Monthly Archives: April 2016

How About a CSA for Your Office?

Oct FM 7

It’s CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) sign- up time in Michigan. In a CSA, a local farmer offers shares to buyers. The up-front purchase supports the farmer as the crops get started. Then, the buyer gets produce weekly through the growing season. Have you considered doing this in your business or office?

I contacted Garrett Ziegler, Extension Educator, Community Food Systems at the MSU Extension Greening Michigan Institute for information. He assists local institutions in sourcing and serving more locally produced food and works closely with local farmers to help them access new markets.

Start by surveying your employees regarding why they want to join a CSA Farm and to make sure they are interested. What kind of produce are they interested in? Do they cook often? Do they need recipe ideas? The business will need to meet the minimum share requirements to start a pick-up site. You could also partner with neighboring businesses.

You will need an onsite coordinator to research the farms and size of shares. Also, they will need to communicate the plan to buyers, send reminder emails, communicate with the farmer, and be there to make sure that the pick-ups go smoothly. Someone will need to occasionally clean up husks, break down boxes, etc.

Here are some logistical questions to ask.

  • What day of the week does your farm deliver its shares? A 3- to 4-hour pick-up window is typical.
  • Where will food be delivered to?
  • Will the space be heated/cooled? Will sunlight hit the boxes at any point?
  • Is there a loading dock?
  • Are their stairs or an elevator?
  • Security – is the door locked? Is it easily opened? Will the delivery driver need a key card?
  • If someone forgets to pick up their share, can food stay in place overnight, or does it need to be dealt with/picked up the same day? Is there a kitchen on site that can store food in a cooler?
  • What happens to shares that are not picked up?

Use this link from Local Harvest to find a CSA near you.

Chocolate Granola

Since I’ve never enjoyed milk (dairy or otherwise), I never had a habit of eating cereal or granola. But, now that I make my own yogurt and smoothie bowls, granola has become a sweet part of my diet.

 

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you may have noticed that I like to “Michiganize” other people’s recipes on occasion. In this case, it’s raw granola that is now full of wholesome Michigan grown products. I’ve also “chocolatized” this one too! This recipe makes 3 – 4 cups. You will need a dehydrator to make it as written.

 

Ingredients

1 cup MI buckwheat, soaked and dehydrated*

½ cup oat groats, soaked and dehydrated*

1 cup shredded coconut

⅓ cup MI sunflower seeds

2 Tablespoons MI flax meal (I grind the seeds in my Vitamix dry container)

1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

2 Tablespoons raw cacao powder (or MI produced non-alkalized cocoa powder)

½ cup almond butter

¼ cup water

⅓ cup MI maple syrup

 

Instructions

Combine the buckwheat, oats, coconut, cacao, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and flax together in a mixing bowl.

In a second bowl, mix together the almond butter, water, and maple syrup. Pour it over the dry ingredients, and mix it thoroughly.

Place the granola onto a dehydrator sheet, and dehydrate at 115 degrees for about four hours. Mix the granola up a bit, breaking it apart on the sheet. Dehydrate for another several hours until totally dry.

*Soak the buckwheat for one to two hours, then rinse and drain. Soak the oat groats overnight. Spread them on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate until crunchy (usually several hours; longer for oats).

 

IMG_0788

 

The original recipe is located here.