Staff (non) Profile: Ryan

Well, we’re just about done with the staff profile series here on the blog.  The only staffer we haven’t profiled is Ryan.  Ryan is a rather private individual who prefers not to be featured in a blog post, but I think we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention him in this series.  SO, we won’t have a real profile, but I hope all the Harvest Kitchen fans will think an appreciative thought about Ryan, the man behind the chicken pot pies and the one who takes the lead on developing and formulating new recipes and keeping the kitchen organized and running smoothly.  Thanks for the great food and hard work, Ryan!

What’s Ryan and the rest of the staff cooking this week?  Here’s the answer:

Omnivore

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches –Our delicious pulled pork sandwich features tender, slow-cooked pork seasoned to perfection with our homemade BBQ sauce and is served with a whole wheat bun from our friends at Avalon Bakery.  We’re also pairing this dish with a light slaw. (Gluten Free without buns) Filling for two sandwiches with two buns and slaw – $10
Stuffed Pasta Shells with Beef in Tomato Sauce -  Hearty pasta shells deliciously filled with cheese-y, herb-rich stuffing featuring Mclaughlin beef and deluged in rich tomato sauce. Single Serving – $10

Pamela with Gazpacho

Pamela with Gazpacho

Gazpacho – Truly a taste of summer: chilled gazpacho soup is essential for surviving a heat wave.  Ours is crabbed with fresh veggies including peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, and more. Overflowing with flavor. Gluten free. Pint $7
Sesame Cucumber Salad -  A long-time HK favorite, this sesame-seasoned marinated cucumber salad is surprisingly refreshing and delicious–probably because of all the great ingredients! Gluten free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing. Gluten Free. 5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

Vegetarian

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Beet and Carrot Burgers with Slaw–  Back by popular demand, these seasonal veggie burgers are

Sesame Cucumber Salad

Sesame Cucumber Salad

full of grated roots, cheese, rice, and plenty of flavor. Sweet and delicious, these are unlike any veggie burgers you’ve had before–perfect for the vegetarians at your picnic.  Served with a whole wheat bun from our friends at Avalon Bakery.  We’re also pairing this dish with a light slaw. Gluten Free option available. Package of two burgers with two buns and a side of slaw $10
Stuffed Pasta Shells with Tomato Sauce -  Hearty pasta shells deliciously filled with cheese-y, herb-rich stuffing featuring fresh Goetz swiss chard and deluged in rich tomato sauce.  Single serving $10
Gazpacho – Truly a taste of summer: chilled gazpacho soup is essential for surviving a heat wave.  Ours is crabbed with fresh veggies including peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, and more. Overflowing with flavor. Gluten free. Pint $7
Sesame Cucumber Salad -  A long-time HK favorite, this sesame-seasoned marinated cucumber salad is surprisingly refreshing and delicious–probably because of all the great ingredients! Gluten free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing. Gluten Free. 5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

 

 

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Series Break: Let’s talk pricing

HK staff making Greek-style zucchini casserole

HK staff making Greek-style zucchini casserole

No business likes doing this, but after reflection we’ve decided to make a small increase on retail prices starting this week.  This decision comes after an extensive financial review and the honest realization that we need to balance income with “out-go” in order to continue bringing you the lovely meals you’ve come to enjoy.

We really appreciate the ongoing support of all of our customers, and we certainly realize that Harvest Kitchen isn’t a budget food option for anyone, so we thank you for coming along with us on this pricing journey.  When you shop with Harvest Kitchen, your money is truly supporting a network of farmers, chefs, and food artisans right here in Washtenaw county.  Shopping at Harvest Kitchen helps build a strong local economy and a beautiful community that you can be proud to be a part of.  Harvest Kitchen’s revenue goes to:

  • Local farmers (and their staff) who raise beautiful ingredients and safeguard and nurture mother earth
  • Hardworking and talented chefs who create this food (and who live in Ann Arbor and Ypsi and support local businesses with their pay checks)

    Mmm Zucchini Casserole

    Mmm Zucchini Casserole

  • Food Artisans and local supply companies who support an ongoing economic network as they source ingredients/supplies and pay staff
  • The national organic food industry (for our non-local ingredients)
  • and, on the more mundane side, rent, utilities, and all the sundry things a business needs to survive

Once again, we appreciate everyone who supports Harvest Kitchen, whether it’s through regular purchases or the occasional visit, or even just reading this blog or “liking” things on facebook, and we hope that a small price increase won’t put too huge a burden on anyone.

We support this farmer!

We support this farmer!

The good news: Yes, there is a bright patch in all this dark talk of price increases.  We have done a LONG overdue overhaul of our subscription prices and we’re happy to report that those prices are now appropriately aligned with the retail prices and synched with one another.  We’re changing the system–omnivore and vegetarian subscriptions now cost the same.  Single week orders will cost exactly the total of the same food for retail.  Six week (or more) subscriptions will save 10% off the retail price, and 24-week subscriptions will save 15%.  Phew!  It’s a big relief to have the subscriptions prices make *sense* when compared to the rest of our prices, rather than just being something we made up in 2010!

