Farm News

Posted 10/6/2013 7:41am by Trent Thompson.

Greetings, All:

It has been another beautiful week on the farm! We did get some more nice rain on Friday and Saturday. We have hardly had to irrigate this year except in the tunnels, a stark contrast to last year.

Surprisingly, there has been no killing frost yet. Our tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and flowers are still holding on. Although cooler temps look to be on the horizon, it looks like we may yet go another week or two without frost, so you still have time to enjoy the summer crops a bit longer.

The farm's roots and greens are beginning to kick in, especially in our new tunnels at H DR N. Salad, spinach, arugula, kale, collards, chard, carrots, turnips will all be in plentiful supply for the weeks to come.

All 1/2 acre of our tunnel space is planted at the new farm. These crops all look gorgeous (see photos here) and we are anticipating some very big harvests throughout the winter. The produce will be available at the new farm at H DR N (beginning in December/January), the Bank Street Winter Market on SAT (after Thanksgiving), and a variety of wholesale outlets (Food Dance, Rustica, Zazios, People's Food Co-Op of Kzoo, and more).

Tunnel construction starts this week at H DR for a 30x96 from White Rabbit. We are also finishing the larger propagation house in two weeks, and getting electric and water (frost-free lines) installed in all tunnels later this Fall before it gets cold. Things are still extraordinarily busy right now.

Sadly, Ruthie and I have decided not to have a Barn Bash this year. We wish we had the time and energy to do one, but right now we want to focus on getting the new farm ready for next year. We will have a very big farm Grand Opening at the new farm on H DR next spring.

The online farmacy is open. Order now until tomorrow at 7 AM. Salad, spinach, arugula, chard, kale, carrots, turnips, sunchokes, no-spray Mutsu and Gala apples, leeks and green onions, herbs, Butternut, eggplant, peppers, and flowers.

We hope you all are having a great Fall! Thanks again for your continued support.

Take care and eat well, Trent & Ruthie

Do you recognize these flowers? Sunchokes, the tubers from this plant, are now available on the farmacy. The mild and nutty tubers are very unique, the only tuber native to N. America. Wonderful roasted with other roots and brussels sprouts. Recipes here.

sunchoke flwrs

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Posted 9/29/2013 2:57pm by Trent Thompson.

Greetings, Friends!

Fall is officially upon us. We hope you too have been enjoying all of these glorious days! This weather has given the crops in the hoops at our new farm a boost, and they look great! Your winter will be full of Green Gardens' kale, chard, collards, salad, spinach, green onions, carrots, and beets. Hungry yet?

Thursdays lately have been hoophouse deconstruction days here at the farm. This past week, we disassembled another hoop. We have two hoops that need good homes. One is a 14'x96' Keeler Glasgow with ample head room for $900. The other is a 20'x36' FarmTek that we've used as our starter house, which comes equipped with blower fan, vents, electric, and temperature-controlled thermostats, for $2000. If you know of anyone who might be interested, feel free to pass this along. Direct any questions to trent (at) greengardensfarm (dot) com.

Tom Shepherd, a local food pioneer and co-owner of the first CSA in the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek area about 25 years ago, passed away recently. We are grateful for his perseverance in bringing awareness and importance of local food to the area. His legacy lives on at Green Gardens through his "Strange Ranger Sunchokes," of which he shared 50 pounds with us 3 years ago. Each year, a percentage of the tubers we save to replant for the following year's harvest.

We've had numerous questions lately regarding our transition to the new farm. To clarify, the Farmacy and CSA pick-ups will continue at our White Rabbit Rd farm until December 11, our final day there. After that, farm pick-up will be at our new farm (address to come at a closer date so as not to cause confusion). We will continue online ordering through the Farmacy throughout the winter as long as we have enough produce. Do note that we will eventually drop down ordering and pick-up to every other or every third week, but will let you know when this happens.

In Online Farmacy land, it's open for business until 7AM Monday. Come snag some of the last tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant, in addition to baby (salad and arugula) and cooking greens, leeks, butternut squash, fresh herbs, bouquets, carrots, and more. We'll have your order ready to go between 3-7PM Monday.

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

Photo: bouquets at the reception of Scottie & Hristina, enthusiastic Green Gardens volunteers who someday want to start their own farm either here or back in Macedonia, Hristina's homeland.

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Posted 9/22/2013 7:53am by Trent Thompson.

Greetings, Friends!

As we mentioned in last week's email, a crew of 8-9 disassembled the hoop house that's moving to our new farm in one day! Things went smoothly and by and large, the rain managed to hold off. How wonderful to have such a great, enthusiastic crew to make the process that much easier!

