YES We’re Open For Labor Day! Also, come to the Homegrown Festival!

At the Homegrown Festival

At the Homegrown Festival

It’s hard to believe that September is here–it seems like the summer just flew by!  But, here we are again.  Lots of you folks are going back to school (or the rhythm of your life is changing because school is beginning again).  Here at Harvest Kitchen, things continue at a frenetic summertime pace through September as the very finest veggies our local farms have to offer continue to roll in at an unrelenting speed until frost.  So, all of that is to say, the food in September and October is some of the freshest and most delicious we ever get to make, so please stop in and buy plenty!  Enjoy these fresh flavors while they last!

We WILL be open on Monday for Labor Day.  We hope you’ll come visit us and join us in singing some Pete Seeger songs or doing other suitable Labor Day celebratory activities.

Also this week, on Saturday Sept 6, we’ll have a booth at the Homegrown Festival, which takes place from 6-10 pm at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.  Definitely plan to stop by this FREE event to enjoy tons of local food, local libations (beer and wine and more!), live music, kids activities, dancing, and all of your friends (all of them!).  More info is here.

With all this fun and excitement, don’t forget to try this week’s tasty treats:

Omnivore

Stoplight Salad looking lovely

Stoplight Salad looking lovely

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

Turkish-Style Braised Eggplant  and Beef with cous cous – My friend Nell’s go-to eggplant dish, this savory main features eggplant and beef braised in a sweet and savory tomato sauce, served over delicious cous cous. To die for. Gluten free option available. Single Serving $10
Summer Medley Quiche with Bacon – Everyone loves our flavorful and delicious quiches.  This week we’re filling our homemade pie crusts with fresh carrots, zucchini, heirloom tomatoes, and savory Michigan bacon, and boatloads of local eggs and dairy.  Yum! 7″ pie – $14
Stoplight Salad -  This fun and flavorful salad has all the colors of a stop light: red peppers and tomatoes, green peppers and herbs, and yellow corn. Tossed with a light and tasty dressing, this could almost be a meal in itself. Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Two Way Street Beets – Beets and kale combine with a delicious citrus-sesame dressing to complete our traffic theme. You’ll love it!  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)

Turkish-Style Braised Eggplant with cous cous – My friend Nell’s go-to eggplant dish, this savory main features eggplant braised in a sweet and savory tomato sauce, served over delicious cous cous. To die for. Gluten free option available. Single Serving $10
Summer Medley Quiche  – Everyone loves our flavorful and delicious quiches.  This week we’re filling our homemade pie crusts with fresh carrots, zucchini, heirloom tomatoes, and boatloads of local eggs and dairy.  Yum! 7″ pie – $14
Stoplight Salad -  This fun and flavorful salad has all the colors of a stop light: red peppers and tomatoes, green peppers and herbs, and yellow corn. Tossed with a light and tasty dressing, this could almost be a meal in itself. Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Two Way Street Beets – Beets and kale combine with a delicious citrus-sesame dressing to complete our traffic theme. You’ll love it!  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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Post-wedding Short Post

First Glimpse of Wedding Photos: Mary and Zlatko get married!

First Glimpse of Wedding Photos: Mary and Zlatko get married!

I hope you’ll all forgive another very short post. It’s been a really busy week: here at Harvest Kitchen we’ve been recovering from the wedding (and the wedding catering!), AND getting used to filling orders at the totally awesome Argus Farm Stop which opened this week on Ann Arbor’s West Side. All in all we’ve been running around like crazy! Look for regular-length blog posts to resume next week. Thanks for understanding!
Here’s the menu:

Omnivore

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

Strata!

Strata!

Sweet Pepper Strata with Bacon - This delicious casserole contrasts a creamy topping with savory Mexican-spiced peppers and a golden pilaf.  With nice crispy bacon, this filling strata is the flavor of summer.   Single Serving  – $10
Summer-fresh Beef Chili – Chili-expert Ryan combines summer’s freshest veggies (tomatoes, corn, peppers, and more) and Mclaughlin’s delicious beef into a savory taste-sensation.  Crack open a bag of tortilla chip and sit back and enjoy a delicious red chili. Gluten free. Single Serving  $10
White Bean Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Eggplant – Hearty enough to be a meal in itself, this delicious salad is overflowing with the sweet and savory flavors of roasted vegetables. Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Watermelon Feta Salad – Sweet and savory combine in this refreshing summertime salad. Enjoy it while it’s fresh because summer’s flavors are fleeting!  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 Sweet Pepper Strata - This delicious casserole contrasts a creamy topping with savory Mexican-spiced peppers and a golden pilaf.  This filling strata is the flavor of summer.   Single Serving$10
Summer-fresh Vegetarian Chili – Chili-expert Ryan combines summer’s freshest veggies (tomatoes, corn, peppers, and more) into a savory taste-sensation.  Crack open a bag of tortilla chip and sit back and enjoy a delicious red chili. Gluten free. Single Serving  $10
White Bean Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Eggplant – Hearty enough to be a meal in itself, this delicious salad is overflowing with the sweet and savory flavors of roasted vegetables. Gluten Free. Pint $8 or Half Pint $5
Watermelon Feta Salad – Sweet and savory combine in this refreshing summertime salad. Enjoy it while it’s fresh because summer’s flavors are fleeting!  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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Wedding Weekend Short Post

Howdy, Harvest Kitchen Supporters!