What this means for you:  if you love Harvest Kitchen and don’t love the price increase, you can save money by becoming a subscriber!  PLUS, subscriptions support Harvest Kitchen by allowing us to plan our cooking more efficiently.  Everyone wins when you become a subscriber, so visit the subscription page and sign up today!

Thanks again for all your support.  We’re making another delicious menu this week, so bop on over and enjoy:

Omnivore

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Greek-style Zucchini Casserole with Pork - We found this tasty recipe in a cookbook from Moosewood restaurant, where it’s been on the menu for over 20 years. According to the cookbook, “The bulghur pilaf, savory zucchini, and feta custard yield a dish that is both exotic and reassuring.” We’re adding Black Oak Farm’s deliciously savory pork for our omnivore version. Dinner is served!  Single Serving $10
Classic Stuffed Peppers with Ground Beef –  We’ve been looking forward to making stuffed peppers for months.  This classic recipe is a delicious combination of ground beef, tomato sauce, rice, and plenty of veggies. Gluten free. Single serving $10
Maple Roasted Green Beans and Carrots with Walnuts Fresh green beans and carrots take on an extra dimension of deliciousness in this simple roasted dish.  Walnuts add a sophisticated crunch. Gluten free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Caprese Salad -  This world-class flavor combination of fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil needs no introduction from me! Dive in! Gluten free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing. Gluten Free. 5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

Vegetarian

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Greek-style Zucchini Casserole- We found this tasty recipe in a cookbook from Moosewood restaurant, where it’s been on the menu for over 20 years. According to the cookbook, “The bulghur pilaf, savory zucchini, and feta custard yield a dish that is both exotic and reassuring.” Dinner is served!   Single Serving $10
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers  –  We’ve been looking forward to making stuffed peppers for months.  This recipe features a delicious combination of tomato sauce, rice, and plenty of other  veggies and herbs. Gluten Free. Single serving $10
Maple Roasted Green Beans and Carrots with Walnuts Fresh green beans and carrots take on an extra dimension of deliciousness in this simple roasted dish.  Walnuts add a sophisticated crunch. Gluten free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Caprese Salad -  This world-class flavor combination of fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil needs no introduction from me! Dive in! Gluten free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing. Gluten Free. 5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

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Staff (Owner) Profile: Mary

I’m not exempting myself from this staff profile series!  For those of you who’ve been dying to know more about me, HK’s owner and the author of this blog, here you go!

 

Name: Mary

Working here since: the beginning! 2007

Favorite Harvest Kitchen task:  Planning delicious menus with the staff

Favorite Farm-fresh Veggie:  Parsnips

Favorite Farm-fresh Meat: Mclaughlin’s Highland Beef (see last week’s post!)

Least Favorite Harvest Kitchen task: Paying bills (womp womp)

Background: Ann Arbor born and raised.  Went to Bryn Mawr College and worked on a farm in Wales before returning here to start Harvest Kitchen.

When not at work I enjoy…hanging out with my fiance, Zlatko, and spending time with my family, friends, and cats.

Here’s the menu for this week:

Omnivore

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Italian Zucchini Pie with Sausage -  Homemade herbed crust is the perfect background for this flavorful quiche-style filling.  Zucchini plays a role, of course, but we also feature local dairy, more of that delicious Italian sausage from Sparrow, and so many herbs.  7″ pie – $13
Beef Vegetable Curry with Brown Rice –  Savory, flavorful, and full of spices, this delicious beef curry is bound to be a big hit.  Served over brown rice and featuring summer squash, green beans, carrots, and more. Gluten free. Single serving $9
Cucumber Dill Soup – Cool down a summer day with our chilled, dilled, delicious cucumber-yogurt soup. What could be more refreshing? Gluten free. Pint $6
Beet, Carrot, and Cucumber Salad with Lime Vinaigrette This unusual combination comes from The Boxing Clever Cookbook and was a big hit when we made it a few years ago. It’s not often that we get these veggies in combination, but this zingy classic will make your tastebuds tingle. Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing. Gluten Free. 5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

Vegetarian

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Vegetarian Italian Zucchini Pie -  Homemade herbed crust is the perfect background for this flavorful quiche-style filling.  Zucchini plays a role, of course, but we also feature local dairy, plenty of mozzarella, and so many herbs.  7″ pie – $13
Vegetable Curry with Brown Rice –  Savory, flavorful, and full of spices, this delicious curry is bound to be a big hit.  Served over brown rice, this savory stew features summer squash, green beans, carrots, and more.  Single serving $9
Cucumber Dill Soup – Cool down a summer day with our chilled, dilled, delicious cucumber-yogurt soup. What could be more refreshing? Gluten free. Pint $6
Beet, Carrot, and Cucumber Salad with Lime Vinaigrette This unusual combination comes from The Boxing Clever Cookbook and was a big hit when we made it a few years ago. It’s not often that we get these veggies in combination, but this zingy classic will make your tastebuds tingle. Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing. Gluten Free. 5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

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Farm Profile: Mclaughlin Farm

A highland cow at Mclaughlin Farm

A highland cow at Mclaughlin Farm

We have another great farm profile for you this week.  Read on to learn about our beef source, Mclaughlin Farm, in Jackson, MI.

