Winter Farm ABCs

and Z

I took my children on a walk on the farm this winter in search of all of the hidden letters of the alphabet on our farm both in natural and built structures. I got this idea from the Alphabet City by Stephen T. Johnson where a photographer did the same thing in a city, using buildings and benches. Our version could be called Winter Alphabet Farm, I imagine we could come up with a whole new one in summer. This was something I thought would be so much harder than it was, I expected it might take several hikes and …

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My Passover Parenting Fail

This piece originally ran at Kveller.com. On the way home from Sunday school, my tiny children asked so many uncomfortable questions. They asked about God, and death, and bad guys, and then something even worse. That Egyptian child from the tenth plague was just temporarily frozen, I told them. Once Pharaoh realized his mistake all the children were fine. Then I desperately tried to change the subject, but it kept coming back. My children watched Prince of Egypt in Sunday school this weekend. They didn’t watch a short excerpt either. They watched a pretty big chunk of the movie and it was nowhere near …

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Lakeside

In case anyone noticed, I haven’t updated my blog in a while.  I escaped the heat again this year for an extended vacation in the Adirondacks where I spent my summers growing up and my family owns a house. My days are very different here, swimming lessons at the lake and lots of time picking wild blackberries and generally following the children around, helping them inch toward swimming.  There is no TV, and very limited internet and cell connection so my world shrinks here to the matters at hand with little distraction. We are in our last week here and I should be back to writing soon.   …

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A Sunflower Seed and How I Got it Wrong

I recently took my children to a friend’s daughter’s birthday party. After the party, the children were offered a choice of party favors. I was surprised when my 5-year-old son, the farm boy (like, we actually live on a farm), chose a little plastic pot with a seed in it (guaranteed to grow, just add water). I started coaching him to choose something else, saying, “Leave the seeds for other children. You have millions of seeds at home, so maybe a new eraser for school?” But he dug in and brought the pot home. As a mother, I should really learn to keep my mouth shut, because I …

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Compostable Toys and Farm Photos

Again, I am guilty of not keeping up with the farm blog now that the farm is kicking into the real season.  We are so busy with the CSA, selling flowers to a wholesaler and trying to connect with more chefs that writing has been falling by the wayside, and so many writing ideas are slipping away! That’s OK, I will keep trying. I have to share this photo I took of a project my two year old did with the newly harvested baby squash.  She spent a long time moving them around and arranging them until she was happy …

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Lessons from Sunflower Seeds and Shelling Peas

There is so much happening on the farm now, it is hard to find time to write about it. We are already into our fourth week of the CSA season, and strawberries are sadly winding down already.  Deer attacked our late strawberry planting, so the season will end a little earlier than we hoped.  We are also harvesting spring onions, radishes, tons of lettuce, spinach, arugula, cilantro and peas. A couple of weeks ago we went to a birthday party and one of the party favors was a little plastic pot with sunflower seeds that children could water and watch …

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Kale Chips: A Surprising Hit with Preschoolers and Recipe

Last week, my sweet boy turned 5 and we celebrated by hosting his preschool class at our farm for a treasure hunt, pony rides with a neighbor, and lunch. He originally requested a party at one of those indoor bouncy centers, so I was very happy that we were able to coax, sell, and redirect him toward a homespun farm party. The day before the party, my husband brought in a large bag of tender baby kale from the farm–the first of the spring new growth. When I asked my son what we should serve as a snack for the …

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Matzah in the Sandbox (repost)

I am reposting what I posted around the third day of Passover last year since I have some new readers.  There is no time to write now, but I am experiencing the now annual matzah crumb issue and I am thinking that if Jewish Mamas invented our Jewish celebrations, somehow Passover would have been linked with Sukkah and we would always eat matzah outside,  just like during the #exodus.    Nobody wanted to leave the sandbox at lunch time today. With the perfect spring breeze shaking the new Bradford Pear leaves over our heads and the soft afternoon sun warming …

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Passover is So Very Close

We will sit down for a Shabbat and Passover dinner very soon but it is not yet sunset and my husband took both children out to cover the strawberries with fabric because there is YET ANOTHER late frost warning.  Spring came so fast this year that all of our strawberries are flowering and we are having cold nights again.  This has become routine the past couple of weeks, so many late frosts! It was a last minute scramble, but I think all of the chametz (non-Kosher for Passover food) is out of the house and dinner is ready.  We are …

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More Kale, Less Vinyl — A Birthday Success

So my baby boy, my first-born — turned 5!  I am pretty blown away by this birthday and I am completely overwhelmed with pride at what an amazing person he is already. A few months ago, he asked for his birthday to be at one of those indoor bouncy centers where you can’t hear anyone talk over the sounds of the fans and machines running.  And all the blow up vinyl toys smell like a plastic factory.  And they serve unhealthy lunches in a little glass room on the side.  And the kids have the TIME OF THEIR LIVES, and …

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