Luminary Walk Jan 22

Join us for a winter event at the Farm! This community event features a 1-mile trail of luminaries, live music and warm food and beverage. Snow shoes and cross country skis will be available or bring your own and explore the grounds of St. Joe’s. Decorate a luminary and see hundreds light the sky at the end of the evening.

Free for children ages 12 and under
$10 for ages 13 and up.

Sign up here

Orange and Radish Salad

Radishes are great low-calorie snack. If you do not know what to do with those radishes, you should try making this refreshing salad! Juicy, sweet and tangy oranges go well together with crisp and peppery radishes. It’s an interesting combination, but it works!

orange and radish salad_pic

Recipe adapted from

Ingredients (Serves 4)

4 navel oranges

Salt to taste

1 T. fresh mint, chopped

10 oz. radishes

2 T. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. agave nectar (honey)

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

pinch cayenne

2 T. oil


How to Make:

  1. Remove orange peels: Cut off both ends of oranges to make them flat. Cut oranges, crosswise, into rounds. Place in a bowl and add salt, mint and toss.
  2. Slice radishes thinly. Place in separate bowl and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Whisk together lemon juice, agave, cinnamon, cayenne and oil. Add to bowls with oranges and radishes separately and toss.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer oranges to bowl with radish.
  5. Just before serving drizzle salad with remaining juice from oranges. Top with more mint. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information

150 kcal

7.3 g fat

1.8 g protein

Fifth Anniversary Fall Open House – October 3, 2015

Join us for a harvest celebration! It’s The Farm at St. Joe’s fifth birthday.

Lots of things are happening – Fresh food samples, health & wellness information, pumpkin bowling, kids’ activities and farm tours, just to name a few.

Our special guest, David Zinn, will delight us with his magic of chalk art!



Come check out our hoop houses and gardens, meet our new farmer Amanda Sweetman, and just enjoy your time with delicious snacks and good company.

The Farm at St. Joseph Mercy Health System

5557 MacAuley Drive, Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197

Saturday, October 3

10 am-2 pm

Rain or shine!


If you haven’t already, don’t forget to follow us on social media!

We’ll keep you in the loop for our latest events.

Instagram: thefarmatstjoes

Twitter: @FarmatStJoes

Facebook: The Farm at St Joe’s

Cherry Tomato and Basil Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette

Try this recipe for your fresh tomatoes while they are in season! Little bit of vinaigrette helps bring out the sweet and tart flavors of tomatoes. You can make this recipe with your favorite tomatoes – cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, you name it!


Recipe adapted from

Ingredients (Serves 6-8)

3 T. Minced shallots

3 T. Red wine vinegar

½ tsp. sugar

½ C. extra virgin olive oil

1 lb. tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

10 fresh basil leaves, torn into ~1/2” pieces

How to Make:

  1. Combine shallots, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small bowl.
  2. Arrange tomatoes on a large platter. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter basil on top.
  3. Whisk vinaigrette again. Drizzle dressing over salad.

Picnic-Ready Recipes for the Holiday Weekend

Ready to get out of dodge this weekend? We are, too! To help you relax and enjoy your holiday, we’ve put together some quick and simple recipes using a variety of in-season fruits and vegetables that are sure to hit the spot…

Radish Cabbage Slaw with Dijon & Golden Raisins

(Recipe adapted from

Looking for ways to use fresh radish and cabbage? Look no further – try this mayonnaise-free slaw alternative slaw.

Ingredients (Serves 6)

¼ C. apple cider vinegar

2 T. Dijon mustard

2 T. sugar

½ small head cabbage, cored & shredded (6 cups)

4-5 radishes, thinly sliced & cut into matchsticks

½ C. golden raisins

1 T. chives, thinly sliced

Salt & pepper to taste

How to Make:

  1. Whisk together vinegar, mustard and sugar.
  2. Toss together cabbage, radishes, golden raisins and chives.
  3. Drizzle dressing over salad & season with salt and pepper.

Nutrition Info (per serving):

Calories – 75

Fat – 0g

Protein – 2g

Roasted Beets with Feta

(Recipe adapted from

Enjoy this beautifully deep colored and rich flavored dish to compliment any picnic entrée. Beets are rich in phytonutrients, which are important healthy antioxidants!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

4 medium beets

1 T. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

pepper to taste

4-5 chives, chopped

2 tsp. lemon juice

Crumbled feta to top

How to Make:

  1. Peel 4 medium beets and cut into ½ inch pieces.
  2. Toss with 1 T. olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper on a baking sheet.
  3. Roast at 450 degrees F, stirring once or twice, until tender (35 min.)
  4. Transfer to a bowl; toss with 4 chopped chives and 2 tsp. lemon juice.
  5. Top with crumbled fets.