Here’s what Farmer John has to say:

McLaughlin Farm Ltd. is a family farm run by Cathie and I (John)  McLaughlin. The farm is  located in Jackson, Michigan. The farm  has been in my family since the mid 1930′s. When my grandparents bought the farm it was a working milk farm, in what was then a very rural and undeveloped area south of Jackson. There was no electricity, the road was basically a single lane. My grandmother’s family thought she was nuts! She was a city girl from Adrian and a UofM Nursing School graduate. My grandfather was a doctor.  The farm had been a milk farm and a dairy, but the dairy was moved to another location before my grandparents purchased the farm. They produced milk until the early to mid 1950′s. They had the milk barn and a few out building torn down in the mid 1960′s due to the cost of maintaining them.

Cathie and I purchased the farm in 1980 and have raised cattle since 1981. Originally we raised cattle

Calves on the move

Calves on the move

with the Jackson Area Career Center’s Production Agriculture Department. The relationship lasted about 12 years. During that time they raised a number of different breeds of cattle, primarily Hereford, Angus and Simmental. What we raised was influenced by some of the students as the school received donated cows, semen or the use of bulls. We would match the donations with acquisitions.  Eventually, the herd was sold and sheep were raised for a few years as they were a bit more manageable and easier for inexperienced students to handle. Two breeds of sheep were raised: South Down and Romney. We preferred the Romney breed. The relationship with the Career Center ended in the early 1990′s. During this time we also raised chickens and turkeys for our own use, and we had several horses. In 2000 we bought our first Highlands, at the insistence of our daughter who was then in 9th grade. As her school work and activities quickly intensified the cattle became her parent’s responsibility, but during that time we began to meet other breeders in the Michigan, the midwest, and eventually across the country.

John and Cathie are active in the American Highland Cattle Association. John is involved with various aspects of the organization and was elected Member of the Year in 2010 which was a great honor. The McLaughlin’s participate in various meetings and activities of the association each year, and have also attended one international meeting which was held in Scotland.
Our cattle are grass fed and grass finished. The do not receive hormone supplements or growth drugs, nor do we feed antibiotics. The cattle are raised in the pasture 24/7. The only time our animals are ever brought inside is when there is a medical situation or for calving issues, such as to keep calves out of very muddy conditions. An often asked question is: “How do you feed grass in the winter?” Round bales of hay!  During the summer the cattle are rotationally grazed on our pastures. This requires them to be moved from one paddock to another every day or two. This forces the cattle to eat most of the grasses and legumes in the paddock before they move onto the next area. We try to leave at least 6 inches of plant material behind so that it can regrow quickly. We do not want it to look like a golf course!   We are currently planning to expand our pastures to include land we own across the road from our house and barn which is not currently fenced. Creating a water source is our major obstacle.
We do not have any employees. At times, we do hire some work to be done for us, such as installing new fences. Because there is no infrastructure for the small beef producer to rely on, we are required to handle all of the animal transportation when we purchase animals, take them to the processor, and to pick up and deliver the beef. Our beef is all processed at a family owned USDA inspected plant in Scott’s Michigan, which is in the Kalamazoo area. In Michigan, it is required to have beef processed at a USDA facility in order to sell it by the cut, to a restaurant (or commercial kitchen such as Harvest Kitchen), or at a farmers’ markets. Our processor is a key part of our success as proper handling of the animal and processing the beef is essential for creating our product. Our beef is hung, prior to being cut, in the cooler for two to three weeks. This is known as dry aging, Dry aging  enhances the flavor and helps tenderize the beef. This was a customary process up until 30 years ago.
American flag on the barn at Mclaughlin Farm

American flag on the barn at Mclaughlin Farm

The nature of the area adjacent to our farm has changed a great deal over the years. Our neighbors now include Jackson College and the Jackson Intermediate School District offices and the Jackson Area Career Center. The Dahlem Conservancy (an independent nonprofit) which leases Jackson College property is our neighbor to the west. John is one of the founders of the Conservancy and a past President. These schools create a lot of traffic, especially on weekdays, so it is essential to keep the cattle out of the road and care needs to be taken when  working near or crossing the road. Many people who attend events at Jackson College are familiar with our farm as they often see the cattle in the fields and recognize our barn as it has a large American Flag on the end, facing the road. See pictures on our web site at the link below.

