A Gorgeous Day At The Farm #eatdrinkbelocal

A Gorgeous Day At The Farm #eatdrinkbelocalIMG_2584

Natick Community Organic Farm and Brothers Marketplace

Yesterday we spent a beautiful summer day with family and blogging friends at Natick Community Organic FarmBrothers Marketplace hosted a lunch at the farm to celebrate their connection to local food and farms, and it was wonderful to get a tour of a working, local, and sustainable farm. While we had visited the farm before, and I knew they had a great camp program, I didn’t know that they have a year round farm stand, organic turkeys at Thanksgiving, and chicken coops that you can rent by the week. And everyone there was friendly, incredibly dedicated and passionate about this bucolic oasis which is about as far away from my house as Boston is, but entirely a world away.

We started the tour in the fantastic flower garden. The entire farm is organic and these beautiful blooms are available at the farm stand and both Brothers Marketplace locations (Medfield and Weston).













Next we visited the chickens, pigs, turkeys and cows. The pigs were snoozing in the heat and we learned how all parts of the farm work together from leftover staff lunches and flowers being used as feed for the animals to the making of and use of compost. Now my family wants to be on the list to buy a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving.



Here are the turkey facts:

  • NCOF raises 175 turkeys every year.
  • They are fed organic grains from their day of hatching and allowed to roam and graze on the Farm’s organic pastures.
  • Dressed turkeys weigh between 16 and 35 pounds.
  • Turkeys will cost $4.75 pound, based on the cost of organic grain this year. They are sold fresh.
  •  More info here).

And chicken coops (chickens included) can be yours for a week or more. What a great family activity! The farm delivers the coop, and you get fresh eggs (okay, there is some work involved in the caring of the chickens). You can download more info about the fantastically named chicken tractor here.

After the tour, we were treated to a delicious lunch prepared by the chefs at Brothers Marketplace, and everything was made with farm fresh ingredients, and a gorgeous fresh mozzarella (made that morning) in the tomato salad.


We also got to see a demonstration of making mozzarella cheese – check out Stowed Stuff for the complete video.


I have been a fan of the Brothers Marketplace stores for a while now and I’m happy to share with you a $25 gift card.  Just share in the comments below – What is your favorite local summer treat?

So Eat, Drink and Be Local – Head to Brothers Marketplace (Medfield or Weston) for great, fresh, local food that supports local farms and manufacturers.

Follow @BrosMarketplace on Twitter and Brothers Marketplace on Instagram. #eatdrinkbelocal

Natick Community Organic Farm is a nonprofit, certified-organic farm providing productive open space, farm products, and hands-on education to all ages, year-round. Committed to farming methods that are ecologically healthy and sustainable, the Farm places special emphasis on service to youth through year-round classes, work-experience programs and volunteer opportunities for workingthe land. NCOF is open to the public daily during daylight hours with no admission fee for visits and purchases. Follow on Twitter @natickfarm

Thank you to Brothers Marketplace and Natick Community Organic Farm for the terrific event and lunch, and Iggy’s Bread, Nola’s Fresh Foods, Tortilleria La Niña, Grillo’s Pickles, and Spindrift Soda for the yummy treats.

I was not compensated for this post but did receive a goodie bag and a gift certificate to Brothers Market place to give away. All opinions are, and always will be, my own.



Happy Mother’s Day!

Instead of pretending not to know I am about to be surprised with breakfast in bed, I am up with a nice cup of tea writing this. If you are still waiting for breakfast, take heart. Soon they will sleep in later than you do and you can get up and have tea, too. We have a busy day planned but I’m looking forward to all of it.

Are you too last minute to get someone a gift? No – there is still time. Pick some flowers from the yard (preferably your yard) and wrap them in a pretty paper cone with a card. Added bonus if you have any unopened chocolate lying around (I don’t think the lone Hershey bar in my candy cabinet (what, don’t you have a candy cabinet? You most definitely should) will cut it but maybe you have some self control and have some nicer candy, no the opened stuff won’t work.

The grocery stores are already open, head out there – grab some pretty ribbon or paper and wrap it up. If you are near Target – Go grab a book – love the new covers of these classics.

Still stuck? Bake something – that always is my go to. Here is an easy one: Barefoot Contessa’s Triberry Muffins.

