the Green Garden's crew

Find Green Gardens on Facebook!

Salad in the hoop for this weekend:

 

Posted 2/3/2014 1:37pm by Trent Thompson.

Thanks to one of our favorite CSA members in Kalamazoo, Green Gardens is on Pinterest now. She has spent a lot of time organizing all sorts of pictures and recipes. Here's the link:

Green Gardens on Pinterest.

Posted 1/2/2014 10:12pm by Trent Thompson.

Please note that we are switching over all e-mails to MailChimp. In Gmail, our e-mail today may show up as SPAM in the Promotions categeory. They can be moved to Primary if desired. This will be the first and last week you receive two e-mails from us. We apologize.

Gratitude

Another year has passed. We are one year older, and, hopefully, a little wiser than last year. We continue to give thanks to all those that have supported us through the years. The farm would not exist without all the wonderful people in our community that have believed in the farm and its mission. We hope that you are all having a great Holiday season!

Community Supported Agriculture

Our 6th Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) season is upon us! Shares of delicious and healthy seasonal produce from the farm are available to purchase now. Sign-up is open online (or click box on right) and is super quick and easy. For the traditional box-style shares, there is a new option for purchasing each 8-week season (Spring, Summer, or Fall) individually. Several pick-up points in Battle Creek and a new Marshall pick-up point.

The credit-style share option is now available to use in Battle Creek at the farm on Sundays and Wednesdays, in addition to Kalamazoo on Saturdays at the Bank Street Market. Pre-ordering online and walk-in orders are both possible at the farm in 2014.

What's New This Season?

There are many new and exciting changes on the farm this season.
  • The Real Food Barn (RFB). The RFB will be the premier source of fresh local food in the area. In addition to Green Gardens vegetables, flowers, and herbs, we will be sourcing additional local products to create a convenient one-stop shop for local food purchasing at the farm. Locally-sourced fruit, honey, maple syrup, meats, grains, beans, jams and jellies, soaps, and many other value-added products will be available. The RFB will evolve and improve over time. We are busy working on electrical and displays at the moment. We hope to open by March or April of 2014. The RFB will work in conjunction with our credit-style CSA at the farm and will be open on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings. You can pre-order online or just stop by.
  • New Orchard. This March or April, we will be planting a new 2-acre orchard consisting of apples, pears, paw paws and persimmons. We've always wanted to have fruit, but never had our own land. Now, we feel comfortable putting one in. We have identified these fruit as ones that we can grow organically and have worked with Charlie Morse of Morse Nursery and Larry Sibley (The Paw Paw Man) to identify disease-resistant cultivars that have been bred to do well without intensive chemical spray programs.
  • U-pick. Flowers, herbs, and veggies. A 1/2 acre plot will operate in conjunction with the RFB on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings in 2014.
  • More hoops. We will continue building more hoophouses in 2014 to extend season. It seems we never have enough! This time they might be movable.
  • Other surprises that we will share soon!

Alright, the days are getting longer now. We are on the upswing! The farm will continue to attend the Kalamazoo Winter Farmers Market on Bank Street in late January as long as the weather permits us to harvest in the tunnels. Thanks to everyone for the awesome turnout in December!

Please contact us if you have any questions about the farm or the CSA.

See you soon! And, stay warm!

Trent & Ruthie Thompson

CSA Bounty. Traditional CSA Box from 2013...

CSA Bounty

Tomatoes, Potatoes, Pepper, Basil, Beans, Summer Squash and Zucchini, Red Onions, Swiss Chard, Beets, Eggplant and Dill. Yum!

Posted 11/24/2013 2:50pm by Trent Thompson.

Greetings Friends,

After two chilly harvest days and one cold, snowy morning at market, we're happy to spend some much-needed time in our warm home. We hope you all are staying healthy and cozy during these winter-like days.

