local

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).

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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.

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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.

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

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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. http://www.natickfarm.org. 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.

 

 

Getting Back On Track with Learnivore

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Some Much Needed Lifelong Learning with Learnivore

It was a long, cold winter – something I don’t have to tell those of you who stuck it out here (ahem, not you, Mom and Dad), and my daily routine of a good hour plus walk with our dog was disrupted. Okay, it stopped cold…if you’ll pardon the pun. The usual brisk walk became me in all my warmest gear as I begged, cried, and pleaded into the scarf that covered most of my face to my dog to just hurry up already so we could go back inside. It was not my finest hour, or hers, really.

Despite a few trips to the gym and some epic snow shoveling sessions, it was hard to stay on track, and I didn’t. At all. And with the nice weather upon us,  I have no more excuses, just a habit of less exercise. So when the local social network company, Learnivore, offered a class for me to sample and review (any class), I immediately chose yoga. It’s been a while since I practiced daily, and I knew some individual attention would help motivate me.

The super easy to navigate Learnivore site (you can log in with Facebook or an email address) lets you explore classes that are set up under the fantastic headings of Athletics, Arts or Academics. It’s easy to narrow your search by geographic area, too. And each instructor has a profile page so you can read all about them before you even book a class. There were several options for yoga within 10 miles of my home, too. After reading a few profiles, I booked a yoga class with Christie R. – it was easy to communicate through Learnivore to set a time and date.

The morning of the class, one of my nieces dropped by (she is out of school for the year), and I invited her to join me in my class. After checking in with Christie, we were off to my first yoga class in a while. My niece is quite a few years younger than I am, and a terrific athlete to boot, so I was hoping she would distract Christie from my ineptitude. Maybe a little. I needn’t have worried.

Christie Rosen - Yoga Instructor for Learnivore, Boston, MA, Capability Mom
Christie Rosen

Christie is warm and lovely with a wonderful manner, and was easily able to accommodate our two very different skill and ability levels, and somehow managed to keep us focused and on task (we lean to chatty, this niece and I). Christie’s home studio was equipped with blocks, bands and blankets to help with proper positioning, and I did so appreciate the care she takes to make sure each pose is thoughtfully and properly executed. Christie is an incredible instructor – kind, patient, caring and knowledgeable. What a great and gentle reintroduction to an activity I love and will definitely continue. I also noticed there are instructors for Track and Field – maybe now that I’m getting back in shape I’ll join a Master’s team, but first I might need a refresher class or two…

Are you a lifelong learner? Learnivore has classes for the whole family, too. Here’s a listing of the available classes: Screen shot 2015-05-27 at 4.36.35 PM

Athletics
All Air Sports Archery Baseball Basketball Bowling Boxing Camping & Hiking Caving & Canyoning Climbing Cricket CrossFit Cycle & Spin Dance – Athletic Diving Driving & Racing Equestrian Extreme Sports Fencing Field Hockey Fishing Fitness & Training Football Golf Gymnastics Hunting & Firearms Kayaking & Rafting Lacrosse Martial Arts Massage & Physical Therapy Nutrition Other – Athletics Paintball Parkour Pilates Poker & Cards Rowing Running & Endurance Sailing & Boating Self Defense Skateboarding Skating & Hockey Ski & Snow Sports Soccer Softball Surfing Survival & Orienteering Swimming Tennis & Racquet Sports Track & Field Triathlon Ultimate Frisbee Volleyball Water Sports Wrestling Yoga

Arts
All Beauty Brewing Circus Arts Craft Creative Writing Culinary Arts Dance Design Dramatic Arts Fashion Film Gardening Knitting Life Music – Brass Music – Composition & Arranging Music – General Music – Guitar Music – Low Strings Music – Other Music – Percussion Music – Piano Music – Viola & Violin Music – Voice Music – Woodwinds Other – Arts Photography Sewing Travel Visual Arts Wine & Spirits Woodworking

Academics
All Academic Writing Accounting Alternative Medicine Anthropology Archaeology Architecture Art History Astronomy Biological Sciences Business Chess Child Development Computer Science Economics Education Engineering Finance History Home School Journalism Languages – Chinese Languages – ESL Languages – French Languages – Other Languages – Spanish Law Literature Management & Leadership Marketing Mathematics Medicine Other – Academics Philosophy Physics & Chemistry Political Science Psychology Reading Mechanics Religion Social Sciences Speaking & Presentation Special Education Speech Sustainability Technology Test Prep

Check Learnivore out on your favorite social media platform.

