2017 Spring CSA

***Update, the Spring CSA is now full!*****

To receive updates about future CSA seasons, please sign up for our email list here.

 

 

Signups are closed for the 2017 Spring Farm at St. Joe’s CSA program(not sure what that is there’s more info at the bottom of this post).

What: Spring CSA. Shares will consist, primarily, of greens (spinach, lettuce, arugula, spicy mix) with the addition of other crops like radishes and peas.

Who: Up to 40 people

When: March 22-April 12

How: This is a self-serve CSA, meaning that you will be able to pick your shares (a bag of produce) up from a cooler at the Farm any time from  Wednesdays at 11am to the following Monday at noon. Check out the video.

 

Cost: $48($12/wk). We ask that you pay in full before the first pick up.

arugula-seedlings-1

Arugula peeking out!

How to participate: 

Step 1: Fill out this form

Step 2: Payment

The share is $48 ($12/week). Please pay in advance! Options include:

1.Come to the Wednesday Farmer’s market (11-1) and pay with cash, check, credit card or payroll deduct.

2.Bring cash or check (made out to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital) to the Farm

3. Send via mail/interdepartmental mail to Amanda (Reichert Health Building Suite 1117).

4. If you are a resident and you want to use your stipend money, please go to any of the Joe’s Java’s and tell them to put $ toward the Farm. Do this as many times as you need to get to $48. Once you have the receipts, please put them in an envelope with your name on it and get it to me. (Farmer’s Market, interdepartmental mail)

 

Questions? Email or call Amanda at Amanda.Sweetman@stjoeshealth.org or 712-4667

Definition: If you haven’t heard of them, CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture, programs are a way for farms to connect directly with customers. Typically, farms offer a set number of “shares” which customers can purchase at the beginning of the season. Then customers come pick up their share each week for a set number of weeks. This is a great model for all involved, farmers get upfront capitol when they need it most and consumers get ultra-fresh, local produce.

 

Living Seasonally

It’s November 23rd, 2016. Until this weekend, the weather felt like September. But despite the warm weather, I’ve been feeling myself return to my winter habits. I am surprised to find that the shorter days drive my behavior more than the temperature outside.

As I spend more time at home cooking, reading, and enjoying the company of friends, I am grateful for the passage of time and the changing seasons. After a frenetic summer, I need the long nights to force me to slow down and rest. This is a time of regeneration.

I cooked more times in the last two weeks than I had in the entire month previous. What I’m cooking has changed also. Root vegetables are prominent in their sweet, crispy glory. I roasted a locally-raised chicken, and was reminded how many ways a chicken can feed a family. (Have you ever made homemade stock?). And, maybe best of all is the salad!!!

Even though temperatures have finally cooled off and the days are short, there is still so much growing at The Farm. This is the season for cold-hardy greens: spinach, lettuce, baby kale, arugula, ruby frills, and so much more. These greens taste sweet, crisp and have more bite than standard lettuce. As one of the CSA customers told me: “Your spicy salad mix has rocked my world!” Not only does our salad mix incorporate a broad variety of greens. But also, greens taste better in the fall/winter because sugar is nature’s antifreeze. Once the greens have frozen once, the flavor changes dramatically!

hoop-house-greens-fall-2016

What are your winter habits? One new habit I’m working on is feeling more gratitude. The best way to make a new habit is to practice. If you’re a St. Joe’s colleague, join the Gratitude Challenge Nov 28-Dec 16th. Learn more here.

Access to Healthy Foods

Hunger and health are deeply connected.

According to Feeding America, 1 in 7 people in Washtenaw County are food insecure. Food insecurity is the USDA’s measure of lack of access to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. It also looks at whether or not a household can get nutritionally adequate food.  Food insecurity is associated with poor nutrition, health, academic achievement, and mental health as well as with an increased risk of developing chronic diseases.

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-4-28-50-pm

http://www.feedingamerica.org/about-us/helping-families-in-need/nutrition-initiative/

Often, food insecurity is associated with living in a food desert. A food desert is an area that lacks easy access to both healthy and affordable food. Often, these are low income neighborhoods that are not near a supermarket.

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-4-30-48-pm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2013/11/09/too-much-of-too-little/

There is also an association between income and obesity. The diagram above shows that in all 50 states, the lowest income families (dark blue dots) have a greater rate of childhood obesity than the highest income families (light blue dots) in the same state. Sometimes this is related to living in a food swamp, a place where unhealthy foods are more accessible than healthy foods. For example, low income areas have twice as many fast food restaurants and convenience stores compared to high income areas.

The image below shows the area around St Joe’s. (St Joe’s is the star). The green portions show areas of people that have low income and low- access to healthy foods. The orange shows areas where people are low income but have slightly better access for foods.  