Many appreciative thanks to everyone who braved the weather yesterday morning at the final outdoor Kalamazoo Bank Street Market for the season to load up on produce for their Thanksgiving feasts! Man, was that mini snowstorm crazy or what? See below for picture of our impromptu "greenhouse" we constructed over our stand to prevent the produce from freezing in the 20-degree temps. We're ever-grateful to Chris, Michelle, and the rest of the crew from the People's Food Co-op for an outstanding first season running the market! With so many positive changes this season, we look forward to coming years to see what else you have in store! Speaking of PFC, we are grateful for their support of Green Gardens. You can find much of our produce (spinach, kale, collards, chard, candy carrots, herbs) in their produce section, so swing by and grab some Green Gardens veggies if you couldn't make it to market yesterday.

This Saturday marks the first time that you can find us at the Bank Street Winter Market (right across from the outdoor market inside the Bingo Hall) from 8AM-1PM for the next four Saturdays (Nov 30 - Dec 21). Exact schedule for January-April to be determined in December.

CSA sign-up for 2014 is open. Click here for more details or to sign-up. Exciting new changes are in store for 2014 - we hope you join us!

Green Gardens made the news in the Enquirer recently! Two of our long-time customers and CSA members nominated us for the Best Bites award, and we are honored.

Nothing says project time like late fall. We have Dustin Fox and crew of Fox Bros Mechanical Services working to install a furnace in part of our pole barn for more comfortable washing and packing in the winter as well as one in the starter greenhouse to keep the little seedlings warm; and running electric and frost-free water lines to all 7 greenhouses. With all the trenches everywhere, it looks as though a giant ground mole's been busy!

The Online Farmacy is open just in time for your Thanksgiving preparations! Ready-to-eat salad mix, curly and dino kale, rainbow chard, collards, candy carrots, sunchokes, and fresh herbs including a poultry mix (sage, thyme, and rosemary) await you. Order until 8AM Monday, then come out to our White Rabbit Rd farm between 3-6:30 that afternoon to pick-up your order.

May you have a wonderful holiday, enjoying delicious food with those you love!

In good health,
Ruthie & Trent

Green Gardens on Facebook - the fun never stops, even when the snow flies!

Photo: Since veggies are 85-95% water, they'll freeze in no time, so we created this impromptu greenhouse, complete with an electric heater, to keep them cozy at the Bank Street Market yesterday.

Posted 11/4/2013 5:53am by Trent Thompson.

Greetings, Friends!

Another productive Sunday here at Green Gardens. We had a number of our fellow farmer friends (Heather from Elder Fire Farm Arts, Kelly from Long Valley Farm, and Gina from Under the Stone Garden) plus some other farm helpers over this morning to pull the top sheet of plastic over our valley hoop (the one we moved from White Rabbit; it's currently filled with tiny spinach). What a perfect morning! A slight breeze here and there, but otherwise it was calm - and the plastic is on! See photo below. The roll-up sides are now attached, with the end walls to round things out. This has been a large, lingering project, that feels great to have almost complete.

Last Monday, Dylan and Trent planted around 4200 garlic cloves and 840 shallot bulbs between two of our hoop houses. Click here to see photo. Last June, we watched our 1/4 acre garlic patch wilt and rot in the field due to the disease Asters Yellow, brought over by a non-native pest that survived because of our unseasonably warm spring. Though we did get maybe 50 or so bulbs, we erred on the side of caution and purchased all new, certified disease-free stock this fall. We're hoping for better seasons ahead with this seed investment since garlic is one of the few seeds that we save from year to year. By doing so, we're able to increase the amount we grow each season without having to re-purchase.

Friday, we had our 120' irrigation well dug (click here to see photo). The well will operate at 30 gallons per minute and 30 psi. We will be able to irrigate forty-four, 200' lines in one shot! No more worrying about droughts majorly affecting our crops in coming years.

CSA sign-up is still going open. Up to 24 weeks of 8-12 seasonal crops with the traditional boxes, or farm credit to use for orders via the Online Farmacy and by stopping at Real Food Barn at our new farm SUN and WED afternoons, as well as at the Outdoor and Indoor Bank Street Markets for up to 33 weeks. The previous link has more information. If, after reading through the website, you still have questions, please don't hesitate to email us: trent@greengardensfarm.com or ruthie@greengardensfarm.com

Starting this week, the Online Farmacy will be open every other weekend, so check back the evening of Saturday, November 9. We're trying to take a bit of a breather as our extra busy year slowly winds down. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and thank you for your understanding.