Time to get going! Have a Happy Mother’s Day!!

Great Gifts for Teachers – Day 5 of Shopping with Pragmatic Mom

Some school districts (ours is one) have an outright ban on gifts for teachers. While I understand the reasoning (“Here’s a Birkin bag, Mrs. Smith, Thanks for the letter of recommendation for Jimmy”), and that the idea is to make all things equal – it is not my favorite rule (but I am a first born and a great rule follower so that makes it tough). Teachers are one of the most underpaid and overworked of all professions (Disclosure,  there are teachers in my family), and they should get some semi-decent swag for the hard work that they do. I also know that more often than not, teachers go out of pocket for special school supplies. So is handwritten card w/cookies enough or do you slip a gift card inside? If you do, and I won’t tell, try Sephora, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts or iTunes.  Sometimes a group gift gets around the rule, so pony up and be the one that collects the money and buys the gift, assign someone else the task of getting the card signed by all of the students. More work for you but you will help out a helpless rule follower and make a teacher’s day.
Maybe you can give gifts with impunity, gift cards are still nice or you can give books or a gift card to a local store that carries supplies for school,  something related to their work (Art teacher – art supplies). What is always welcome: cashmere scarves, sweaters, gloves, socks – pretty impersonal and nice, too (include the gift receipt to be extra nice). Holiday decorations (Hanukah or Christmas) and candles, lotion sets, anything homemade (see Friday’s post),  notecards from Paper Source or journal from chronicle books

capability mom loves the flour cookbookPictured is a kid’s journal but I would love it – I would also welcome the new Flour Bakery cookbook (add some sweet wooden spoons or a whisk and stick them both in a mixing bowl). Works for me!

If you know the teacher is a baker, don’t shy away from spices – I love Penzey’s penzey's spices– the catalog is great but the store is better (in Arlington, MA) – I went there a really long time ago with the writer of Verbatim. It was deliciously aromatic and on the way home we passed Lakota Bakery (which I had read about but not tried) and we had to go in – as in I screamed, “Pull over the car!” We purchased many wonderful treats and I was actually swaying back and forth in joy while eating a particularly lovely butter and chocolate cookie that a couple ventured into the store because of my ‘happy cookie dance”.  I really like cookies. You can even order these delicious cookies -or a cake –  from Lakota Bakery and cut down on your baking list.

One last idea, a plant. Sure, you can do a poinsettia or a white amaryllis or some sweet paper whites. Sounds boring? Not this time of year in New England! Go get a nice orchid (Trader Joe’s has them as does Whole Foods) or a big gorgeous flowering tropical house plant (just be sure to cover it well when you run it outside). Nearby Garden centers will have a nice selection and you will get a dose of green while you shop.capability mom loves winstons flowers The amaryllis shown is from a favorite flower shop – Winston Flowers where they make the most gorgeous arrangements and have the best flowers (delivery and in store).

The 12 Days of Shopping

I will be posting The 12 Days of Shopping jointly with Pragmatic Mom. Each day, please visit her blog to see the other half of each post. Thanks!

Friday, Dec 10: Make Your Own Gifts GRANOLA, Amazing Granola from Nigella Lawson versus Amazing Granola Bars from The Barefoot Contessa

Sat, Dec 11: Kids Make Gifts CRAFT (ModPodge versus Clove Fruit)

Sun, Dec 12: Personalized Gifts: Fancy Return Address Stampers and Personalized Stationery from Pixie Chicago

Mon, Dec 13: Father-in-Law/Dad and Mother-in-Law/Mom

Tue, Dec 14: Tutors/Teachers

Wed, Dec 15: High Tech/Low Tech

Thu, Dec 16: Hostess/Doing Good and Getting Something

Fri, Dec 17: Sanitation Engineers, Mail Carriers, Hairdresser, Delivery People, Babysitter, Cleaning People, Dog Walker/Dog Trainer

Sat, Dec 18: Husband, Me (Our Own Wacko List)

Sun, Dec 19: Dog/Cat

Mon, Dec 20: Quick Gifts from Whole Foods versus Gourmet Food Store

Tue, Dec 21: ’Cause I Am So Together, Last Minute Home Made Gifts

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