We are looking for summer interns!!

Morven Kitchen Garden 2017 Summer Internship

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Each summer, MKG hires three summer interns to participate and learn about all aspects of food production. The summer interns will maintain the garden and operate a 10-week summer CSA under the guidance of the MKG farm manager. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and it is the main way MKG sells its produce.

Summer tasks involve all aspects of food production from seeding and planting in the field and greenhouse to harvesting produce and packing weekly CSA shares. Interns will also work with volunteers in the garden and assist with CSA member communications.  Along side garden work, we will explore the fundamentals and philosophy of sustainable agriculture and how and why we apply these principles at MKG.  One morning a week, interns will visit Bellair Farm to see firsthand how a larger farming operation works.  In August, at our annual event, Gazpacho in the Garden, we will celebrate the summer garden season and the interns.

Details and Schedule:

The MKG Internship runs 12 weeks, from late May to early August. Tentative schedule is May 22 – August 11th.  Each intern gets one-week vacation.  Vacations will be coordinated so they are spread out over the 12 weeks.  Interns will receive a stipend of $2200 over the summer for 11 weeks of work.

The schedule is generally 25 hours per week.  Hours are mainly mornings MondayFriday with CSA shares delivered and distributed on Friday afternoons.

7am-11 am/noon     MondayThursday              7am – 2:30 pm    Friday

Ideal candidates will have an interest in learning first hand about sustainable agriculture from both the small-scale intensive perspective (MKG) to the larger farm model (Bellair).  No farming/gardening experience is required.

Interested in applying?

Complete this application and email it with a résumé to Steph Meyers, scm6x@virginia.edu

 

Deadline to apply is Friday, March 24, 2017.

Thinking Spring

The weather may have retreated to winter, but at MKG we are moving forward to spring. Since the spring semester began in January, students have been busy planning and starting the season.

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In January at the Stonehouse Brunch, students voted on crops to plant this spring.  Later that month, two workday leader trainings were held at the garden. Topics covered included garden layout, new tools, and tips for seeding plants in the greenhouse.

 

 

 

 

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With the start of volunteer workdays in March, field and greenhouse work began. Students prepared the hoophouse for planting with the removal of weeds, fall plants, and hay mulch.  Lettuce, scallions, and parsley were seeded in the greenhouse. The first planting of lettuce mix, spinach, salad greens, and radishes has been seeded in the hoophouse. We are looking forward to having salad in April.

 

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A big thank you for two recently donated supplies! Southern States generously shared seeds left over from fall. We used some of those seeds such as lettuce, mustard, and spinach when seeding the high tunnel. UVA Dining has been saving us 5 gallon pickle buckets. Those buckets will come in very handy with a variety of garden tasks this spring.

MKG is off to a great start! We hope to see you in the garden sometime soon.

Steph Meyers, MKG Manager

Swiss Chard & Tomato Baked Eggs

Hello, lovely contributors and shareholders with MKG!

This week, in your shares, you’ll find fresh rainbow Swiss chard and ripe heirloom tomatoes (or plum tomatoes), hand-picked by our lovely student volunteers. The recipe for this week, including these ingredients, is baked eggs! This recipe creates a single serving; however, feel free to double up on the ingredients and make as much as you like.

This makes for a great protein-filled breakfast to stay charged up for the day. Not so surprisingly, aside from eggs, Swiss chard is a good source of protein, potassium, fiber, and calcium.


SWISS CHARD & TOMATO BAKED EGGS

INGREDIENTS

1

  • A cast iron pan / small glass baking dish (safe for oven use)
  • A little bit of olive oil
  • 1-2 medium-sized MKG slicing tomatoes (or you could use the plum tomatoes!)
  • A bunch of MKG rainbow Swiss chard
  • 1/2 medium sized onion
  • 2 eggs
  • Cream cheese
  • Grated Parmesan/Romano cheese (to taste)
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic (or garlic powder, whichever you prefer)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (to taste)
INGREDIENTS

making the filling~

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Chop garlic cloves, tomatoes, onion, and Swiss chard.
    1. NOTE: The ratio for each of these is totally up to you! I love my Swiss chard and garlic, so I put a lot more in.
  3. In a saucepan, saute chopped onions and garlic (or garlic powder) in olive oil. Add chopped Swiss chard to the pan once the onions are tender.
  4. Once the Swiss chard has cooked down a bit, add tomatoes.
  5. Add cumin, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
    1. NOTE: I tend to put more cinnamon and red pepper flakes. I like to get a bit of spicy and sweet, but the amount of each is completely up to your taste buds.
  6. Simmer this mixture in the saucepan for a few minutes on low heat.