We have a lot of deer in this area which causes a lot of crop damage. We do hunt the deer but never seem to get the herd down to a reasonable level. We are also seeing Coyotes which is concerning, especially for our calves and chickens! We also have a lot of wild Turkeys, Sandhill Cranes, Vultures  and many song birds, including Bluebirds.
Because John and Cathie do essentially all of the work, expansion is relatively slow. The cattle take about 3 1/2 years to raise from conception to processing, so it takes time. We are proud of our product and the fact that our beef is on the menu of several restaurants in the mid Michigan area on a regular basis. We are pleased to with our relationship with Harvest Kitchen, whom we have provided beef for several years!
We currently sell out beef at the Meridian Township Farmers’ Market in Okemos, Michigan each Saturday, May through October. We also maintain a mailing list of customers in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area and deliver pre-ordered beef to customers about once a month. We also sell quarters and bundles. We are currently taking reservations for fall.
Go to  http://www.mclaughlinfarmltd.com for more information about our farm. You will find pictures, recipes and links to other interesting sites.
And, here’s the menu for this week:

Omnivore

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)Stuffed Zucchini Alsace with Chicken–  Summer is truly here when stuffed zucchini hit the menu.  These delicious squash are stuffed with a savory, creamy filling including chicken, white beans, peppers and more. Gluten Free.  SIngle Serving – $9
Pulled Pork Enchiladas –Fresh tortillas from The Tortilla Factory baked with our homemade, veggie-rich pork enchilada filling, homemade sauce, and of course, plenty of cheese. Gluten Free. Single Serving $9
Crunchy Kale Slaw  –  Fresh, sweet kale and snow peas in a light olive-oil based dressing.  One of my mom’s favorite HK dishes! Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Roasted Beets and Carrots with Thyme and Basil – This simple dish transcends its ingredients, which come together as a flavorful side dish greater than the sum of its parts.  You’ll find it fit for a feast. Gluten free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing. Gluten Free. 5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

Vegetarian

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini Alsace –  Summer is truly here when stuffed zucchini hit the menu.  These delicious squash are stuffed with a savory, creamy filling including carrots, cream cheese, peppers and more. Gluten Free. SIngle Serving – $9
Vegetarian Enchiladas –Fresh tortillas from The Tortilla Factory baked with our homemade, veggie-rich bean enchilada filling, homemade sauce, and of course, plenty of cheese. Gluten free.  Single Serving $9
Crunchy Kale Slaw  –  Fresh, sweet kale and snow peas in a light olive-oil based dressing.  One of my mom’s favorite HK dishes! Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Roasted Beets and Carrots with Thyme and Basil – This simple dish transcends its ingredients, which come together as a flavorful side dish greater than the sum of its parts.  You’ll find it fit for a feast. Gluten free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing. Gluten Free. 5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

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Staff Profile: John

Samir and John share a smile

Samir and John share a smile

Hi everyone! This week’s staff profile features the versatile John, who keeps everything spic and span in the dish room AND serves customers with a smile on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  Here’s what he’s got to share:

Name: John

Working here since: 11/ 2011

John keeps it flowing in the dishroom

John keeps it flowing in the dishroom

Favorite Harvest Kitchen task:  Making coffee for my fellow staffers and myself

Favorite Farm-fresh Veggie:  Eggplant

Favorite Farm-fresh Meat: I guess I should say chicken since that’s what I eat the most these days, but I’m tempted to say earthworms! They’re very farm-fresh, although I’ve never tried eating them.  I wonder if I’d like them!  Chicken’s good too, though.

Least Favorite Harvest Kitchen task: Moppping

Background: Can I say Detroit gangster? Ha ha, I’ll go with Detroit city enthusiast

When not at work I enjoy…Whatever comes my way.

Thanks, John, for stepping outside of your anonymity to share a few thoughts with us.  Here’s what’s cooking this week:

Omnivore

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Diala making a huge batch of Borscht in 2011

Diala making a huge batch of Borscht in 2011

Chard Chickpea Balti with Chicken–  A Balti is a British-style curry which features a tomato-y sauce and mild curry spices.  Ours is a fresh, colorful, tasty blend of tomatoes, chard, chicken, and chickpeas served over cous cous. Gluten Free option available. Single Serving $9
Pork Ginger Quinoa Chard Wraps– These healthy wraps make the perfect entree–light and full of the flavors of ginger and flavorful ground pork from Black Oak Farms. Gluten Free. Single serving $9
Deli-style Borscht –  Thick and delicious, this refreshing (and brightly colored!) borscht is the perfect soup for a hot summer day. Serve cold and enjoy the crunch of cucumbers and the savor of dill. Gluten Free. Pint $6
Sauteed Summer Squash with Pesto – Another summertime favorite, lightly sauteed summer squash and zucchini highlight the delicious flavor of pesto. Essential summertime enjoyment! Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing. Gluten Free. 5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

Vegetarian

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Chard Chickpea Balti-  A Balti is a British-style curry which features a tomato-y sauce and mild curry spices.  Ours is a fresh, colorful, tasty blend of tomatoes, chard, and chickpeas served over cous cous. Gluten Free option available. Single Serving $9
Ginger Quinoa Chard Wraps– These healthy wraps make the perfect entree–light and full of the flavors of ginger and grated veggies. Gluten free. Single serving $9
Deli-style Borscht –  Thick and delicious, this refreshing (and brightly colored!) borscht is the perfect soup for a hot summer day. Serve cold and enjoy the crunch of cucumbers and the savor of dill. Gluten Free. Pint $6
Sauteed Summer Squash with Pesto – Another summertime favorite, lightly sauteed summer squash and zucchini highlight the delicious flavor of pesto. Essential summertime enjoyment! Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing. Gluten Free. 5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

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Farm Profile: Seeley Farm

Seeley Farmers Peter and Mark at the Farmers Market

Seeley Farmers Peter and Mark at the Farmers Market

Our farm profile series continues with a lovely interview with our friends at Seeley Farm!