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Facebook

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Learnivore Capability Mom Yoga Rugg Road Boston Christie Rosen

 

 Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are, as always, my own.

 

Reading All Day

Yes, that is my preferred method of spending time and although it is hard to carve out a whole day, preferably with some iced tea and maybe something sweet to nibble on (like these?), at least I have no shortage of books! Check out this list from NPR – Critics’ List: Summer 2011: NPR I always love their book picks.

After carpools, dog walking and basic house cleanup, oh, yeah, working, and seeing to a mild but persistent addiction to Angry Birds, I am sneaking in some reading time. Pack a car book! Great time to catch up on reading while waiting for children in camp lines or on the sometimes longish drives to camp (books on tape, audio only while driving please).

So far, I’ve read Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder which I could not put down and read straight through in two days, yes, that’s what I was doing and it is reviewed here in the NY Times (not by me, I wish).


“>capability mom reads so many books

capability mom still reading booksBossy Pants, by Tina Fey

Supremely funny, here is the great Mother’s Prayer for Its Daughter excerpt, because, Lord, I have seen with my own eyes that Tina Fey can really, really write.

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her

When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.

“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.

and am pre-reading Young Adult books – yes, that is my story and I am sticking to it.

Journey to the River Sea, Eva Ibbotson Lovely book, Winner of the Smarties Book Prize, and 2001 Whitbread Children’s Book Prize Finalist and a 2001 Carnegie Medal Finalist if you don’t believe me.

capability mom reads so many books - young adult fiction

Lock and Key, Sarah Dessencapability mom pre-reads young adult fiction

Tough topics are handled very well by the author. Fine for High School, middling for Middle Schoolers unless you are either into Good Discussions about Sensitive Topics like drug and alcohol abuse, child abandonment and physical abuse.

and on my iPad:
Egypt: The Uprising (The Battle for Maat, #1)

I just started this and really like it so far but it is my first full read on the iPad and I may crack and get the paper copy from Pragmatic Mom as we are both reviewing it later this summer.

capability mom reading to review books

and Wicked Good by Amy Lewis Faircloth and Joanne Lewis

Two sisters wrote this book together and although I am only 30 pages in, I am already attached to the characters. From the website:

My sister and I have written a novel called Wicked Good. It’s the story of a mother and her son with Asperger’s syndrome. People frequently ask how it came to be that two sisters wrote a novel together while living in different states.It was March. The snow was dirty brown and the sun was absent here in Bangor, Maine. I was spending a lot of time on my sofa, channel surfing and landing nowhere.Joanne called from her home in Florida. “Wanna write a book together?” she asked.I wrapped the afghan around me tighter and yawned from lack of blood flow to my brain. “Sure,” was the best response I could muster.

capability mom reading to review books

I am also on a rereading kick and just put down Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

capability mom rereads books in the summer I don’t know who re-did this cover but I am feeling quite stodgy when I say I do not care for it. I also am a bit put out reading this as a mom, because just maybe it isn’t all Marmee-love over here. Now I have to go read Little Men. Oh, look, they left that cover alone. capability mom rereads classic books in the summerWell, this should get you started, Happy Reading!

I forgot to add two books, a Pramatic Mom recommendation, After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick capability mom's picks for young adult fiction reads this summer– a terrific Young Adult book about the friendship of two boys (who both have cancer), family, middle school crushes and math phobia. Loved this book.

capability mom's picks for young adult fiction reads this summer I am midway through Zeitoun by David Eggers, which both Newton South and Newton North high schools are reading as part of the Two Schools, One Book project this summer but my high school student needed to read it so I handed it over.

I have linked all of these books to Amazon – go ahead and buy them! Last quarter I earned about $.73 – yes, that was a decimal point.

Update, alert and apologies. I just upgraded my blog and I think it cost me the links in this post to Amazon! All is not lost, however, and you can still line my pockets (snort laugh) by going to the conveniently located sidebar for Amazon and order the books there. I have tried to fix this basic link several times already and am past capacity for the frustration of trying one more time, plus I have other stuff to do. Read and enjoy.

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