For those who might not know, Mary and Zlatko are getting married on Saturday! SO, we hope you’ll forgive us for keeping this post short and sweet.  Harvest Kitchen is even doing the catering, so this will truly be a “family affair”!  We’re looking forward to sharing photos and stories with you sometime next week and beyond.

For now, here’s the menu for next week!

Omnivore

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

Chicken Parmesan – Harnois chicken, breaded to crispy perfection, baked in our homemade marinara sauce and topped with creamy mozzarella cheese. Could it be any more of a crowd pleaser? Served over a bed of fettuccine.  Single Serving  – $10
Pesto-Quinoa Stuffed Squash with Beef–  Tis the season for summer squash! This time we’re taking young, tender yellow squash and filling them to the brim with zesty pesto-soaked quinoa, scrumptious ground beef, and garnished with fresh cherry tomatoes for a contrasting sweetness. Gluten free. Single Serving  $10
Corn Chowder  – A little cream and a boatload of veggies set this summertime “chowdah” apart. Lip-smackin’ rich goodness. Not too heavy for a summer day! Pint $7
Shopska Salad (aka Greek Village Salad) -  In honor of Mary and Zlatko’s wedding, we’re including this, the most popular salad in Macedonia, a refreshing blend of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and grated feta cheese.  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)

Eggplant Parmesan – Delicious eggplant, breaded and roasted to crispy perfection, baked in our homemade marinara sauce and topped with creamy mozzarella cheese. Could it be any more of a crowd pleaser?. Single serving $10
Pesto-Quinoa Stuffed Squash–  Tis the season for summer squash! This time we’re taking young, tender yellow squash and filling them to the brim with zesty pesto-soaked quinoa and garnished with fresh cherry tomatoes for a contrasting sweetness. Gluten free. Single Serving  $10
Corn Chowder  – A little cream and a boatload of veggies set this summertime “chowdah” apart. Lip-smackin’ rich goodness. Not too heavy for a summer day! Pint $7
Shopska Salad (aka Greek Village Salad) -  In honor of Mary and Zlatko’s wedding, we’re including this, the most popular salad in Macedonia, a refreshing blend of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and grated feta cheese.  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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Coming Soon to the Argus Farm Stop!

Argus Farm Stop (photo from their website).  Noteworthy for the corn growing on the roof!

Argus Farm Stop (photo from their website). Noteworthy for the corn growing on the roof!

This week Harvest Kitchen is excited to announce that our products will be available at the Argus Farm Stop, a brand new farmers-market-cum-grocery-store on the West Side of Ann Arbor! The Farm Stop is having its grand opening this coming Saturday, August 16, and will be selling produce, prepared foods, coffee, baked goods, and more “on consignment” directly from local farmers and producers like us! If you love Harvest Kitchen but find trekking to Ypsi a challenge, please stop by the Argus Farm Stop to pick up your favorite dishes and grab a cup of coffee or some fresh veggies while you’re there! Argus Farm Stop will feature our granola, chicken salad, quiches, wraps, and some of our rotating dishes. Our full menu will be available there pending demand (and also pending not QUITE such an insane week as this one!*). We’re thrilled to be part of this lovely new venture that’s going to bring even more local food availability to Ann Arbor. Not to worry, though, we’ll still be at all of our other locations, farmers markets, etc. We see the Argus Farm Stop as an exciting new part of the vibrant local food scene with its own special role to play, not a substitute or competition for our current markets. Hooray! Mark your calendars–grand opening is this Saturday!
Read more here.

*There’s a lot going on at HK this week.  If you’re a regular Farmers Market customer, please keep your eyes out for new helpers at the markets.  We appreciate your patience (in advance) with replies to emails, phone calls, and so on this week.  We might close early on Saturday.  Otherwise, we should be open for all our usual hours and deliveries this week. (More) normal life will resume on next week. Thanks!

With all that in mind, 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 Sweet Corn–  Salute the Summer with delicious country ribs doused in our delicious homemade BBQ sauce and served on a bed of flavorful root veggies. Gluten free. Single Serving – $10
Jambalaya with Rice – Rich flavors, Creole spices, summer-fresh vegetables, and of course delicious sausage and chicken. Couldn’t ask for more! Gluten free. Single Serving $10
Ratatouille – Nothing says “August veggies” like this traditional French stew of eggplants, zucchini, tomatoes, and all of the herbs we can find. Buy an extra for the freezer! Gluten free. Pint $7
Green Beans and New Potatoes -  A delicious summertime side dish, this classic combo comes to life with the flavors of freshly-picked green beans and savory newly harvested potatoes. 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)

Zucchini Fritters with Pistou Sauce  – Crispy zucchini fritters make an excellent summertime treat.  Ours are served with a creamy basil-rich Pistou sauce. Gluten free option available. Single serving $10
Vegetarian Jambalaya with Rice – Rich flavors, Creole spices, summer-fresh vegetables, and hearty black-eyed peas for protein. Couldn’t ask for more! Gluten free. Single Serving  $10
Ratatouille – Nothing says “August veggies” like this traditional French stew of eggplants, zucchini, tomatoes, and all of the herbs we can find. Buy an extra for the freezer! Gluten free. Pint $7
Green Beans and New Potatoes -  A delicious summertime side dish, this classic combo comes to life with the flavors of freshly-picked green beans and savory newly harvested potatoes. 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 (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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