Tag Archives: Inchworm Microgreens

Westside Farmers Market: Year in Review

Ann Arbor Food

Inchworm Bakery Peach Cobbler with cinnamon buttermilk biscuit topping (yummy)

It was another good year at the Westside Farmers Market. I know everyone talks up their market, but the Westside is the best.

This year the market had some great new additions.

Corridor Sausage Co
Featuring a variety of pork, chicken, beef and lamb sausages

Hand Sown Farm 
Offering a great variety of fresh veggies

I hope they are back next season.

Inchworm Microgreens and Bakery Recap:

Baked Good:

All Made with Organic Flour, Organic Butter, Organic sugar, Organic eggs, Organic spices and fresh local fruits and berries

Rhubarb Pie
Rhubarb Scones
Short cakes
Cinnamon Cakes
Blueberry Pie
Raspberry pie
Sweet and Sour Cherry Pie
(Finally bought a cherry pitter, was hand pitting for hours)
Peach Pie
Peach Cobbler
Slider Buns
Olive Oil Bread
Smoked Sea Salt Chocolate Cookies
Fresh Ginger Oatmeal Cookies

Veggies:
Sunflower Sprouts
Pea Shoots
Potatoes
(Yukon Gold, Kennebeck, Pontiac red, California White, Yellow Finn)
Oyster Mushroom Kits

I was hoping for a Winecap mushroom harvest and better potato yield.

Next Years Plan

Potatoes (5-10 varieties)
Oyster Mushroom and Mushroom Kits
Sprouts and tray grown baby greens
Fruit Pies
Cookies
And…. Savory pies (Meat and greens and cheese)

I have been hooked on these meat and greens and cheese filled pies that they sell at the Middle Eastern grocery near me. They are affordable and ready to eat for a quick lunch. And they keep in a frig for a few days.

I want to make and sell them next year for the Farmers Market

This will require the use of a commercial kitchen, which will take some work arrange, but I love the idea of offering meat filled pies like using Corridor sausages and making greens and cheese with the seasonal fresh greens like spinach, arugula, broccoli, kale, chard, collard, beet greens or what is in season.

See You Next Season!!!!

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Ann Arbor Bagels

Ann Arbor Food

I have been looking for a great bagel ever since I moved from New Jersey. It has been a kind of obsession for me, which peaked when I moved in Portland Oregon and I could not find a good bagel.

For a few years, I  wondered in a bagel dessert that was Portland until Kettlemans opened up. They bagels were good, and boiled they way they should.

During my wonderings, I attempted to make bagels at home. I am still working on recreating the bagels of my homeland.

Now living in Ann Arbor there are a few bagels to choose from.

There is Barry’s bagels. They are right near my house and next to the library, so they are my go to. I like their vanilla cinnamon. I am not a raisin fan but like cinnamon on a bagel.

I give Barry props for cinnamon vanilla.

No Ann Arbor Bagel conversation is complete without talking about Zingermans. People love their bagels and they have their own appeal as “traditional” style bagels, but for myself who grew up on the New Jersey (and NYC for that matter) super puffy bagels Zings are not my thing.

The best bagel in town, the one closest to my favorite, Hot Bagels of Fairfield, in Fairfield NJ is Elaine’s out of Detroit.

The are sold at Kerrytown, Produce Station and Morgan and York.

With that said, I am still working towards making bagels myself.

Here is my latest attempt.

I used the bagel recipe from Best Recipes. They were good, but I still think they need some work. I might add a little sour dough starter for a little kick and use sugar in the boiling water.

Best Recipes technique (and other sources) requires rolling out the bagel and placing them on a sprayed baking sheet covered with plastic for 13-18 hours in the frig to create a slow, flavor creating rise.

The problem is that my frig is only so big and if I wanted to make more than 6 bagels (one sheet pan) I would kind of be out of luck.

So I took the dough and put it in a plastic tub to rise over night then I rolled them out the next day to rise.

This solved for the space issue, but the dough was cold and hard to form and it would take hours to poof up again, but I went with it anyway.

I let the dough poof up at room temp for two hours and boiled and baked them. I think they could have benefited from a little more proofing. Maybe next time I will proof them in the oven with a pilot light on, or let them rise longer.