Farm Name: Seeley Farm

Interviewee: Alex

What Harvest Kitchen sources from you: Salad mix and packaged salads!

Who works at Seeley Farm: Alex and her husband Mark, brother Peter, and crew members Aly, Julia, Judy, and Anna (plus they’re hiring!)

History of Seeley Farm: We started at the Tilian Farm Development Center in 2011.  We grew there for Fields at Seeley Farmtwo years.  Then we found rental property (farmland and a house) around the corner from Tilian.  We’ve been growing there for two years now.

What’s unique about Seeley Farm: We are a first generation family farm.  We specialize in beautiful ready-to-eat salad greens.  We are the “localest” farm to Ann Arbor, at just 4 miles from Kerrytown.

Describe your growing practices: We’re certified USDA organic.

What interesting wildlife do you see at the farm? Deer, coyotes, foxes, turtles, sandhill cranes, mice, groundhogs, and bunnies.

Farm Baby Henry being cute!Tell a funny story about farm life: Lots of funny things happen, but I can’t think of any right now!  [Editor's note: I wanted to hear a cute story about Alex and Mark's 14-month-old son Henry who also "helps out" at the farm, but all Alex could say is that he IS very cute.]

What are you excited for this season? Fall root crops! Carrots, beets, parsnips, kohlrabi, celeriac, radishes, and potatoes –it should be an awesome season.

Thanks Alex!  We love your veggies!

Awesome fall root crops = something to be excited about!

Awesome fall root crops = something to be excited about!

Here’s the menu for the week:

Omnivore

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

BBQ Country Ribs with Roasted Root Veggies–  Salute the Fourth of July with delicious country ribs doused in our delicious homemade BBQ sauce and served on a bed of flavorful root veggies. Gluten free. Single serving $9
Eddie’s Spiral Meatloaf - Inside its seemingly-simple exterior, this meatloaf hides a secret: a pinwheel of delicious hearty greens! This meatloaf is the perfect way to tempt greens-wary family members. Gluten free option available. Single serving $9
Braised Collards with Ham Hocks – A summer classic, hearty collard greens are cooked to tender, savory perfection with smoked ham hocks from Black Oak Farms. Gluten free. Single Serving $9
Coleslaw – Crispy cabbage and carrots in a delicious mayonnaise dressing, this traditional coleslaw is the ideal companion to any meal this week,  Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing. Gluten Free. 5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

Vegetarian

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Baked Beans with Crumbled Tempeh – Hearty, healthy, homemade baked beans are a tasty comfort food for the pickiest eater. Our sweet and savory homemade sauce take this picnic classic to a new level and a hearty scoop of tempeh crumbles adds an unusual and wholesome twist. Gluten Free. Single serving $9
Spinach Potato Balls with Roasted Vegetables  – Crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside, these baked spinach and potato balls are like a hearty bite of springtime flavors.  Served with delicious roasted veggies. Gluten Free.  Single Serving – $9
Braised Collards – A summer classic, hearty collard greens are cooked to tender, savory perfection. Gluten free. Single Serving $9
Coleslaw – Crispy cabbage and carrots in a delicious mayonnaise dressing, this traditional coleslaw is the ideal companion to any meal this week,  Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing. Gluten Free. 5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

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Staff Profile: Samir

Samir shows off his butternut peeling skills...can you see our great state?

Samir shows off his butternut peeling skills…can you see our great state?

This week’s staff profile features Samir, possibly Harvest Kitchen’s most easy-going and amiable staff member.  Here’s the scoop:

Name: Samir Webster

Working here since: August 2011

Favorite Harvest Kitchen task:  Chopping, tasting, keeping up with the local food happenings

Favorite Farm-fresh Veggie:  I can’t choose….

Favorite Farm-fresh Meat: I can’t choose! (Editor’s Note: Samir’s main work day at HK is Monday.  He also observes Meatless Mondays, which means he doesn’t get to taste our meat dishes most of the time. Sad for

Samir shares a smile while looking up from tubbing

Samir shares a smile while looking up from tubbing

him!)

Least Favorite Harvest Kitchen task: Being to work by 9am (!)

Background: I grew up in Ann Arbor and moved to Ypsilanti to go to EMU.  Since then I’ve found Ypsi to be very enjoyable.

When not at work I enjoy…. bike riding and fixing, Michigan beer drinking, reading, keeping cool, community oriented gathering, eating, rethinking social structures, conserving, dancing, napping

Thanks for sharing, Samir!