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-6-25-45-pm

The best way to combat food insecurity and low food access? Provide more food! Farms, farmers markets and CSAs are common methods used to address food access issues and The Farm offers all of those. The Farm currently hosts a weekly farmers market in the lobby of St Joe’s as well as a weekly CSA in collaboration with other local farms.

Interested in other farmer’s markets in your area? See here. You can also use this source to find farmer’s markets in your area that accept SNAP.

The farmer’s market runs every Wednesday from 11am-1pm in the lobby of St Joe’s. We accept cash, card, or Prescription for Health tokens.

Fall CSA openings

The Fall CSA*, which started 2 weeks ago, now has several open spots!

What: shares will include salad greens, carrots, beets, eggplant, squash, leeks, cabbage and more.

When: now-Dec 14

How This is a self-serve CSA, meaning that you will be able to pick your shares (a bag of produce) up from a cooler at the Farm anytime from 11am on Wednesdays to 9pm Sundays. Here’s a silly tutorial video on how to pick up your share.

Cost The cost is $20/week. We ask that you pay in full at or before the first pick up. Cost will vary depending on start date.

To join the CSA:

  1. Sign up using this form: 2016 Fall CSA
  2. Payment options include.
    1. Come to the Wednesday Farmer’s market (11-1) and pay with cash, check, credit card or payroll deduct.
    2. Bring cash or check (made out to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital) to the Farm.
    3. If you are a resident, please talk to Matt Malone.

Questions? Call 734-712-4667 or email Amanda (Amanda.Sweetman@stjoeshealth.org)

11218169_1092881110723814_2659495670044168339_n

A share from last fall

*Definition: If you haven’t heard of them, CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture, programs are a way for farms to connect directly with customers. Typically, farms offer a set number of “shares” which customers can purchase at the beginning of the season. Then customers come pick up their share each week for a set number of weeks. This is a great model for all involved, farmers get upfront capitol when they need it most and consumers get ultra-fresh, local produce.

Benefits of Eating Seasonal Produce

Benefits of Eating Seasonal Produce

We’ve all heard it before – “You should eat seasonal produce”. But…. what does that actually mean?

Seasonality of produce is an important factor of food production, and it varies based on the region or state in which you live (i.e., Michigan has different Summers and Winters than California). Farmers need to be aware of what crops grow best during which seasons in order to have the most plentiful harvest, and consumers need to know the exact same information so they know what to look for in the grocery store or at the Farmer’s Market.

There are plenty of reasons why you should pay more attention to seasonal produce. Purchasing seasonal produce is typically less expensive than buying that same fruit or vegetable during its off-season. This relates to the simple concept of supply and demand; in-season produce is in large supply so it is sold at cheaper prices to maintain demand. Produce is more expensive in its off-season because it costs more to import it from regions of the country/world where production can happen year-round. Buying seasonal produce not only supports your local farmer, but it also supports your wallet!

Many even believe that seasonal produce tastes better. When it is only being shipped locally, the crops can be picked at their peak freshness. Additionally, seasonal produce is grown closer to you so it won’t spoil on the journey from farm to table. Buying seasonally can also help you broaden your palate horizons! We often get stuck in our ways of consuming the same meals with the same ingredients over and over again; buying produce seasonally will help expand your recipe book and expose you to dishes that you would not experience otherwise. This will also help you eat a more well-rounded diet of produce with different nutritional content!

Which fruits and vegetables go with which season, you ask? Well, for starters, take a look at either of these great resources published by Michigan State University: Michigan Availability Guide and Michigan Produce Availability Chart. For example, apples are best during the Fall months of September through November, lettuce and mushrooms are grown almost year-round, and tomatoes are grown during the Summer months of June to August/September. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is also a great resource for figuring out which produce go with which season, as well as a source for recipes to use those produce for.

If you want to learn more about seasonal produce, farming, or general health and wellness, come on out to the Fall Open House at The Farm at St. Joe’s of Ann Arbor on Saturday, September 24 from 10a to 2p, located on the hospital campus at 5557 McAuley Dr. This event will feature fresh food samples, health and wellness information, kids’ activities, and farm tours! Click here for more information. We hope to see you there!

Recipe: Peanut Sauce

peanut-sauce

Photo from Leanne Brown’s Good and Cheap Recipe Book

Stop by for some fresh vegetables and peanut dipping sauce at the Farmers’ Market this week! This yummy recipe, from Leanne Brown’s Good and Cheap, is easy to make and adds excitement to any type of produce. Great for individual snacking or as a party dip, this peanut sauce is sure to be a winner!