The idea here is to make bagels to offer for sale at the Westside Farmers Market and for special orders in town.

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Rolled Bagel Dough

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Proofing after 2 hours

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boiling bagels 30 seconds

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draining bagels

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baked bagels

Inchworm Micrgreens and Pie

Today’s offerings at the Westside Farmers Market today from 3:00-7:00PM are:

Cinnamon Cake: A coffee cake with a cinnamon and sugar swirled inside

Rhubarb Pie: Local rhubarb, all butter crust

Both made with organic sugar, org flour, org eggs, rbgh free butter (tilimook)

Pea Shoots and Sunflower Shoots

Grown in organic soil

Sunflower seeds are organic pea are natural from Johnny Seeds

Microgreen Attack

Ann Arbor Food

Above is a picture of containers that were full of sprouting seeds that were to be planted for microgreen trays. As you can see the containers were thrown on the ground from the table where they sat, and the tops were ripped open exposing the seed to dry out. The culprit is still unknown, but he/she did get into my deer fence, fenced in garden, and managed to knock over my container that were topped with bricks.

What could have it been? My bet is a raccoon, or some crazy drifter who likes to sneak into gardens to mess with stuff to drive gardeners crazy. And lets not leave out possible visits from extra terrestrial being. Maybe I should get NASA in on my garden attack. The result unfortunately is yet more seed that will not become microgreens for sale at the market this year

This has been a major learning year, with some successes, a bunch of set backs, and a few experiments.

The plan next year to grow all of my greens in wire cages.

Inchworm Microgreens: Lessons learned in my First Year

Ann Arbor Food

The picture above shows several nice trays of microgreens growing. But there seemed to be some new challenge and lesson every week of my first season as a microgreen farmer.

-Poor germination
-poor drainage in trays until I cut more holes in the bottom
-Buying the wrong seed
-dealing with rain
-dealing with heat, and frying a few batched of trays with the plastic lid covers
-varieties that flopped like lentil, chic pea, and corn shoots
-trying a supposedly fail proof indoor system that failed
-Then there were the chipmunk attacks
-And even when I had a bumper crop, a rainy day at the market resulted in slow sales

Ann Arbor Food

I set up a fence to protect my microgreen trays from deer and wood chucks, but I never thought about chipmunks. They can get in anywhere, and they love sunflower seeds. The real problem is that they like to dig around in the trays, and once they uncover the seeds, the seeds dry up and die. They ruined a weeks worth of trays.

I set up this system of a brick frame with some hardware clothe on top, and bricks on top. If you are more of handy person than me, you could build a wood frame. Once the seeds sprout to about an inch they are safe because the chipmunks only seem to like the seeds, and not the sprouts.

Ann Arbor Food

This system is also great for sprouting seed starts outside. Stadium Hardware sells hardware clothe by the foot/yard.

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Sugar Beet Starts

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The Westside Farmer’s Market in Ann Arbor Michigan

This is a quick shout out the The Westside Farmers Market in Ann Arbor. I have been talking up this market a lot lately because I will be a vendor there this year. Unfortunately, not everyone knows about this great market. The Westside is the new kid on the block, compared to the downtown market. No disrespect to the downtown market. They do a great job, and I am there all of the time.

The Westside Farmer’s Market is located in the Zingerman’s Roadhouse parking lot, on the corner of Jackson and Maple Rd.

It starts June 3-Sept 30, on Thursday 3:00-7:00PM.

Here are few great reason to come to the Westside:

1) I will be there selling fresh cut microgreens this year (smiles: shameless plug)
2) There is a great mix of vendors
3) Great easy parking
4) You can’t over sleep and miss it (like I sometime do with the downtown market…Yes, I am a farmer who sleeps in)
5) Thursday is a perfect time for gathering food for the weekend.
6) They participate in Project Fresh, a program to help provide fresh food to low income families
7) They also accept the Bridge Card
8) Perfect for shopping after work
9) You can drop off your library books, before/after you shop because there is a branch in the same shopping center.
10) No lines to get Zingerman’s Baked Goods

Inchworm MicroGreens Farm Update: CSA Information

Owner: Brian Steinberg
Phone:

Email:

Season: June 3 – Sept 9
Pick-up: Thursday 4:00-7:00PM at the Westside Farmers Market in Ann Arbor in the Zingerman’s Roadhouse parking area
Cost: Full share $180, Half share $90
Cost per week: $12 Full/$6 half
Total number of Membership: 50 full shares or 100 half shares
Growing Practice: Organic Practices: Use of Organic soil and amendments, and use of organic seed when available
Please Email me to request a membership sign up form.