Nutrition Info (per serving):

Calories – 115

Fat – 7.5g

Protein – 4g

Grilled Eggplant Panini

(Recipe adapted from

A perfect pair for any picnic side, this sandwich uses fresh herbs and eggplant to flavor up a lunch classic – the Panini.

Ingredients (Makes 4 Sandwiches)

2 T. chopped fresh basil

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

8 – ½ inch slices eggplant (about 1 small)

½ tsp. garlic, fresh minced

8 slices whole-grain country bread

1/3 C. sliced jarred roasted or fresh red peppers

4 thin slices red onion

How to Make:

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Using 1 T. oil, lightly brush both sides of eggplant and sprinkle each slice with minced garlic. With the remaining 1 T. oil, brush one side of each slice of bread.
  3. Grill the eggplant for 6 minutes, turn with a spatula and continue grilling until the eggplant is tender, about 4 minutes more. Toast the bread on the grill, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
  4. To assemble sandwiches: Sprinkle basil on four slices of bread. Top with cheesy eggplant, red peppers, onion and remaining slices of bread. Cut in half and serve warm.

Nutrition Info (per sandwich):

Calories – 337

Fat – 16g

Protein – 12g

Fiber – 7g

Fruit Salad with Honey Yogurt Dressing

(Recipe adapted from

Need a sweet fix? Try this tangy yogurt-tossed fruit salad – using many seasonal fruits!

Ingredients (Serves 6)

1 C. plain low-fat yogurt

2 T. honey

1 apple

1 mango, put removed & chopped

1 C. blueberries

1 C. raspberries

1 C. strawberries, quartered

How to Make:

  1. Whisk together yogurt and honey in the bottom of a large bowl.
  2. Stir in fruit and toss until combined.
  3. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Info (per serving):

Calories – 111

Fat – 0.6g

Protein – 2g

The Power of Protein: How to Make Farm-Fresh Complete Proteins

One nutrient in particular that we tend to not associate with fruits and vegetables is protein. Protein within our bodies is found essentially everywhere; in our muscle, bone, skin, hair, and makes up many enzymes that play key roles in vital chemical reactions. Protein from our diet is important in many ways, as there are certain building blocks of protein (amino acids) we must get from food as our bodies cannot make them on their own.

Protein from our food comes either from animal sources or from fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products tend to have most of the essential amino acids, while other sources must be eaten together and in variety in order to get all of the amino acids needed to make new protein! Getting enough complete protein from non-meat sources can be made easy following a few basic combination rules. Listed below are just a few ways to incorporate farm-fresh produce into your next protein-rich meal:

Legumes (lentils, peas, beans) + Grains, Nuts & Seeds

  • Stir-fry vegetables with green snap peas, served over brown rice, sesame seeds garnish
  • Hummus, with fresh cut vegetables, served with whole wheat pita bread

Grains (wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, rye, quinoa) + Legumes, Dairy

  • Grilled mozzarella, basil and fresh tomato, served on whole wheat bread
  • Cornbread & root vegetable chili with beans

Nuts & Seeds (almonds, peanuts, sunflower, cashews) + Legumes

  • White bean zucchini bread topped with almond butter
  • Baked tofu on mixed salad, peanut-coconut dressing

Need some other suggestions? Try this recipe for an herbed yogurt dip, pairs great with fresh-cut vegetables, multigrain crackers or used as a dressing for meats or salad greens!

Minty Yogurt Dip

(Recipe adapted from

As the growing season winds down, fresh herbs can be used to revive some of your favorite recipes. This easy yogurt-based recipe incorporates fresh mint and also packs a powerful protein punch!

Ingredients (Serves 6)

4 sprigs of fresh mint

1 lemon (zested & juiced)

½ clove garlic

1 C. plain Greek yogurt

Sea salt & black pepper to taste

  1. Pick and finely chop mint leaves on a chopping board, discarding stalks, add to mixing bowl.
  2. Zest ½ lemon and squeeze juice of whole lemon, add to bowl.
  3. Peel and finely chop garlic, add to bowl.
  4. Add yogurt, salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Mix all and taste for spice!

*Serve with cut, fresh veggies or your favorite whole-grain cracker & enjoy.

Nutrition Info (per serving):

Calories – 31

Fat – 2g

Protein – 1.2g

Purslane: Weed it and Eat it!