We have lots of goodies on the Online Farmacy this week! Items that won't be around much more than a couple weeks: tomatoes, eggplant, sunflower bundles, zinnia and dahlia bouquets, peppers, and zucchini. Other great fall crops include cooking and salad greens, butternut squash, leeks, potatoes (though this is the last week we'll have them for the season), carrots, and fresh herbs. Ordering continues until 7AM Monday. Please pick-up between 3-7PM on Monday. Don't forget to check for a confirmation email from us - that way, you know we'll have your order ready when you arrive.

May you be in good health,
Trent & Ruthie

Photos: just starting the disassembly process on Thursday morning; the bare bones of the hoop; now, just piles of steel and bags of nuts and bolts

    

 

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Posted 9/8/2013 9:09am by Trent Thompson.

Greetings, Friends!

The crops in our hoops at the new farm are coming along great! Our last hoop to be planted currently has 5 rows of SunGolds, which will come out this week and will eventually have salad mix and spinach sown. Speaking of salad, look for it to make its reappearance starting this coming week! We know many of you have missed it - we sure have! We hope to start digging our baby ginger soon. Last week, we harvested 2 (Chevy S-10) truck beds-full of butternut squash - what a great year for them! Look for them in 2-3 weeks.

With the departure of our chickens, many of you are probably left wondering where to get eggs from. In Battle Creek, Ginny of Two Thumbs Ranch in Bellevue offers egg shares (a few options available - scroll to bottom) and Terry & Renee of Pleasant Hill Farm in Ceresco sell eggs at the Battle Creek Farmers' Market and the Springfield Farmers' Market. For you Kalamazoo Market folks, our former employee Clay of EarthSmith Food and Forest Products and Heather of Elder Fire Farm Arts sell free-range eggs. We can point you in their direction. Also keep an eye out as you drive around your area. There are folks with surplus eggs from their small flocks that sell from their home.

We wrapped up our time at the Battle Creek Farmers' Market early this year to focus on preparing things at our new farm for a great 2014 season and beyond, as well as to lighten our workload a bit with the rather busy season we've had managing two farms. Thanks to all our great customers for your support this season! We encourage you to still visit the market every week to show vendors that the market is worth their while to continue attending.

After last week's holiday sabbatical, the Online Farmacy is open again! No-spray sweet corn (last of it for 2013), leeks, beets, tomatoes galore, cooking greens (kale, collards, chard), shallots, potatoes, eggplant, mega and mini sunflower bundles, dahlia and zinnia bouquets, fresh herbs, and lots more. Order until 7AM Monday and pick-up your ready-to-go order Monday from 3-7PM.

Enjoy the rest of your beautiful weekend, Friends!

May you be in good health,
Trent & Ruthie

Photo: last week's CSA box for Battle Creek members (chard, 3/4# shallots, 3 zucchini/squash, bell pepper, 1.5# potatoes, 2 pints cherry tomatoes, 5 ears sweet corn, 2 eggplant, bunch of thyme, 3# slicing tomatoes). Join our 2014 Waiting List here and we'll contact you in early 2014. Kalamazoo members will again have the credit system.

 

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Posted 8/25/2013 1:34pm by Trent Thompson.

Sunny Afternoon Greetings, Friends!

The carrots sown in one of the hoop houses at our new farm came up really well! Despite flame weeding last week, we still have lots of weeds to tackle. Trent started on them this morning, and that’s our project for the afternoon. Oh Sundays in summer for us farmers!

Ruthie’s Summer Cooking Demo was once again a big hit! She made pesto, Zoodles, Honey Garlic Grilled Eggplant (that we actually broiled due to sketchy weather), and a beautiful Caprese Salad with heirloom tomatoes (see photo below). Thanks again to the wonderful folks at Something Better Natural Foods and to all of the attendees! We hope to have another one this fall, so keep an eye out for the announcement.

In the interest of keeping our sanity and allowing us get more than 5-6 hours of sleep each night, we’ve made the tough decision to give our laying hens a new home sometime in the coming month. While we realize many of you like getting eggs from us, this is something we have to do to help reduce our daily workload. We hope to reintroduce them back into our farm rotation in a year or two after reevaluating how to improve our systems for raising them. Thanks in advance for your understanding.

Check out the Online Farmacy for bulk tomatoes (red slicers, not as meaty as Romas – 10LBS or half bushels available), no-spray apples we picked from our neighbor’s trees, fresh herbs, onions, bell peppers, sunflower bundles, zinnia and dahlia bouquets, beets, and more. Order until 7AM Monday, then come out to our farm between 3-7PM and pick-up your order.