What is in a share?: A full share consists of a Full standard size grow tray (11 x 22 inch) of Microgreens. The picture above shows full trays of Pea Shoots, and Sun flower shoots. Half shares consist of one (11 x 11 inch) size trays of Microgreens. Members can choose two half trays to make a full share.

What types of Microgreens are offered: Pea Shoots, Sunflower Shoots, and Wheat Grass are the standard offerings, and available each week. I will also feature basil, cilantro, radish and various other microgreens, with availability announced in the CSA Newsletter throughout the season. This is our first years, so I will be growing a lot test trays.

Can I customize my share?: Yes. Membership shares can be customized. There is a place on the sign up form where members can specifically request which variety of microgreens they want for each pick-up. For example a member can requested all pea shoots for the entire season, or all wheat grass. Another option can be peas shoots one week, and sunflower the next. I am very flexible, and only need a two week lead time to accommodate ongoing share requests. But I do prefer requests up front in the beginning of the season from the sign up form.

Do I have to sign up for the entire season, or can I sign up for a flexible CSA membership consisting of specific pick-ups?: Members can sign up for as little as one week, or a specific number of weeks, and even specific pick up dates during the 15 week season from June 3-Sept 9.

Can I get a double share (two full, or four half trays) or more?: Yes. Members can sign up for as many as they like. They can even increase their share (another half or full tray) during the season.

Can Members decrease their shares from Full to half during the season?: I prefer that members stick it out with the membership they signed up for. Members can always donate or trade their share to friends. When I was a CSA member, I would donate veggies my family did not like to appreciative neighbors. With that said, I ask at least a two week lead time with any changes.

If I cannot make a pick up can I get a refund?: Sorry, but no. I suggest having a friend pick up the tray. Trays are started 2-4 weeks in advance for members, and once started I and the member is lock into that tray for pick-up. Microgreens, unlike say storage crops, have a short shelf life, which means that once started, me, the farmer most likely cannot find another home for the tray. My policy is more flexible than most CSA which commit members for the entire season without options. If you know you will be out of town, I suggest sign up for a custom CSA share.

What do I do with the tray(s) after I harvest my Microgreens?: Members are asked to return the tray with the soil during their next pick-up. I reuse the trays, and compost the soil to grow more Microgreens. I require a $10 refundable tray deposit with CSA Members, which they will get back when they return all of their for their last pick-up.

Can I order more trays before and after the 15 week CSA season dates?: I may have more microgreens available possibly into October and even November depending on the weather. I will be running a few test tray before the season and may some some available. I will provide updates on this site, and in the newsletter with extended season news.

Can I request a special custom tray of a variety that you currently do not offer?: Yes. Like I mentioned, I will be doing a number of test this year, and I encourage requests for microgreen varieties. Special requests will take some lead time to find and order seed, and to start a tray.

I am a restaurant, school, hospital, Co-housing development, or planning an large event. Do you take large orders, and what about delivery?: Restaurant and large orders are welcomed and encouraged. I prefer that trays are pick-up at the regular Westside Farmers Market date and times. Special arrangements can be made if that is not an option.

What is the story behind Inchworm Microgreens Farm? How did you become the microgreens farmer we know and love?: I have been gardening for 10 years, and I love to share the food that I grow. The thought was to buy a farm one day in the future, but I have been thinking of what I could do now. The opportunity happened with microgreeens. I was traveling last summer, which meant that for the first time in years, I was not able to have a garden. When I got back into town, I still wanted to grow something, and I discovered microgreens. I started a few trays late last season, and featured them at the Home Grown Festival, at Bona Sera Secret Super Club and Tammy’s Tastings in Ann Arbor. The positive response inspired me to start my Microgreen farm and offer a CSA.