Recently I had the privilege to work at the St.Joes farm as part of my University of Michigan Dietetic Internship. It was an amazing rotation, in large part due to the sunshine, fresh air and periodic cherry tomato treat. During my rotation I found that an essential part of organic farming is weeding, and while there I did quite a bit of exactly that. Crouched down in a bed of beets and carrots my eyes quickly became trained to identify the encircling zombie miscreants that I would yank out knowing full well they would return in a few days.  However, one of those irksome weeds, in my opinion, is more forgivable than the rest; it’s not one I want to see choking out a purposefully planted bed of vegetables but instead, chopped up and in my salad. The weed I’m talking about is actually a wild succulent called purslane (Portulaca oleracea). In addition to plaguing gardens, invading yards, and squeezing through the cracks of sidewalks, this resilient plant also happens to be a superfood. And I don’t use that term lightly, purslane is uniquely nutritious in that it has the highest amount of heart-healthy ALA omega-3 fats of any edible plant and the highest amount of melatonin (antioxidant) of any tested fruit or vegetable; it’s also packed with micro-nutrients and is most nutritious when eaten fresh.

Continue reading to know more than you probably ever wanted to about purslane:

Identification & Storage

Purslane is a garden floor creeper with smooth reddish stems. The leaves are thick, firm and fleshy with no hair and clear sap. Purslane is best stored in the fridge in a jar with a bit of water. Once plucked purslane only keeps for a few days so use it up right away.



According to the Purdue University Horticulture Department purslane may have been cultivated more than 4,000 years ago. It is believed to be native to Persia, Africa and India, and was introduced into Europe in the 15th century as a salad herb. The plant became an integral part of the diets of ancient Greeks and Romans. Over time the seeds spread to the Americas but didn’t really catch on as a regular ingredient in the cuisine as it did in Asia, the Middle East and throughout the Mediterranean countries.

Nutritional significance

As mentioned above, purslane contains the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids of any leafy vegetable. Researchers that measured the fatty acid content of purslane found that the leaves contain up to 2.5 milligrams of fatty acids per gram, with 60% in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a heart-healthy, inflammation-lowering omega 3. Purslane seeds contained up to 170 milligrams of fatty acids per gram, 40% of which was ALA. According to the American Heart Association one should strive for around 1.8 to 2 grams of ALA a day. Therefore a 3.5-ounce serving of purslane is a source for about 20% of that amount. It should be noted that there are three types of omega-3 FA’s: ALA, Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); ALA is the most common form in the Western diet and is gotten from plants and vegetable oils. EPA and DHA come from fish and, in the case of DHA, fortified foods; these two forms are especially low in the Western diet. While there has been research showing that ALA has cardio-protective effects, especially in populations with low fish consumption, it’s the EPA and DHA that have the most potent health benefits. The conversion of ALA to the EPA and DHA forms is very poor and therefore while purslane is an amazing source of ALA omega-3’s it should not be taken in place of, but rather in addition to, EPA and DHA forms.

Another unique property of purslane are its high levels of melatonin, possibly the highest among all fruits and vegetables…by a lot. Melatonin has many important functions, as an antioxidant it scavenges for free radicals and it also reduces the immune systems inflammatory response. Research has also shown that it acts in synergy with other antioxidants found in purslane, a detail which highlights the importance of getting your antioxidants through plants rather than through supplements. Given the plants high concentration of melatonin and n-3 fatty acids, which act via similar mechanisms to inhibit cancer cell growth and reduce tumor cell proliferation, along with its overall stellar antioxidant profile, research shows that purslane may offer protection against cancer, cardiovascular disease and a number of other chronic diseases.

In addition to all this, this little plant contains the highest content of vitamin A among green leafy vegetables. It also contains vitamin C and B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, and pyridoxine and provides some of the highest levels of dietary minerals such as potassium (494 mg/100 g), magnesium (68 mg/100 g), calcium (65 mg/100 g), phosphorus (44 mg/100 g), and iron (1.99 mg/100 g).

Ok, enough flattery! Lets talk about the best ways to get all this goodness into your body.

Culinary uses

Before using purslane I like to rinse it really well and depending on where I’ve plucked it up from I may soak it briefly in a bowl with a bit of vegetable wash and then drain it before consuming. I’ve used purslane fresh in salads and cooked into frittatas and recently I tossed it with some other herbs in a simple olive oil potato salad that worked really well. It’s tasty, with a slight lemony flavor and a nice crunchy texture. As mentioned above, it is most nutritious when eaten fresh so try adding it to smoothies or pestos. It is also often boiled in soups, sautéed with spices, or dried and used in tea. Most important is not to overthink it! It’s a mild herb and can complement a range of dishes.

Below I’ve included a few links to recipes featuring purslane so you can scavenge for it on your way home and try it tonight:

Greek salad with heirloom tomatoes and purslane:

Ikarian Potato Salad with Purslane:

Purslane Stew-Istanbul


If you’re looking to get really into “urban foraging” I suggest you google Wild Edible Plants (WEP) to find which other nutritional powerhouses are going incognito in your area.

Fun(ish) facts

Purslane is reported to have been a favorite food of Mahatma Gandhi as well as Henry David Thoreau! So…there’s that…