putting it all together~

  1. Pour mixture into glass baking dish.
  2. Add dollops of cream cheese on top of the mixture.
  3. Crack eggs over the mixture. Sprinkle Parmesan/Romano cheese over top.

into the oven, we go!~

  1. Place baking dish into pre-heated oven for 5-8 minutes (or until whites of the eggs have settled).
  2. Remove from oven and serve with toast or bruschetta!

You’re welcome to experiment with different spices/cheeses/veggies to add to these baked eggs. It makes for an easy, yet elegant breakfast.


Once again, we want to thank you for your continual support of Morven Kitchen Garden. We hope you get a chance to try out a variation of this recipe. If you have any questions or want to let us know how it turned out, feel free to post a comment here or send us an email.

Love,

MKG

The MKG is hiring!

APPLY TO BE THE NEW FARM MANAGER  

Have agricultural knowledge and want to gain more experience managing a small farm?

The manager is responsible for farm operations and advising student leaders.

Deadline September 30.

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We are hiring a new farm manager for MKG. Our current farm manager, Emily Salle, is embarking on a new adventure in December, but we want to bring someone on to train by the end of October.

If you have any questions, Emily would be more than happy to give more information about the position. She can be reached by email at egsalle@gmail.com.

You don’t have to be a recent graduate, but this position ideally requires someone who has already graduated. Previous garden and CSA experience is preferred.

To view the job posting and apply, click this link.

Dairy-free Salted Caramel Apple Turnovers

Hello, lovely contributors and shareholders with MKG!

We’re starting a new weekly section to our MKG blog. We’ll be posting recipes made with Morven produce, available in the weekly shares. These recipes will be ones made and tested by our volunteers on the farm.

This week, in your shares, are delicious Morven granny-smith apples. We’ll be making dairy-free salted caramel apple turnovers, using these apples picked by our volunteers!


Dairy-free Salted Caramel Apple Turnovers

INGREDIENTS

filling~

  • 3 medium-sized Morven granny-smith apples
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • handful of raisins
  • optional: salted caramel chunks

dough~

  • 3 cups of flour (sift)
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 7-8 tbsp olive oil
  • water (as needed)

INSTRUCTIONS

filling~

  1. Chop apples into small pieces and put in a bowl. Mix apples with cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and raisins.
    1. You can add more/less of either cinnamon, nutmeg, or raisins based on your preference.
  2. Low heat salted caramel chunks in a bit of water in a saucepan/pot. Watch and stir continuously till caramel is right consistency. Take caramel off heat and stir apple mixture into caramel.
    1. Note: You can put as much caramel as you’d like!
  3. Put the caramel-apple mixture into the fridge, while we make our dough. This will give the caramel time to settle.

dough~

  1. In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, and confectioner’s sugar together. Add olive oil slowly as you mix it into the dry ingredients mixture. The mixture will coarse, flaky, and clump up a bit. Now, we can add water as needed to get the right consistency to the dough.
    1. If you’ve added too much water and the dough is too sticky, you can add a bit of flour to dry it up.
  2. Wrap the dough in wax paper and put it into the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

dough

putting it all together~

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Roll out the dough. Cut out circle shapes into the rolled out dough (each turnover uses 2 dough circles — top and a bottom!)
    1. For this, I used the rim of a drinking glass to make the circular cut-out shape.
  3. Put dollops of the caramel-apple mixture on the dough circles and use the other circle to cover them up.
    1. Use a fork to seal the edges of the turnovers!
    2. Cut little slits on the top of the turnovers; the apples/caramel will cook better this way and the turnovers won’t explode from steam building up.
  4. Lay all of your turnovers onto a cooking tray (on tin foil, if you’d like).
    1. Feel free to put egg wash (one whisked egg + a little bit of water) on the turnovers to help with getting them to an even golden-brown color.
  5. Put them into the oven for 15 minutes, or until they are golden-brown.
  6. Leave to cool for at least ten minutes, drizzle with caramel (if you’d like!).