Stay cool this week, Friends, and be in good health.
Trent & Ruthie


Photo: could heirloom tomatoes be any more beautiful?! Shortly after this, pesto, olive oil, and 3 kinds of balsamic vinegar topped each tomato row. Folks found the green ones (they're ripe) to be most intriguing.

 

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Posted 8/11/2013 5:12pm by Trent Thompson.

Afternoon Greetings, Friends!

A bit later than usual, but we farmers need some time off once in a while, too. 80-100 hour work weeks catch up with us. What a beautiful weekend to enjoy!

Believe it or not, but Thursday, we filled one of the hoops at our new farm with 5 beds of carrots and 1 bed of green onions (see photo below) for late fall and winter harvest. We're hoping that means somewhere in the ballpark of 3500 bunches! Who's excited for the super sweet candy carrots?! The kale and chard plugs in the starter house look great. We aim to plant them in a couple weeks in two more of our hoops.

Wednesday, August 28 from 6-8PM you can find us featured along with Jeff Fleming from Hillside Heirlooms in Augusta at the 6-course Heirloom Tomato Dinner at Casa Bolero in downtown Kalamazoo. Check out the menu here - they even suggest drink pairings. Reservations can be made by calling 269.382.3148. We're excited to work with Chef Jared Dellario!

The Online Farmacy is open for ordering until 7AM Monday. Tomatoes, beets, potatoes, onions, peppers, fresh herbs, zucchini and squash, dahlia and zinnia bouquets, sunflowers, and more. It couldn't be easier - place your order, check for a confirmation email from us, then come out to the farm on White Rabbit Rd on Monday from 3-7PM and we'll have your order all ready to go!

Have a wonderful week, Friends!

In good health,
Ruthie & Trent

Photos: Dylan and John helped Trent prep the carrot tunnel and put irrigation lines on row after row. Green onions are in far right bed; the other 5 are carrots!

Bold, beautiful beets at the Bank Street Market Saturday

Green Gardens on Facebook

Posted 8/4/2013 7:47am by Trent Thompson.

Good morning, Friends:

We hope that you are all having a great summer, enjoying these cool and comfortable days. Life on the farm continues to chug along at a nice pace. It's hard to believe that it is August already! Where has all the time gone?

We continue to harvest lots of tomatoes from our tunnels on H Drive. Although we are beginning to get a few cherry tomatoes from our field tomatoes at White Rabbit, we have yet to harvest any large tomatoes outside of the plastic. They look to be 1-2 weeks away, so please be patient if you're growing tomatoes in your garden. This summer has been substantially cooler than last year and the tomatoes need sunshine and warmth to ripen. The farm's investment in tunnel infrastructure this spring has provided us at least one month earliness this season. Thanks again to our investors that provided the capital necessary to make this possible.

Beans, peppers, and eggplant are all beginning to mature. This is peak season! Not sure what to do with eggplant? Join us Thursday, August 22 from 6:30-8PM at Something Better Natural Foods for Cool Cooking for Hot Days. Ruthie will prepare delicious summer dishes that don’t require turning on your stove or oven much, if at all. We might even fire up the grill! RSVP by calling 269.965.1199 x102 or emailing Brian at news@sbnf.net  Hope you can join us!

The online farmacy is open! Order now until Monday at 7 AM. Pick-up at the farm on White Rabbit from 3-7 PM on Monday night. Your order is ready when you arrive. We are faster than McDonald's and much, much healthier! This week on the farm stand find tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, Red Zeppelin onions, Dragon Tongue beans, greens, herbs, sweet corn, squash, beets, flowers, and more! We have 1/2 or 1 LB bags of basil, too, to make pesto and preserve the taste of summer all year long.

Have a wonderful week!

Trent & Ruthie

Find the Farm on Facebook for more farm updates!

Posted 7/21/2013 9:42am by Trent Thompson.

Greetings, Friends:

We hope all of you had another wonderful week despite the hot and sticky weather. This upcoming week looks to be much more pleasant with highs in the 70's.

Although we were soaking wet from sweat by 6:30 in the morning a couple days this past week, we remember back to last year and think about just how unbearable that heat was in comparison. We are grateful for a milder summer, and so are the vegetables!

This week features the Green Gardens' Farm-to-Fork dinner at Food Dance in Kalamazoo. We don't yet know what Chef Robb Hammond will be cooking up, but it should be a very tasty surprise. WED night from 6-8 PM. Details. Call to reserve tickets at 269-382-1888.