Here’s what we’re making this week:

Omnivore

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

White Lasagna with Beef and Spinach–  This unusual lasagna is a taste of springtime freshness. It includes usual features: delicious cheese, hearty lasagna along with Mclaughlin beef, Tantre spinach, and creamy bechemel sauce in place of tomato sauce.  Single serving $9
Pork Loin with Strawberry Balsamic Sauce – Tender pork loin paired with an unusual sweet-savory strawberry balsamic dressing, this dish highlights the seasonal delight of strawberries. Gluten free. Single serving $9
Garlic Broccoli with Snow Peas – Fresh fresh fresh snow peas and broccoli host savory garlic.  This dish speaks for itself in terms of springtime freshness! Gluten free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Arugula Potato Salad – A long-time Harvest Kitchen favorite, our potato salad recipe is a special treat–a light dijon vinaigrette and plenty of arugula, red onions, and tomatoes pair with this season’s delicious potatoes. Make any meal a picnic!   Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing. Gluten Free. 5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

Vegetarian

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Vegetarian White Lasagna with Spinach–  This unusual lasagna is a taste of springtime freshness. It includes usual features: delicious cheese, hearty lasagna along with  Tantre spinach and creamy bechemel sauce in place of tomato sauce.  Single serving $9
Polenta with Glazed Onions, Greens, and Blue Cheese –  This hearty entree features creamy

This polenta is scrumptious--topped with blue cheese and caramelized onions and sauteed greens

This polenta is scrumptious–topped with blue cheese and caramelized onions and sauteed greens

polenta studded with savory blue cheese and sweetly glazed onions and flavorful cooked greens. Not to be missed. Gluten Free. Single Serving $9
Garlic Broccoli with Snow Peas – Fresh fresh fresh snow peas and broccoli host savory garlic.  This dish speaks for itself in terms of springtime freshness! Gluten free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Arugula Potato Salad – A long-time Harvest Kitchen favorite, our potato salad recipe is a special treat–a light dijon vinaigrette and plenty of arugula, red onions, and tomatoes pair with this season’s delicious potatoes. Make any meal a picnic!   Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing. Gluten Free. 5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

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Farm Profile: Westwind Milling Company

It’s time for another installment of our popular Farmer Profile series! This week we’re learning a bit more about our friends at Westwind Milling Company.

The Mill at Westwind Milling Co.

The Mill at Westwind Milling Co.

Farm Name:  Westwind Milling Co., LLC and Westwind Farm

Interviewee:  Linda Purdy

What Harvest Kitchen Sources from your Mill:  Stone ground flours (mostly all purpose and bread flours and cornmeal) milled from certified organic, Michigan grown grains.

History of your Mill:  Built in 1836, it has always been a mill.  We continue the tradtition of stone ground flours today, having moved it into organic production when we purchased the Mill in 2000.  We also have another business, Westwind Farm, a 120 acre educational organic farm that hosts themed Farm Experiences.

Who works there:  My husband Lee is the Miller, our one employee Ben does some milling, puts together orders and takes care of retail customers, and I fill in there when needed, but mostly do marketing, billing, and organizing for Westwind Farm’s outings.

What makes your Mill unique: So many things – it may be the only still operating of the small community mills built in the 1800′s outside of the sphere of museums here in Michigan.  We also mill exclusively certified organic grain, and have a separated gluten free mill, as well.  We try to integrate the 19th century with the 21st.

Describe your growing practices:  As far as our grain is concerned, we buy from all certified organic Michigan independent farmers.  They grow the grain without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and of course, without gmo seed.  They use crop rotations and green manures to enrich their soils.  At Westwind Farm, the bulk of our land is currently rented out to a young farmer who grows organic alfalfa for Organic Valley Dairy – (for the cows.)  Alfalfa is a really great crop for our land because you just leave it there for several years without tilling, or any invasion of the land at all – other than cutting the alfalfa two to three times/year.  Thus, we have a great variety of wildlife to observe on our farm!

What interesting wildlife have you seen recently?  Here at the Mill, we have a Snowy Owl we see over the Tail Race frequently in the winter and several Blue Herons that fish in the Mill Pond and Tail Race, as well.  On occasion, we’ve seen muskrats and deer on the island, and have seen the dams of beavers (but have never met them in person!)  At Westwind Farm, the usual critters abound, possums, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, but we also have wild turkeys, deer, and so, so many gorgeous songbirds and butterflies.

What’s a funny story of mill life?   We’re always trying to get people to understand what we do.  We don’t think it’s hard, but the contrasting life we lead to the majority is becoming more clear to me as time goes on.  We constantly get people telling us that they remember when this was a mill….  OMG, yes, we’ve been here for the last 14 years, and that is exactly what we do, this IS a mill.

What’s something you’re excited for this season:  At the Mill, I’m excited for our Upcoming Antique Tractor Show on June 28 - we haven’t done an event in a while, and there’s always lots of people and activity and I really enjoy that.  At the Farm, our garden is starting out really well, and I am hoping for a great success with that – if all turns out well, we should have a few really cool extra products this fall, like our Hungarian Paprika, in particular.

Thanks for the info, Linda!  We always love working with your flour and we love the history and love behind the product.

