NPR

A Camp With A Purpose and It’s Green, too.

sunflowers lands sake weston post capability mom

Hail to the Pollinators Pastel, Larry Grob Land's Sake Farm Weston MA
Hail to the Pollinators, Larry Grob

Green Power Camp – Land’s Sake Farm in Weston

This summer has been full of surprises, not all good, like the blue green algae on the Charles that cancelled my daughter’s sailing classes (okay, postponed them). On short notice, she needed a Plan B. Enter Teenlife.com (a great resource we have used time and again) and I pulled up a link to Land’s Sake (another family favorite for pick your own flowers, berries and veggies).

Here is the description from Land’s Sake:

The Green Power Summer Youth Program at Land’s Sake farm is focused on learning about sustainable agriculture, food justice, and community through hard work. This work includes weeding, planting and harvesting on our organic farm, leading farm tours, maintaining our education garden, community service and cooking a community meal. In addition to being a great learning opportunity, Green Power teaches the value of meaningful work by giving participants the chance to earn a stipend from the work they do at the farm. Join Land’s Sake and work hard while having fun!

Here is the dirt (pun intended) from the first teen’s week.

Monday: The teens got to know each other, learned about taking care of small animals (goats and chickens), and harvested part of the garlic crop. Messy work. My teen was covered with a soft brown dusting of dirt and really happy about it, too. We still have fresh garlic.

Tuesday: The group traveled to Jamaica Plain to Community Servings to help prepare meals for chronic and critically ill patients and their families. Land’s Sake farmers donated collard greens which were packaged that day as well. They listened to a podcast of Michael Pollan on NPR on the drive there and back. Did I say I love this camp?

Wednesday (the Fourth of July): They harvested bok choy, peas, and carrots for a CSA to be delivered to low income families through a partnership between Horizons for Homeless Children and Community Servings.

Thursday: They were leaders during the Kid’s Café Program. This program enables kids from Greater Boston Boys and Girls Clubs to come out to the farm. The teen campers took them around the farm – garden, chickens, bees, the magic tree, goats and going for a ride on the bicycle-blender!).

Friday: Chef Ellen Touart-Grob helped to plan, cook, and serve up a delicious farm-inspired meal including Chilled Pea Soup, Fresh Summer Rolls, and Herbed Pop-overs!

Doesn’t this sound wonderful? The program also pays the teens a percentage of the profit from Land’s Sake farm stand based on quality of their work through week. Love that, too.

Teen 2 is going to this camp next and I will fill you in on her week.

I forgot to add that I received a hand-written note in the mail, thanking me for sending my child to the camp from the new Executive Director of Land’s Sake, Ed Barker (and it was on a gorgeous pastel of the beehives of the farm. Really). I wanted to write a thank you note for the thank you note, but you know where that leads. So I will write it here.

 

Dear Mr. Baker,

As a mom of two teen girls, we have been in some pretty terrific camps over the years, but none so wonderful as the camp at Land’s Sake. The program is thoughtfully planned, wonderfully executed and combines good values, community service, education, work, fresh air and fun.

I have never received a handwritten thank you note from one of them. I applaud your lovely camp program, your wonderful staff, your fantastic farm and your good manners.

With great appreciation,

 

Nancy Brown

 

Your toughest gift to buy this year – Father and Father-In-Law…12 Days of Shopping, Day 4

Personally, I think men are really hard to buy for and by the amount of visits this post got last year, I am not alone. My default gifts – scarves, gloves, or a nice sweater – just don’t work if your recipient lives in Florida most of the year. So I have to get creative. Luckily I had a brainstorm session with Pragmatic Mom. What did we come up with? Well, there is the ever-popular sports themed gifts. Golf, tennis, any sport that your father or father-in-law might love. If they like the same sport, and you can get away with it, give them the same gift. Guys don’t usually talk about, well anything, so you are pretty safe that they won’t compare gifts – I can’t promise that this will work for your mother and mother-in-law.

capability mom loves target and this digital photo frame For instance, my dad is a gadget guy and my husband’s dad is not, but both would love a digital photo frame (especially one pre-loaded with images of adorable grandchildren). If you want to make it more personal, have siblings also send tech-y grandpa CDs of pictures, jpegs or even a flash drive. He can set it up, no problem. Or pre-load it with pics for someone who doesn’t care for that activity, then re-package the frame an you are good to go.

Also, if he is a techie, great gifts to support his tech…iPad cases are everywhere, phone covers and accessories (a huge blinding wall of them over at the Apple Store, Marshall’s has some in the really well-stocked and long checkout aisle where they get you to make impulse purchases now.

There is always a tie – really? Did I just write that? Yes, not just any ties but a Hermes tie or a Ermenegildo Zegna tie. If you need to make a very nice impression then this is the way to go. Big bucks – $180 for Hermes and about $175 for Zegna (although I am a bargain shopper and have seen the Zegna for less). Filene’s Basement is going out of business (so sad – I love that store and have great stories about it – I guess that is for another time) and they still have lots of great stuff – I was there yesterday.

Books! You know I am a bit of a book freak – what, you didn’t notice, really? – I head to my local independent bookstores; Newtonville Books or New England Mobile Book Fair but I do have to admit that the nearby Barnes & Noble does do a great job of suggesting books as well, and, yes, I do shop at Amazon, too. Love that super saver shipping. Go to the Best Sellers List in the NY Times for popular, NPR for funkier offerings and

capability mom finds ny giants gear on lineFor a sports enthusiasts – especially of one particular team – it is easy – there are tons of shirts, hats, and paraphernalia – go to the team website or your local sporting goods store (especially nice if you don’t support the same team, you look gracious and maybe a little heroic). For the sporty guys, just go for nicer stuff than he would buy for himself. For a golfer – go to Titleist and order personalized golf balls (with their name or nickname). For your tennis player, get tennis balls, some court time (with you? not me, this is a gift, not a punishment) at a place they don’t usually play. Runners are a cinch – new UnderArmour long sleeve shirt – about $50-60 or some running gloves, always welcome in New England.

