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.



Hip to Be Square – Simple Squares


Sometimes I get to review things and sometimes it’s even food. Sometimes I share (the food, I mean, I always share my opinion). So when I received a lovely box of treats from Simple Squares, and happily, my children weren’t interested in trying them, “Good” I said, “more for me”. The packaging is pretty and they travel well (I had one in my massive tote bag for a day or so), and they are tasty, healthy, gluten-free, raw treats that work for snack, breakfast bar or dessert. Each square has only five ingredients and no preservatives.

Am I going all Paleo on you? No, but I am focusing on eating a more healthy and plant based diet (Not to worry, donuts are still on the list – just perhaps not the best choice). Each Simple Square has only five ingredients – the coconut was my favorite for breakfast with the coffee a close second, and would be nice for dessert either plain or with a scoop of vanilla yogurt (with a nice cup of green tea). Each square is made so the flavors balance nicely, and are all-natural and organic, too. I confess to eating substandard granola bars when crunched for time and I’m happy to switch out the usual pantry fare for these anytime. You don’t have to be into Paelo, raw food, vegetarian or vegan or even into healthy foods to like these bars, squares, you just have to like good food.

You can order online or there is even a square finding tool on the website for local stores that carry these delicious treats. I’m off to Cardullo’s for mine!

Flavor Options:

*CINNA-CLOVE Ingredients

Organic Cashews, Organic Almonds, Organic Honey, Organic Unsweetened Coconut, Organic Vanilla, Sea Salt, Organic Cloves.

*COCONUT Ingredients

Organic Cashews, Organic Almonds, Organic Honey, Organic Unsweetened Coconut, Organic Vanilla, Sea Salt.

*COFFEE Ingredients

Organic Cashews, Organic Almonds, Organic Honey, Organic Unsweetened Coconut, Organic Vanilla, Sea Salt, Organic Coffee Beans.

*ROSEMARY Ingredients

Organic Cashews, Organic Almonds, Organic Honey, Organic Unsweetened Coconut, Organic Vanilla, Sea Salt, Organic Rosemary.

*SAGE Ingredients

Organic Cashews, Organic Almonds, Organic Honey, Organic Unsweetened Coconut, Organic Vanilla, Sea Salt, Organic Sage.

Julia’s Child by Sarah Pinneo – An Easy Bread Recipe and A Good Read

When I am really into a book I take it everywhere with me – confession – I even bring it into the car (sometimes I have time to read while waiting for children – don’t worry – no reading while driving!), I also take it to the kitchen while I am making dinner (sometimes that doesn’t work out very well). When I couldn’t put down Julia’s Child, it was okay because the great recipes meant it was in the kitchen for practical reasons, too.

The title character, Julia Bailey, is a mom on a mission. She can’t find healthy store-bought food that she wants to feed her children and starts making her own healthy recipes like Apple & Cheddar Muffets (which are delicious by the way). She starts making them for friends, too, and before she knows it, she is running a small organic toddler food business.

I loved Julia and completely related, below is an excerpt from the book, written by Julia as recipe notes:

“…The first time I wrote this, I put ‘organic’ in front of every ingredient. But it looked overzealous and uptight. (Don’t say it – kind of like me). What do you think?…

Author Sarah Pinneo clearly gets it and writes an funny, engaging book about trying to have her organic toddler bites and eat them, too. Don’t believe me – Check out the review on Kirkus Reviews.

Okay, I admit that I had a food mill, bought organic milk and produce and was maybe occasionally uptight and overzealous. I am in recovery now and only carry first aid kits and car blankets and a life hammer and…never mind, I’ll stop now.

Sarah was nice enough to include a recipe which is lovely, easy and delicious (I made it on Super Bowl Sunday – a great bread for soups, sandwiches and chili!)

Baking Bread for Busy Moms

By Sarah Pinneo

Writing Julia’s Child, and then working with Penguin USA on publishing it, was a lot of fun. But it was also a lot of work. When things got intense, I didn’t fail to notice the irony—some weeks I spent more hours writing about cooking for children than I did cooking for my real children.

The conventional wisdom is: write what you know. As a result, Julia’s Child is about mother guilt. And also toddlers, organic food, and green-washing. (And, to a lesser extent, goat manure and boobs. Julia’s Child is a comedy.)

Even while juggling all these topics, I’ve found that it’s still possible to bake bread. Nothing else makes the house smell more like home. My desk is in the kitchen, allowing me to sit mere feet from where the dough is rising. One feels more virtuous about scanning twitter while sitting in the same room with a bread dough you’ve made yourself. Trust me.

Due to the profusion of no-knead dough recipes in the past few years, you can bake bread without spending hours on it. But you do have to time it correctly—because it must rise for many hours. This is how I manage it, even during the busy weeks:

No Knead Bread, Adapted from a New York Times recipe by Jim Lahey


3 cups of all-purpose flour, or 2 cups all-purpose plus 1 cup of whole wheat

1/4 teaspoon fast acting (or instant) yeast

1 teaspoon salt

On Friday night, add all the ingredients to a big mixing bowl. Pour in 1 5/8 cups of tepid water, and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined. (My six-year old loves this job.) The dough will be shaggy and sticky.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set on the countertop until morning.

First thing Saturday morning, put out a silicone mat or another not-sticky surface on the countertop. Sprinkle flour liberally on the mat. Turn out your risen dough onto the flour, and sprinkle even more flour on top. Then, gently fold the blob of dough in on itself a few times. Invert your mixing bowl, allowing it to act as a domed lid over the dough, and let it rise again.

Around 10 in the morning, preheat the oven to 425. Put a large pot with a lid in the oven to preheat as well. Set the timer for a half hour, so you won’t forget to put the bread in the oven.

At 10:30, carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven. Set the lid aside.

Take the top off of your dough, and turn it out, into the pot. (It will still look like a big wet mess. Don’t panic.)

Carefully replace the hot pot lid, and put the pot in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake 20-30 more minutes, until the bread has a deep brown crust.

Cool thoroughly. Right around 12:30, you will be able to enjoy fresh bread with lunch!

Any busy mother will relate to this book – it is a great read and even has tried and true recipes. (I made the bread and the muffets). The book also has great tips for cooking with toddlers like this one: Give a toddler a chopstick when it is their turn to stir the flour. Trust me, you’ll thank her for this.

Win a copy of the lovely and Julia’s Child by commenting below – I’ll add the comments from last week’s post to this one and a winner will be posted here.

Winner will be chosen by the plug-in I use so no one calls foul – And The Winner Is

This contest will run through February 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm. Winner will be contacted by email and listed here.

For good measure, follow Sarah Pinneo on Twitter and like her on Facebook.

Before I Forget Tip: I used to take along a whole avocado for a day out (put it in a bag with a baby spoon and a butter knife) as a quick portable meal or a snack for older children. Whew, it has been a while since I had to pack that way!


And The Winner is Sarah C! Sarah will get an email and a copy of Julia’s Child!

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