Week 7 2015

Heat brings on hot weather veggies.  Us farmers are moving slow these days, but we’re rewarded for all our sweat and toil with tomatoes, basil, and more.  Here’s your share of the reward:

Please note this is being posted on Monday- changes are often made to the finished boxes depending on the actual numbers from harvest- nothing is certain until we pack the boxes- especially for Saturday pick ups since a lot can happen on a farm in 5 days



Beans from Fields of Plenty and Food Field


Potatoes from Fields of Plenty and Food Field (Tuesday Only)


Beets from Food Field (Saturday only)


Chard from Buffalo Street (Tuesday Only)


Collards from Food Field and Fields of Plenty (Saturday Only)


Fennel from Buffalo Street


Garlic from Buffalo Street


Tomatoes from Buffalo Street and Food Field


Dill from Vinewood Knoll (Tuesday only)


Basil from Food Field (Saturday only)


Chives from Fields of Plenty


Week 6, 2015

Heat brings on the good summer vegetables, and we’ve got them here for you.  No ripe tomatoes or peppers quite yet, but zucchini and beans are out in full force, along with a lot of other goodies.  Enjoy the sunshine and this fresh food:


Beans from Fields of Plenty


Kale from Vinewood Knoll and Food Field


Scallions from Vinewood Knoll

Zucchini and summer squash

Zucchini and summer squash from Food Field and Vinewood Knoll


Carrots from Buffalo Street Farm


Fennel from Buffalo Street Farm (Tuesday Only)

green tomatoes

Green tomatoes from Food Field (Friday only)

garlic in hand

Garlic from Buffalo Street Farm


Mint from Food Field

Chances to see the farms

Hello CSA members-

We hope you have been enjoying all of your vegetables and fruit and flowers so far this year.  Now with some hot weather we can see about getting tomatoes and peppers coming at you soon.
A few of you have pointed out that our spring potluck never materialized- but we are going to try and play catch up now.  Here are two opportunities to visit some farms coming up din August.
1) Summer CSA Potluck: Come on and all to Fields of Plenty (Clairmount between 3rd and the Lodge) on August 16 at 6 PM for a potluck and farm tour.  Many of you visited this farm last year during its first year of operation and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how it as grown over the past 10 months.  We’ll send more details on parking etc as the date gets closer.
2) Detroit Agriculture Network Tour: You can see some of the City Commons farms on 18th Annual Tour of Detroit Urban Gardens and Farms on August 5.  This is a fundraiser for the Garden Resource Program- without which City Commons would not exist. Buffalo Street Farm will be a stop on the Eastside Bus Tour.  On the Central Bus Tour, Food Field will be a stop and Fields of Plenty will be a roll by.  The entire event is followed by a dinner of local food.  You can see more details about this event and purchase ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/18th-annual-tour-of-detroit-urban-gardens-farms-tickets-17357961129.  Tickets often sell out so we recommend you reserve yours soon.
Thanks so much for your support of our urban farms,
Alice and the rest of the City Commons Crew

Week 5 2015

Now we’re moving into some real summer food.  With the cool weather it might still be awhile until the tomato avalanche starts, but thanks to a high tunnel hoop house we can at least get some eggplants into your hands this week.

Also you’ll be seeing some red heirloom beans, called Red Swan Bush Beans.  They’re a snap bean with a lovely red hue that taste similar to the green snap beans you are probably used to.  I love their high yields, tenderness (they’re great raw right off the bush), and nice taste.  The color will fade as you cook them.

Here’s everything that is in your box this week:


Beets from Food Field


Snap beans from Fields of Plenty


garlic in hand

Garlic from Fields of Plenty

Turnip greens from Fields of Plenty


Greens Mix from Buffalo Street Farm (Tuesday Only)


Chard from Buffalo Street Farm (Saturday Only)


Eggplant from Buffalo Street Farm


Bunching onions from Buffalo Street Farm (Saturday Only)


Fennel from Buffalo Street Farm

Zucchini and summer squash

Zucchini from Food Field


Lettuce from Vinewood Knoll



Eggplant is a great vegetable that comes in a variety of sizes and shapes.  Originally domesticated in southern and eastern Asia independently it quickly traveled all over Asia, the Mediterranean and Africa.  Now it is used in a large variety of world cuisines.  It doesn’t have a strong flavor on its own but soaks up any spices, oils, or sauces that you add, making it endlessly customizable.


Here are a few of our favorite recipes that show off many of the ways Eggplant can be used.  With these as a guide you should be able to come up with some of your own ideas.