Architect or Engineer types? Don’t overlook building kits like this from Frank Lloyd Wright and Lego – not cheap – about $100 at Target.capability mom finds great gifts for engineers or architects at targetIs your dad or father-in-law into building or fixing stuff? Easy! Head on over to Home Depot, Sears or Lowe’s and grab a gift card (too easy?) a Craftsman tool kit or if you really want a big gift – go for this rolling cart.

Don’t forget the experience gift – a pair of tickets to a game or event – whether it is theatre, sports or concert. Maybe you will even get invited to go along.

Does he love the Red Sox? Boats? Architecture? Nature? Check out this site for gorgeous photographs stretched on canvas – Sharon Schindler Photography.

Now, this brings us to the Mothers and Mothers-in-law, be sure to make the gifts of equal value! Obviously, you know them best – but here are some thoughts that Pragmatic Mom– ever the diplomat – put together.

The 12 Days of Shopping

Dec 1: Make Your Own Gifts GRANOLA, Amazing Granola from Nigella Lawson versus Amazing Granola Bars from The Barefoot Contessa

Dec 2: Kids Make Gifts CRAFT (ModPodge versus Clove Fruit)

Dec 3: Personalized Gifts (Fancy Address Stampers versus Pretty Papers Giveaway)

Dec 4: Father-in-Law/Dad and Mother-in-Law/Mom

Dec 5: Tutors/Teachers

Dec 6: High Tech/Low Tech

Dec 7: Hostess/Doing Good and Getting Something

Dec 8: Sanitation Engineers, Mail Carriers, Hairdresser, Delivery People, Babysitter, Cleaning People, Dog Walker/Dog Trainer, etc. (a.k.a. who else did I forget?)

Dec 9: Husband, Me (Our Own Wacko List); Capability:Mom Husband/Wife

Dec 10: Dog/Cat

Dec 11: Quick Gifts from Whole Foods versus Gourmet Food Store

Dec 12: ’Cause I Am So Together, Last Minute Home Made Gifts: Cookies & Personalized Holiday Tags



This is great advice for all beginners from Ira Glass

I found this on Dangerous Intersection (Erika Price)

Love this advice – watch it – it is incredibly worthwhile – I am currently working through my own gap and it is tough going. Great timing on this – thank you, Ira Glass!

Library Love at the Newton Free Library

Here is link to a recent write-up about the Newton Free Library Benefit in the Boston Globe West Weekly Section.

Spring Fling Authors 2011

A very long time ago, a young mother joined a committee. She was newish at this and did not realize that committees are everywhere but that is another story. This committee helped raise money for the local library and that was good. So she worked on the committee and the library raised more money (for technology) each year and that was also good. Each year the event hosted new authors and more people came to the event and it is now held in the very beautiful library. The young mother is oldish now and still loves the library.

The benefit this year is being held on March 26, 6:30-10 pm at the Newton Free Library, 330 Homer Street, Newton, Massachusetts. The always interesting Tom Ashbrook of NPR’s On Point will be a featured speaker and the inimitable William Novak will present the authors. We are lucky to have such a wonderful group of authors each year and this year is no exception.

Here are our Spring Fling authors and we hope you plan to join us at Spring Fling, Saturday, March 26th, as we honor their literary contributions.
Let’s Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship
By Caldwell, Gail
2010-08 – Random House

In this gorgeous, moving memoir, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Caldwell reflects on her own coming-of-age in midlife, as she learns to open herself to the power and healing of sharing her life with a best friend. …More

A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness--And a Trove of Letters--Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression A Secret Gift: How One Man’s Kindness–And a Trove of Letters–Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression
By Gup, Ted
2010-10 – Penguin Press
An inspiring account of America at its worst–and Americans at their best–woven from the stories of Depression-era families who were helped by gifts from the author’s generous and secretive grandfather. More

TinkersTinkers
By Harding, Paul
2009-01 – Bellevue Literary Press
2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Winner An astonishing first novel of memory, consciousness, and man’s place in the natural world. …More

Sacco and Vanzetti: The Men, the Murders, and the Judgment of Mankind Sacco and Vanzetti: The Men, the Murders, and the Judgment of Mankind
By Watson, Bruce
2007-08 – Viking Books
In the first full-length narrative of the case in thirty years, Bruce Watson unwinds a gripping tale that opens with anarchist bombs going off in a posh Washington, D.C., neighborhood and concludes with worldwide outrage over the execution of the good shoemaker and the poor fish peddler. Sacco and Vanzetti mines deep archives and new sources, unveiling fresh details about these naive dreamers and militant revolutionaries. This case still haunts the American imagination. Authoritative and engrossing, Sacco and Vanzetti will capture fans of true crime books and everyone who enjoys riveting American history. …More
No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale
By Frankel, Felice C.
Author Whitesides, George M.
2009-11 – Belknap Press
“No Small Matter” uses dazzling images and evocative descriptions to reveal the virtually invisible possibilities of nanoscience. Authors Frankel and Whitesides offer an overview of recent scientific advances that have contributed to this ever-shrinking microtechnology. …More

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