We want to thank you for your continual support of MKG and we hope you have a chance to try out our recipe! If you have any questions or want to let us know it turned out, feel free to comment on this post or send us an email.

Love,

MKG

Thank You From MKG!

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From all of us at the Morven Kitchen Garden, thank you so much! We are so grateful to everyone who celebrated the end of summer with us at our annual Gazpacho in the Garden. Over one hundred guests came out at the farm and we hope you all had as great of a time as we did!

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We had a blast cooking up some farm-fresh gazpacho, relaxing to the folksy tunes of Adler & Hearne, and sharing the newest additions to the farm – bee hives and berry patches. But our favorite part was meeting community members like you that help our farm thrive!

For those of you who couldn’t make it, check out the photos The Daily Progress took to get a taste of the evening. We hope to see you next summer at our next Gazpacho in the Garden!

Want to get your hands dirtier with MKG? Email morvenkitchengarden16-17@virginia.edu to be added to our listserv for workday announcements, events, and updates throughout the year. We welcome any experience level and all interested in hands-on learning about the ins and outs of sustainable farming.

July and August CSA Shares still open!

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Want vegetables picked and harvested for you each week, washed and ready to eat? Want to support the opportunity of student leadership in sustainable agriculture and business in your community? We do the work, you provide the support, and you get the food.

Available shares: July pick up or delivery, August pick up or delivery.

Share sizing: Full shares feed 3-4 people, and half shares are designed for 1-2.

Pricing: July full ($125) — July half ($75) // August full ($100) — August half ($60)

Pick up: We bring the veggies to town each Friday from 12-2pm at the Spice Diva in Main Street Market. If this window doesn’t work for you, we also deliver.

Delivery: For $15/mo. extra we drop off the veggies to your door midday each Tuesday.

Add ons: Weekly or bi-weekly eggs ($4/week), tote bags ($7).

To sign up: Email morvencsa2016@gmail.com with your name, share preference, pick up or delivery (address if appropriate), daytime phone number, and any questions.

See our CSA page for more information.

 

 

Meet the Interns!

We are SO excited to introduce our 2016 summer interns! These three girls will be working throughout summer to maintain the kitchen garden as well as kickoff the CSA and manage it throughout the months of June, July, and August. This is our first summer having three intern positions which we are thrilled to be able to do – especially because it represents how much we have grown over the past 5 years! In addition to having a new position, our interns will be spending all day Thursday at another local CSA farm called Bellair. Bellair has over 800 acres with 400 families involved in their CSA. Each week, the interns will have a lesson with the farm manager to learn about various topics such as CSA styles, livestock, weed management, and irrigation systems. After the morning lesson, they will spend time helping Bellair’s full time staff plant, weed, and harvest their own produce! So far, it’s been an amazing experience and we cannot wait to see what the future holds in store!

Hi, my namEmily He is Emily H., and I am a rising third year at UVA studying environmental science with a minor in landscape architecture. I got involved at Morven Kitchen Gardem last summer and was christened the glorified unofficial intern! It was only natural that I would apply for one of the spots as a glorified official intern, and I luckily made the mark! What I find particularly cool about my position this summer is that I helped plan the up-and-coming orchard project and also chose the seeds we will be planting over the course of this season. I get to see all of my work from last summer through the school year come to fruition. I truly don’t believe I could get that opportunity anywhere else and gain such intensely personal insight into the inner workings of our farm. I can’t wait to share my work with you through the power of veggies. Here’s to a smooth and successful season!

