Tag Archives: ward’s berry farm

Farmer’s Choice Box + meal planning

I picked up our first Farmer’s Choice box from Ward’s Berry Farm yesterday and am quite pleased with its contents.  You might remember that one of the 7,000 browser tabs I shamefully keep open on my phone is the Farmer’s Choice Box info page.  

farmer's choice box ward's berry farm

We haven’t been home enough to commit to a full CSA share, but I’ve been keeping an eye on the weekly boxes (a best guess at each week’s contents is posted on Mondays and you can order as late as Wednesday night for a Friday pick up at the farm), which currently cost $23.

ward's berry farm

We’re home all week and you know I love a good bunch of carrots and berries by the pint, so I got my order in right away.  We met my mom at Ward’s (word to the wise: it’s really busy there at lunch time) and I really appreciated having her there to help navigate with Grace and baby Nick.  Our first stop was the animals, or as Grace calls them, “the little friends.”

ward's berry farm

My mom and Grace picked up our Farmer’s Choice boxes at the back of the store and grabbed a table outside in the shade, while I ordered smoothies and tried my best to not knock over produce displays with Nick’s stroller.  Small life goals.  That’s how we roll these days.

Mo’ berry for her, Green Machine for me

Once we were outside, I couldn’t resist taking a peek in the box.

This week’s Farmer’s Choice box contained

  • 1 head of lettuce
  • 1 bunch of carrots
  • 1 lb Romano beans
  • 1 Green bell pepper
  • 2 onions
  • 1 lb wax beans
  • 1 head of fennel
  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 1 bunch of Bok Choy
  • 1 lb of squash

I picked up a pint of strawberries and some new potatoes at the farm store to round our my order.

Meal planning with the Farmer’s Choice box

  • Lettuce: Use in salads; lettuce wraps with black beans, corn and pico de gallo
  • Carrots and Romano beans: Use in salads; as a snack with hummus
  • Green bell pepper: Greek salad (I’ve been eating a simple mix of peppers, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, feta and fresh oregano all week)
  • Onions: Use in an easy summer gazpacho; and roasted with new potatoes and thyme
  • Fennel: Shaved fennel salad with fresh herbs, parmesan cheese + olive oil
  • Berries: Breakfast and snacks 
  • Bok Choy…. I’d love some suggestions!  In the meantime, I’ve bookmarked these ideas: Chowing down on Bok Choy: 10 Ways to Love this Asian Green from The Kitchn, Bok Choy Recipes from Cooking Light
  • Squash and wax beans: Handed those off to my sister

And now that I’ve worked up an appetite, it’s time for lunch.

Also On Tap for Today:

Do you belong to a farm share?  What the heck should I do with that Bok Choy?  

Open browser tabs | 3 AM edition

I was trying to get back to sleep after feeding Nick a few nights ago and should have done just that (sleep), but instead I scrolled through the approximately 900 open browser tabs on my iPhone.  

Obvious disclaimer: We all know screens and sleep don’t mix.

open browser tabs

Of these 900 (give or take) browser tabs, there were articles I had started to read (and thought maybe, eventually I’d finish), recipes I hoped to make, and Frenchies I would like to sneak into our home.  The usual.  Plus, like, the unusual.  

If it’s 3 AM and you’re reading this, maybe… put down your phone, sniff some lavender and try to do some sort of sleep visualization.  But if it’s the middle of the day and you’re wondering what on Earth I find interesting enough to keep floating around on my phone for days (or in some cases, months), you’re in luck.

OPEN BROWSER TABS | 3 AM EDITION

  • Find a friend (a.k.a. The tab I will keep open forever and always): Every few months, I spot a Frenchie that I am certain is related to Clark and I try to convince Nick that we need to reunite them.  In our home.  Forever.  I’m selfishly not hyperlinking this one because I want first dibs on our next puppy… and because I think there’s much to be said for adopting pets rather than buying from breeders.  
  • Adele on ’25’: Song by Song//The New York Times:  I thought it was interesting to get the back story to each song on her most recent album.  …Interesting enough that this tab has been open since last November.  
  • 6 Stretches for a Lean, Limber Body//Fitness Magazine: Love the emphasis on hips, hamstrings, glutes and ye olde pelvic floor.
  • Thug Life Shirts: I love a witty workout tee.
  • Farmer’s Choice Boxes from Ward’s Berry Farm in Sharon, MA: We haven’t been home enough this summer to justify a full CSA share, but I’ve been keeping my eye on the weekly box offerings from one of our favorite local farms.  New lists are posted each Monday and you have until Wednesday evening to purchase the week’s box if you’re interested.  This week’s box is $23 and includes blueberries, carrots, tatsoi*, summer squash, red beets, lettuce, onions, mint and fava beans.
  • Seasoned Roasted Corn Salad Cups//Martha Stewart:  Looks like summer perfection.  Maybe sharing will motivate me to give this recipe a try.  Or maybe you can make it for me?
  • The Ultimate Manual Photography Cheat Sheet//PicMonkey: A great (and comprehensive) reference guide.  I love PicMonkey for simple photo editing and design, and their blog features helpful tips and tutorials like this one.
  • Edible Flowers//Gourmet Sweet Botanicals: For an upcoming project.  Or just a tasty, pretty snack.
  • 26 Phrases to Calm an Angry Child//The Huffington Post:  These are the things I read at 3 AM and wish I remembered to say at 3 PM.
  • Mary Ann Moss’ Oh My Gouache class: This is easily my favorite painting class I’ve taken in ages.  I revisit Mary Ann’s posts and videos whenever I get the chance.
  • My traveling postcards//Postcrossing: It’s been a few months since I joined Postcrossing and I’m really enjoying finding something other than Gold’s Gym advertisements in our mailbox.  I found a bunch of really cute vintage postcards on the Cape that I’m itching to send to Germany.  Or Thailand.  Or wherever.