It's tomato time on the farm! We are excited to finally be picking lots of tomatoes (photo of ripening Sun Gold clusters below). This is the time of year when I like to eat tomato, basil, and mozzarella sandwiches or Sun Gold caprese salads. These are quick and delicious - the taste of summer.

We should be getting our first beans of the season this week! We will have them consistently until frost hits in October. Speaking of Fall, we are already beginning to gear up for it. Fall brassicas were planted this past week outside and our plantings for our tunnels is being planned out at the moment.

On the online farmacy this week there's lots to choose from: onions, potatoes, tomatoes,zucchini and summer squash, cucumbers, cooking greens, cabbage, herbs, and more! Order online now until 7 AM tomorrow. Pick-up at the farm from 3-7 PM on Monday. We have specials on kale, Sun Golds, and bulk basil for pesto making.

Thanks again for your continued support. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Trent & Ruthie

Find the Farm on Facebook for even more farm updates, photos, and recipes for the best produce. Photo of Sun Gold cluster below:

 

 

 

 

Posted 7/14/2013 10:47am by Trent Thompson.

Good Morning, Friends!

What a pleasant summer Mother Nature graced us with this year. More normal summertime temperatures plus just about perfect timing on rainfall makes for happier, healthier plants (and farmers). We feel grateful.

After a rather pokey start, the tomatoes in the hoops at our new farm finally look to start producing heavily! Those neat Dragon Tongue heirloom beans will be here soon. The first peppers should be ready in 2-3 weeks, eggplant in 3 or so, and the first round of sweet corn has tassels. Summer is here!

Don’t forget to catch Farmer Trent at the downtown Battle Creek Farmers’ Market Wednesday mornings from 9-1. In the coming weeks he’ll have bouquets and sunflowers, greens, zucchini and squash, tomatoes (once they really start producing), eggplant, herbs, and more.

The Green Gardens Farm-to-Fork Dinner at Food Dance sure snuck up on us. Only 10 more days! It’s not too late to get your tickets, so click here to join us Wednesday, July 24 from 6-8 PM for an evening of tasty fun!

Need sunflowers? We had a couple hundred pop yesterday (naturally, after market) that need good homes, and more to pop during the week. You can buy these beauties through the Online Farmacy today or email us (trent@greengardensfarm.com) if you have an event coming up this week or upcoming weekend. $1/stem for up to 100 stems, or 100+ stem for only $0.75 per stem.

Also on the Farmacy this week you’ll find carrots, zucchini and squash, Dark Red Norland potatoes (great steamed or boiled, creamy), curly kale special (3 bunches for $5), lots of fresh herbs, pesto special (1/2 LB for $5 or 1 LB for $9.50), cabbage, sweet Walla Walla onions (great raw), greenleaf lettuce and beets from Clay (our former employee) at EarthSmith Food and Forest Products, and more. Please note the time change for Monday morning ordering deadline: 7AM.

Lastly, many of you asked about Ruthie’s next cooking class. Well, folks, we have a date! Join us Thursday, August 22 from 6:30-8PM at Something Better Natural Foods for Cool Cooking for Hot Days. She’ll prepare delicious summer dishes that don’t require turning on your stove or oven much, if at all. We might even fire up the grill! RSVP by calling 269.965.1199 x102 or emailing Brian at news@sbnf.net  Hope you can join us!

In good health,
Ruthie & Trent

Photo: Our carrots have character! Enough to even give each other a hug every now and again! They're pretty sweet (in more than one way)!

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Posted 7/7/2013 8:19am by Trent Thompson.

Good morning, friends:

We hope you all had a great 4th and a restful weekend.  What a beautiful summer season we've been having! Could it be any nicer? This has been a great growing season for the farm. 

As we move deeper into July, summer crops are beginning to emerge.  We are excited to begin to have our sweet and mild Walla Walla onions again. Tomatoes are finally starting to ripen with the warmer temperatures. Bush beans, eggplant, and peppers will also be coming up within the next 2-3 weeks. 

Thanks to all who came out to the Battle Creek Downtown and Kalamazoo Markets this week. There was great turnout and we are very grateful. 

We have a nice selection of crops for the farmacy this week: zucchini,  summer squash, cukes, onions, carrots,  peas, tomatoes, cabbage, cooking greens, herbs and flowers. Make an online order here and come join us between 5 and 6:30 on Monday for some tasty grilling fun at 8319 White Rabbit Rd. Zucchini, summer squash, onions, potatoes, and more will be on the menu! Pick-up hours for produce are 3-7 PM. 

Have a wonderful week!

Trent & Ruthie