And, here’s the menu for the week:

Omnivore

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Chicken Tikka Masala with Brown Rice – Delicious local chicken marinated in a yogurt-tomato-spice marinade, roasted, and served with a curried tomato sauce. Served over brown rice for a delicious British-Indian delight. Gluten Free. Single serving $9
Italian Spinach and Rice Pie with Bacon - This creamy, risotto-like pie is a delicious way to enjoy fresh greens, cheese, and savory bacon.  Flavorful and delicious! Gluten free option available. 7″ pie – $13
Lentil Salad with Greens – This deliciously hearty salad features a creamy yogurt dressing, bulghur wheat and the first of this season’s Swiss chard. Could almost be a meal in itself. Gluten Free option available. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Carrot Ginger Soup – We’re delighted to feature this sweet, bright, zesty soup once more.  Truly a refreshing taste of springtime.  Gluten Free. Pint $6
Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing. Gluten Free. 5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

Vegetarian

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Tempeh Tikka Masala with Brown Rice – Delicious tempeh from The Brinery marinated in a yogurt-tomato-spice marinade, cooked to a tender and flavorful perfection, and served with a curried tomato sauce. Served over brown rice for a delicious British-Indian delight. Gluten free. Single serving $9
Italian Spinach and Rice Pie  - This creamy, risotto-like pie is a delicious way to enjoy fresh greens and cheese.  Flavorful and delicious! Gluten free option available. 7″ pie – $13
Lentil Salad with Greens – This deliciously hearty salad features a creamy yogurt dressing, bulghur wheat and the first of this season’s Swiss chard. Could almost be a meal in itself. Gluten Free option available. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Carrot Ginger Soup – We’re delighted to feature this sweet, bright, zesty soup once more.  Truly a refreshing taste of springtime.  Gluten Free. Pint $6
Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing. Gluten Free. 5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

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Staff Profile: Cesarina

This week’s staff profile features Cesarina, commonly known as “Chez”.  Chez can be found doing deliveries, making muffins, working late, and generally lifting spirits at Harvest Kitchen.  Here’s what she’s got to say:

Name: Cesarina

Working here since: January 2013

Favorite Harvest Kitchen task: I love tasting all the delicious foods and interacting with all of our great customers!

Favorite Farm-fresh Veggie: I really hate to choose a favorite veggie. I have great memories of picking warm tomatoes straight off the vine back in Iowa and eating them with a little salt sprinkled on, so maybe that’s my favorite? I guess we also had fresh cut rhubarb with salt as well. Also, sugar snap peas and snow peas. Pretty much, I love fresh veg.
Favorite Farm-fresh Meat: I’m not a huge meat eater, but am quite partial to the great pork we get from Farmer Chuck at Black Oak Farm.

Least Favorite Harvest Kitchen task: Not a task, but I’m not fond of the miscellaneous burns I acquire due to my clumsiness.

Background: I grew up in Iowa City, IA. I seem to thrive in college towns.

When not at work I enjoy…. knitting, reading, exploring museums, baking, playing german board games, daydreaming, and spending quality time with my friends.


Thanks for the work, Chez!

Here’s the menu:

Omnivore

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Spanikopita with Beef -  This delicious dish is a perennial HK fan favorite: layers of flaky phyllo dough alternate with creamy cheese and lots of fresh, delicious greens. This non-traditional version includes hearty ground beef in the filling, making it an excellent meal. Single serving $9
Sauerkraut with Sausage – Fresh and delicious sauerkraut from our friends at The Brinery pairs perfectly with smoked kielbasa, potatoes, and more in this traditional wintertime dish. Gluten free.  Single serving $9
Green Quinoa Salad – Freshly cooked quinoa (a “super food”, forever known to us as “The Big Q”!) soaks up the flavors and nutrients of a raw greens dressing. Unusual and deliciously healthy for a side or salad, serve warm or cold. Gluten Free.  Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Black Bean Soup  –Another Harvest Kitchen classic, this recipe comes to us directly from the Moosewood Restaurant in New York.  Its gentle southwestern tang makes it a delicious stand-alone lunch or accompaniment to any meal. Gluten Free. Pint $6
Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing. Gluten Free. 5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

Vegetarian

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Spanikopita  – This delicious dish is a perennial HK fan favorite: layers of flaky phyllo dough alternate with creamy cheese and lots of fresh, delicious greens. This is the more traditional, vegetarian version–it makes an excellent meal. Vegan option available. Single serving $9
Apple Sauerkraut Au Gratin – This tasty dish blends the sweetness of baked apples with the tangy-ness of sauerkraut and pulls it all together with plenty of cheese. A conversion for the non-sauerkraut eaters among us?? Gluten Free and vegan options available. Single serving $9
Green Quinoa Salad – Freshly cooked quinoa (a “super food”, forever known to us as “The Big Q”!) soaks up the flavors and nutrients of a raw greens dressing. Unusual and deliciously healthy for a side or salad, serve warm or cold. Gluten Free.  Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Black Bean Soup  –Another Harvest Kitchen classic, this recipe comes to us directly from the Moosewood Restaurant in New York.  Its gentle southwestern tang makes it a delicious stand-alone lunch or accompaniment to any meal. Gluten Free. Pint $6
Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing. Gluten Free. 5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

 

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Farm Profile: Tantre Farm

Our profile series continues this week with an interview with Farmer Lizzie of Tantre Farm.  I caught up IMG_20140528_140341_996with Lizzie at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market this Wednesday.  Here’s what she has to tell us about how our food grows at Tantre!