*And… I just opened a new tab:  Google search results for “What the heck is tatsoi?”

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Picking out matching hoodies for the babes (I’ve developed a passion for matching baby/toddler fashion)
  • 18 charts for better, healthier snacking via BuzzFeed
  • Watching the Olympic trials (and getting so excited for the Games)

Alright, spill.  What tab(s) is always open on your phone?

Today: The Weekend According to Instagram 33

We soaked up just enough sunshine this weekend to get us through a rainy start to the week. I hope you all had a lovely couple of days, too!  Here’s what we were up to (in reverse order, Sunday to Saturday…).

The Weekend According to Instagram 33

  1. We enjoyed quite a few walks out at Castle Island this week and weekend, watching the planes flyover and boats come in and out of the harbor.  Oh, and waving to dogs, which is one of Grace’s favorite things to do.  Someone painted this adorable alphabet on the sidewalk near the fort.
  2. My parents’ backyard is in full bloom!  
  3. One of the highlights of our weekend was definitely strawberry picking on Sunday morning at Ward’s Berry Farm.  Grace did some supervising while Nick, my younger brother and I picked nearly a quart of the most delicious strawberries.
  4. Boston was fully decked out for Pride this weekend.  I love this two-story flag hanging in the South End.
  5. This is what I plan to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner this summer.  The basil is from our little deck garden (soon enough we’ll have our own tomatoes, too!).  If only there was such thing as a cheese plant.  It’s important to have dreams.
  6. One of my friends was in town this weekend (yay!) and we met for breakfast and catching up at the Lawn on D.  Such a fun place!

Also On Tap for Today:

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Today: An afternoon in the pumpkin patch.

Reasons why I am the least enjoyable person to be around this time of year (an abbreviated list):

  1. The only pumpkin-flavored things I like are pumpkins.  I don’t want my coffee to taste like a gourd.  I want it to taste like coffee.  Same goes for my M&M’s and my gluten-free beer.
  2. And don’t get me started on fall colors.  I love our condo.  I don’t want to make it ugly with brown and orange stuff.
  3. I am allergic to wool.  Your sweaters had best keep a safe distance from the hives that are about to creep up my neck.
  4. I’m not ready to say goodbye to tomatoes.  If summer tomatoes were a person, and that person was my boyfriend and that boyfriend broke up with me, I would not give his stuff back.

Ward's Berry Farm pumpkins

Nick (who is very much a real person and was once my boyfriend) and I were married in the fall of 2012 and our caterer nearly sent me to a home with her “festive” dessert display at our menu tasting.  I like to think I was a pretty easy-going bride (don’t we all?) and also thought I had made my firm “no fall colors” policy quite clear, so when she rolled out a table festooned with fake leaves and plastic pumpkins, I barely contained a simmering rage.

baby in pumpkin patch

This year, though, I can’t help but look forward to cooler mornings, crinkling leaves and carving pumpkins.  I am guessing I have my daughter to blame thank for that.  Seeing her experience new things is just the best, whether it’s her first time in the water, her first time eating solids, her first time being held by a strange man dressed as the Easter bunny or yes, even her first Fall (I felt like capitalizing the season would help you see that I meant that, and not that I delight in watching her tumble over and potentially become injured). Watching Grace reach for a giant pumpkin and squeal in delight as she grasped its stem has me changing my ways.  All those adorable fall outfits hanging in her closet don’t hurt either.  And if I really dig deep, I guess I could cop to an affinity for soup and scarves.

This weekend we took advantage of the late summer (very-nearly-fall) weather and spent the afternoon at Ward’s Berry Farm in Sharon, Massachusetts.  It’s about 30 minutes from the city and not far from where I grew up.  After walking around a bit, we ventured out to the pumpkin patch to find that their healthy, growing pumpkins were bigger than our healthy, growing child (and too big, frankly, to fit underneath her stroller… or like, in my handbag).  So instead of picking one up there, we took 100 photos and then ventured back to the farm store and purchased a smaller, much more portable, sugar pumpkin.

white pumpkins

I also picked out a few of these gorgeous heirloom gourds and white pumpkins.  They’re like the gateway drug of fall decor… fall-ish, but not brown and orange.  I am dying to make one of the succulent topped pumpkins I saw in the fall issue of Country Gardens (side note: I am 900% obsessed with Next Issue… which is how a city dweller with no garden comes across such gems as Country Gardens.)  Perhaps I can make green and white the new black brown and orange?  And then maybe I will get a show on Netflix about my life as an over-tired working mom who wastes time making succulent topped pumpkins when she should be, like, sleeping?

heirloom gourds

In addition to a tremendous selection of farm fresh produce and local treats, Ward’s is also home to Sunny Rock 4H Club’s barnyard animals.  Grace was sort of ambivalent about the goats, but Nick got right in there.  The man never misses a chance to feed the animals.

goats

Did I mention they have mini horses?

fly fly lil sebastian

If you asked me who my all time favorite television mini-horse is, my answer would obviously be: It’s a tie between Lil Sebastian + MiniDuh.

You know, fall’s looking pretty good, after all. (But do not tell that caterer I said so.)

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on your fall bucket list?