Bank Street Outdoor Market continue to Nov. 23, indoor starts Nov. 30 across street at Bingo Hall!

May you be in good health, Friends,
Trent & Ruthie

Don't forget to 'like' us on Facebook - you'll get a glimpse into our weekly activities, plus where to find us and what we'll have, how crops are growing, links, recipes, and more.

Photo: perfectly beautiful fall morning for plastic pulling. Thanks again to all our helpers - we would have blown away with you!

Posted 11/3/2013 3:39pm by Trent Thompson.

Good Morning, Friends!

The hard, killing frost showed up this past week, knocking out the remaining tomatoes, eggplant, and flowers. The good news about frost? Our greens (spinach, kale, collards) and roots (carrots especially) will start tasting sweeter with each frosty night. That's because they contain a natural anti-freeze that gets released during freezing temperatures to protect the crops, resulting in sweeter crops. Your science lesson for the day!

Hoop progress continues at our new farm. Jeff from Nifty Hoops came over Tuesday with a truck-load of materials and his hoop know-how. In the first-ever Nifty Hoops starter house, we pulled plastic over the top (big thanks to Trent's folks for coming out that chilly evening to help), installed one of the roll-up sides, secured the framework of the hoop, and set the posts inside for the hoop-inside-of-a-hoop (extra warmth for crops we'll start in February). We hope today to install the other roll-up side as well as the two end walls. Here's to luck and little/no wind!

Sign-up for the 2014 CSA is underway. Battle Creek and Marshall members can choose between traditional boxes for up to 24 weeks or farm credit for 33 weeks. Kalamazoo members will once again have the credit system. Click here for more information about both share types.

Wow, this market season flew right by! Only 4 more Saturdays of braving these chilly fall mornings at the Kalamazoo Bank Street Market. After that, we'll be moving indoors to the Bingo Hall directly across the street. Our current plan is to attend market every Saturday from 8AM-1PM starting November 30 through December 21, then switch to every other week starting in January 2014. Exact dates for 2014 to come later as we finalize our plans.

The Online Farmacy is open for business! Baby and cooking greens, candy carrots, leeks, green onions, fresh herbs, salad turnips, and sunchokes for your eating pleasure. Order until 7:30AM Monday, then come out to our White Rabbit Rd farm that afternoon between 3-6:30PM to pick-up your order. Don't forget to check your inbox to make sure you received a confirmation email from us.

Check out this picture of Mother Nature's glorious sunrise Friday morning.

May you be in good health, Friends!
Ruthie & Trent

Photo: Deconstructed Taco Salad. Plate-full of salad greens tossed with olive oil and fresh-squeeze lime juice. Topped with garlicky cumin-and-chili-powder ground beef, black beans, and salsa. Guacamole or avocado slices would make this even better. The best part? It's easy, fast, AND simple to customize.

Posted 11/3/2013 3:38pm by Trent Thompson.

Greetings, Friends!

How great to see the sun after a cold, drizzly Saturday! Makes for a perfect work day to reassemble a hoophouse! We have 3 helpers today to get our Valley Tunnel, which is full of newly-sprouted spinach, back in action after its move from White Rabbit (see photo below).

Yesterday, we delivered our first batch of cooking greens to The People's Food Co-op in Kalamazoo, so start looking for more Green Gardens goodness there, in addition to our sunchokes, carrots, and herbs in clamshells currently there. With all of these hoops in full production right now, we plan to keep the PFC produce section well-stocked with cooking greens (curly and dino kale, rainbow chard, and collards), spinach, carrots, and maybe more this winter. We also plan to continue accounts with many restaurants, including Rustica, Food Dance, and Zazios, and are exploring additional wholesale outlets.

This past week marked the end of our regular season CSA. For the next 8 weeks, we'll be making 17 boxes on Wednesdays instead of nearly 75. Thanks to all of our great CSA members for your support this season! We hope you branched out in your culinary skills and learned some new, tasty dishes! We're also now accepting CSA membership for 2014. Battle Creek and Marshall members now have 2 options: traditional boxes or farm credit. Kalamazoo members will continue with farm credit. Click here for more information, costs, dates, and photos of both options.