Eggplant Caviar

Baba Ganoush

Robust End of the Summer Spaghetti

Eggplant Curry

Roasted Eggplant and Fennel

eggplant curry


Roasted Eggplant and Chickpea Stew


Eggplant Gratin with Greens and Tomatoes


Beet Burgers

Guest post from Dan Jones

beet burger

Personally, my go-to when preparing our crushed velvet colored friends is roasting them or pan frying. Beets are wonderful in this form for breakfast lunch and/or dinner. However, this method of preparation can get a little monotonous. It was with this thought that I sought a new method of preparation. With a little help from Google I found some inspiration. Beet Burgers. This was a fun and delicious way to inject a little zing into my beet meals. What follows is a rough recipe. Don’t be a slave to the exact directions though. The only really important ingredients are oats, eggs andbeets. But here is what I did.

First I gathered:

-5-8 moderate sized beets

-2 eggs

-About a cup of uncooked rolled oats

-two big handfuls of beet greens or any other greens that happen to be about

-one hot pepper

-salt and pepper or other spices to taste

-two tablespoons of olive oil

-just under half a pound of sheep’s feta cheese


Combine all of these ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Let stand for about a half hour. This part is vital so the oats can absorb the juices and the whole thing isn’t too watery. If after a half hour the mixture is still too soupy add more oats and let sit.

Now, heat up a frying pan on medium heat and add butter or coconut oil. Once warmed you can shape some beet burger patties and begin frying in your heated skillet. The size of the patties ought to be moderate. Also, I found it was important to let each side cook thoroughly before flipping to maintain some structural integrity. When both sides have browned and are crispy remove from heat and place on your favorite bread. I topped mine with mayo, spicy mustard and a leaf of lettuce. Enjoy your burger! The above recipe ought to feed three really hungry people.

Week 4, 2015

In many ways July 4 is a midway point for the work of farming.  Most of the planting (with a few exceptions) is done for the year, and the heavy (literally and figuratively) harvesting of the tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, etc is still a little ways off.  It gives us farmers a minute to go to Belle Isle for a day, help a friend put a new roof on their house, or catch up on weeding.  Here’s what you’ll be eating this week:

garlic in hand

Garlic from Fields of Plenty and Buffalo Street


Fennel from Buffalo Street


Kale from Buffalo Street, Food Field, and Vinewood Knoll

green tomatoes

Green tomatoes from Food Field


Cabbage from Food Field (Tuesday only)

Zucchini and summer squash

Zucchini from Food Field (Saturday only)

lettuce head

Lettuce from Vinewood Knoll


Sage from Fields of Plenty


Cabbage is in the same family as broccoli, kale, collards, and many other health power houses.  It was domesticated in Europe before 1000 BCE, but can now be found in food from all over the world. Cabbage is a great source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and dietary fiber.


I love raw cabbage salads during the hot days of summer, there’s something about its crisp, crunchiness that just makes me feel cooler right away.  Of course it is also good cooked and pickled into sauerkraut.  Cabbage heads will store for a long time in your refrigerator, so don’t worry about using this part of your box right away.

Here are a few of our favorite cabbage recipes:

Stir Fried Green Cabbage with Fennel Seeds

napa cabbage salad

Napa Cabbage Salad with Peanuts and Cilantro


Pasta salad with salmon, cabbage, and carrots

Green Tomatoes

“Y’all have any green tomatoes?”  I would say I hear this from passersby more often than anything else (except maybe “What are you growing?”)  I usually think of green tomatoes as something to harvest only at the end of the season when there’s no longer a chance that they’ll ripen, but many folks prefer the slightly starchier green tomatoes to the ripe ones.


Here are a few recipes you can use for your green tomatoes:

fried green toms

Fried Green Tomatoes


Green Tomato and Corn Slaw


Sunflower Shoots: Tiny Greens Packing a Large Nutritional Punch

Despite their small size sunflower shoots contain an amazing amount of vitamins and minerals. In addition, they are also delicious, with a slightly nutty flavor that adds a distinctive quality to salads, sandwiches, and even tacos.

Sunflower shoots offer one of the most balanced forms of a complete plant protein around. They are full of folic acid, B complex, vitamins A, D, and E as well as important minerals including calcium, copper, iron, phosphorous, magnesium and potassium.

Aside from the health benefits, sunflower shoots are a tasty treat, best eaten raw. Feel free to snack on them as is or add them to a salad made with the lettuce and other veggies in this weeks box.