My name is Grace T.,Grace T and I recently graduated from UVA with a degree in Global Public Health and will be spending the next year pursuing my Masters in Educational Psychology. This will be my fourth year on the Women’s Rowing team. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work and learn at the MKG. My grandparents are from Bath County, VA, and they grew up as homesteaders who kept bees, gardened, kept chickens and livestock, and knew how to work and live off the land.  I am interested in how local and community-based gardening and farming can improve the general health of Appalachia and the United States in general.  I hope to use the skills gained from this internship to continue my family’s traditions of sustainable living and farming and to ensure that they do not fade away with the oldest generations of my family.  I look forward to meeting you this summer!

Hello! My name is Maria W., and I am a rising fourth year studying biology with a minor in religious studies. My relationship with Morven has been such an amazing learning process – and it’s been less than a month! Having grown up in southwest Virginia with parents that work for VirginiaMaria W Tech and a neighborhood made up of cows, I have always had an interest in the agriculture industry.  After traveling to a small agricultural community in Haiti both last year and this year, this interest localized on the process of creating a sustainable, successful, and community-oriented farm that can provide both food and family to those involved. From learning how to care for chickens to tilling plant beds to telling the difference between turnips and radishes, it’s been a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I cannot wait for the rest of summer!

 

The 2016 Summer Internship

We have some exciting news! Our summer internship program is part of all that’s been expanding recently. This summer we will hire three student interns rather than two.

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2015 summer interns Tom (left) and Maria (right) with farm manager Emily (center)

The summer interns are crucial to the success of our garden both in terms of tangible productivity and an intangible advancement of our mission. Student interns will learn the ins and outs of sustainable vegetable production: marketing, CSA operation, pest management, soil care, planting and harvest, seasonal planning, event coordination, etc. This will all take place on our single acre garden, giving these students a chance to learn valuable leadership skills in student agriculture and really put them to the test.

We also have an exciting new partnership with Bellair Farm. One day of the week, MKG interns (along with interns of the UVa Community Garden) will receive exclusive education and training from the professional team at Bellair Farm. We can’t thank Bellair enough for their support in this partnership!

This internship an amazing opportunity to learn from seasoned farmers who have a large market base in Charlottesville, while being a key part of the Morven Kitchen Garden.

Start date: May 2016   End date: August 2016   Stipend: $2000

Prior agricultural knowledge (or a car) is not needed! All rising UVA students are welcome to apply.

Applications are due to Audrey Baker akb5wu@virginia.edu on February 24th. Email her know if you have any questions!

Application: https://docs.google.com/document/d/17r1bqxRBdu4NTmnKg7ZxC3h1ddLHNe7FrJGlasbyl_U/edit?usp=sharing

We Need Your Help

The property that we have available to us is an acre on the dot, but we are currently only using 50% of that acre. Now, just on that half-acre we’ve been able to do amazing things: over 2,000 lbs of vegetables in one season, hundreds of dollars worth of produce donated to the local food bank, a quadrupling of student leadership involvement over the past year, and a paid summer internship program for two students.

Now we want to make something of our extra space, but we need your help.

Image source: Google Maps

This is plan involves two things: biochar (a soil amendment used to store carbon, boost soil fertility, and expand vegetable production) and perennial agriculture (we’re always battling continuity as a student farm, so we’d figure we’d get the plants to help us out).

This project is an expansion, but it’s also a creation. We want to take the space that’s currently sitting unused and coax it into producing a bounty of sustenance. In the process we will become one of the first small farms to experiment with growing vegetables on biochar. We will be helping to store carbon and develop healthy soil. We will legitimize our organization through more crop diversity and yield, and that will open doors to creating more community partnerships with other farms, organizations, students, and consumers.

SUMMARY OF WHAT THIS PROJECT WILL DO

  • Grow food on a previously unused space: Apples! Berries! Herbs! More vegetables!
  • Rehabilitate soil fertility and store carbon
  • Diversify and legitimize agricultural experiences for students
  • Provide experimental and research opportunities for students and professors alike
  • Increase collaboration potential and community impact
  • Check out https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2096141530/the-morven-kitchen-garden-expand-rehabilitate-tran to help us grow! (p.s. there are rewards for donating!!)