Check out the Online Farmacy. Specials on our spinach and salad mix: 1 LB for only $9! Plus, cooking greens, the last of the butternut squash, leeks, fresh herbs, sweet carrots, and more. Ordering goes through 7:30AM Monday, and we will have your order ready to go for you to pick-up at our White Rabbit location from 3-6:30PM Monday afternoon.

Enjoy this glorious Fall afternoon, Friends!

In good health,
Ruthie & Trent

Green Gardens on Facebook! Watch the farm grow into winter, read food-related articles, and see what we've been cooking.

Photo: in the midst of putting up bows this morning. Today's goal is to have all the metal frames and baseboards in place so we can pull plastic next. Looking good so far!

Posted 10/13/2013 3:19pm by Trent Thompson.

Delightful Fall Afternoon Greetings, Friends!

Nearly mid-October and we've still somehow managed to avoid the "big" frost that signals the official end of summer. We still had lots of tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and zucchini to take to the Kalamazoo Bank Street Market Saturday.

The projects around here just don't stop. Over the next month or so, the large majority of our operation and harvests will be at our new farm. Today, we have some folks helping to re-assemble the hoophouse that we moved to our new farm...which will be constructed over the spinach we sowed Tuesday. We anticipate starting to harvest from this house of spinach in March, something we couldn't really do much of in past years!

Sign-up for the 2014 CSA season is now underway. We are expanding membership this year, so current CSA members intending to continue in 2014 will be guaranteed a spot - you just have to complete the simple online sign-up. Please read everything carefully. For those of you wanting to pay with a check, look for the coupon code on the check-out page. Payment via PayPal is an option; there just isn't a coupon code. Marshall folks: we're less than 10 minutes from town and would love to have you join!

We have made a few changes to the 2014 program. Battle Creek members will have the choice of the traditional boxes or farm credit. Boxes will be offered over three, 8-weeks seasons with a one-week break in between (4th of July and Labor Day weeks). You can sign-up for 1 ($200), 2 ($400), or all 3 seasons ($550). You will still receive weekly emails with e-recipe sheets just for CSA members plus additional tips, recipe links, and pictures of dishes we've prepared. Pick-up locations have not yet been finalized, so choose the area of town you'd like to pick-up your box at and we'll contact you later with the exact address. More information and pictures of boxes can be found here.

Farm credit (Battle Creek and Kalamazoo) is good for orders through the Online Farmacy, the Real Food Barn (an option that will open beginning in 2014 at our H Drive location), and at the Kalamazoo Bank Street and Winter Farmer's Markets. Shares can be purchased for $400, $500, or $600, and is good for up to 33 weeks (beginning of May through mid-December - NOTE: balances are not transferable to 2015). Members receive a 10% discount on all orders/purchases, plus the weekly emails with e-recipe sheets, additional tips, recipe links, and pictures of dishes we've prepared. Current Kalamazoo Market members have told us they love this system for its freedom of choice and flexibility. You choose what you want in quantities of items you'll use, and only order/come to market/the Real Food Barn when you are able. Click here to learn more about the farm credit system.

The Online Farmacy is open! Please note: we've changed the pick-up window slightly...3-6:30PM. On deck this week: tomatoes, fresh herbs, leeks, sunchokes (see below for a picture of today's lunch and link to recipe using them), carrots, baby and cooking greens, butternut, and more. Order until 7AM Monday and we'll have your order ready to go between 3-6:30 that afternoon.

May you be in good health, friends!
Ruthie & Trent

Photo: Roasted Chicken with Jersulam Artichokes. A few notes: I had a cut-up chicken (from Lily Hill Farm in Lawton - they're at the Bank Street Market; awesome chicken), which I de-skinned and used in lieu of chopping into pieces. I used larger sunchokes which I chopped into smaller pieces, then par-boiled the sunchokes for ~10 minutes before mixing with herbs. I'd actually use more than 1 pound sunchokes because when feeding 4 hungry 20-something farmers, food always goes fast! This was as good as gone!

Green Gardens on Facebook!