Farm Name: Tantre

Interviewee: Lizzie

What Harvest Kitchen Sources from Tantre: Lots of delicious vegetables!

History of Tantre: Farmer Richard started the whole thing!  The CSA started in 2001–the same year Deb and Richard’s daughter Ariana was born.  Now it’s huge! We have over 350 CSA members, as well as our market stall and wholesale business.

Who works there: Right now we have 16 interns from all over the US and one girl from New Zealand, as

A view of the fields at Tantre.

A view of the fields at Tantre.

well as a few people who’ve worked here multiple years, like me and Erin.  It’s like 80% interns, though, along with the owners, Deb and Richard.

What makes Tantre unique: Our farm has one of the most strong personalities at the Ann Arbor farmers market–possibly because of Richard who’s kind of famous for his personality–magnetic and unique.  I want to say sassy, but that seems negative.  It’s like there’s us and then there’s Frog Holler Farm–we’re kind of sibling farms.  Their personality is very laid back and hippie.  By contrast, Tantre is more hip and edgy…(edgy makes us sound like we have switchblades, which we don’t.)

Greens growing at Tantre

Greens growing at Tantre

Describe your growing practices: We’re certified organic, and most of the work is done by hand, including weeding.  Our farming practices are minimally intensive and low input.

What interesting wildlife have you seen recently? I’ve seen coyotes in the evening.  We have swampy land, so we see a lot of egrets and cranes.  Once we live-trapped a mink!

What’s a funny story of farm life? Last year we used to go swimming after the Farmers Market, but no one ever had a bathing suit, so we had to cobble together “alternative” bathing suits.  It was always funny to have us driving up in our rusty van to a swimming area next to everyone in their nice suits and we’re dirty and sweaty and wearing random things like an old sweatshirt or regular clothes to swim in.  We got some strange looks for sure!  I want to tell you a hilarious story about Richard putting Ariana down for a nap in a cucumber box as a baby and then giving her out as a CSA share by mistake, but that’s not true–I just made it up!

What’s something you’re excited for this season: WATERMELON! Always watermelon.  We just

Hoop house at Tantre

Hoop house at Tantre

planted it yesterday!

Thanks, Lizzie, for an amusing interview!

With that in mind, here’s our menu for the week:

Omnivore

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Mexican-style Veggie Bake with Beef –  A long-time Harvest Kitchen favorite, this dish features flavorful layers of Mexican-style rice, black beans, delicious Mclaughlin beef, spinach, and topped with melted cheese. A hearty combination! Gluten Free. Single Serving – $9
Spring Rolls with Chicken –  Shredded chicken combine swith the freshest crunchy spring vegetables like sprouts, carrots, and cabbage. Wrapped in rice paper and served with peanut dipping sauce, our spring rolls are a refreshing meal. Gluten Free. Single Serving – $9
Radish Carrot Kale Slaw  — Shredded carrots and radishes bring a deliciously zingy flavor to this week’s edition of the ever-popular kale slaw.  We bet this gorgeous combination will have you reaching for your forks. Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Sorrel Potato Soup – The bright, lemon-y flavor of sorrel takes a star turn in this delicious soup.  Perfect for a light meal when paired with some crusty bread, this soup is like distilled springtime. Gluten Free. Pint $6
Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing. Gluten Free. 5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

Vegetarian

(made fresh Monday and Thursday–also available Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market)

Mexican-style Veggie Bake–  A long-time Harvest Kitchen favorite, this dish features flavorful layers of Mexican-style rice, black beans, delicious garlicky spinach, and topped with melted cheese. A hearty combination! Gluten Free. Single Serving – $9
Spring Rolls with Marinated Tofu –  Marinated tofu combines with the freshest crunchy spring vegetables like sprouts, carrots, and cabbage. Wrapped in rice paper and served with peanut dipping sauce, our spring rolls are a refreshing meal. Gluten Free. Single Serving – $9
Radish Carrot Kale Slaw  — Grated and marinated shredded carrots and radishes bring a deliciously zingy flavor to this week’s edition of the ever-popular kale slaw.  We bet this gorgeous combination will have you reaching for your forks. Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Sorrel Potato Soup – The bright, lemon-y flavor of sorrel takes a star turn in this delicious soup.  Perfect for a light meal when paired with some crusty bread, this soup is like distilled springtime. Gluten Free. Pint $6
Salad Mix with House Dressing  – A delicious green salad blend featuring fresh seasonal greens from a variety of local farms, paired with our delicious seasonal salad dressing. Gluten Free. 5 oz salad with 4 oz dressing $8

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