Our latest homeschooling adventure was one called Pick Your Own – and no, I’m not talking “noses” here.  No lessons needed with that one I’m afraid.  We’re already pros.

Strawberry Picking with the Kids

Yes, we went berry picking.  Another day, another field trip – this time for more local, fresh strawberries.  Our third trip in the span of a week for these red bundles of joy got me thinking:  I haven’t always gotten so nerdily excited when it comes to eating foods in season.

Lettuce Procreate

June 6th, 2011 | Posted by Alison Spath in Healthy Habits - (2 Comments)

Lettuce plants and kids have a lot in common.

Lettuce Gets Morning Sunshines

Some days they’re so cute you can’t help but nuzzle your face right into them, and then other days you’re tempted to just bite their little heads right off.

How’s your lettuce container garden coming along?  (It’s still not too late to start one, you know.)  Mine is one month old and has been relocated from full sun in the backyard to part shade on the railing of the front porch.  It now only gets a wee bit o’ sunshine the in the early AM hours and then lollygags about in the shade for the rest of the day – asking for something to eat and then begging me to play Old Maid when I’m done folding the laundry.

About a month ago, I’d finally had it with the remaining black walnuts in my attic. I couldn’t take the guilt I felt from hoarding these practically uncrackable nuts, robbing the poor squirrels of their winter sustenance. I could hear the nuts up there through the floor boards at night – directly over our bedroom no less – thumping. The Tell-Tale Nuts.

Feeling completely defeated and annoyed at all the work involved in getting these dang nuts open, I decided that it made the most sense to give what remained of my stash back to the expert nut crackers.

Grow Your Own

May 17th, 2011 | Posted by Alison Spath in Healthy Habits - (9 Comments)

Last year we devoted an entire bed in our garden to growing spinach, moving in other vegetable plants when all the spinach we’d planted had been harvested.  I absolutely loved growing my own spinach, and I especially loved the ease at which I could bolt out the back door, snag a couple of leaves from the ground and shove it into a wrap, salad or sandwich and then straight into my mouth.  Local and organic?  These are a few of my favorite things.

CSA = Community Supported Agriculture.  (Not “Can’t Stand Alison”, thankyouverymuch.)

If this acronym is new to you, in short – a CSA is an opportunity for you, the consumer, to get your produce direct from a local farmer.  Find a farm that offers CSA memberships and you can buy a share of their crops for what will hopefully be a bounty of locally grown fruit and/or vegetables from late spring until mid fall – or whatever the growing season is where you live.

Dear Scale,

I would like to take this time to thank you for having so much in common with a well known antagonist.


You have taunted me, pointed fingers at me, cackled at me and threatened to steal away my little dog. (OK maybe not that last one. But then again I don’t have a dog.)

But now, thanks to some splashy children and your inability to bear so much water weight due poor placement at our new house, you are dead.

Strawberry Shortcuts

June 13th, 2010 | Posted by Alison Spath in Healthy Habits - (14 Comments)

In my continual quest to show my brood that food doesn’t grow on grocery store shelves, in conjunction with my desire to save money on produce whilst flying under the child labor law radar, we went strawberry picking this week.

Strawberry Sign

I’m trying to get you to believe that I’m this do-awesome-stuff-feed-my-kids-right-awesomely-incredible homeschooling mom, but really it was about getting the hell out of the house for a few hours and finding something different to do that wasn’t going to end with me paying a bunch of late fees to the library.

Child Labor

A NEAT Morning

November 20th, 2009 | Posted by Alison Spath in Healthy Habits - (11 Comments)

Given that yesterday was our Stay At Home day, I decided to take the girls car seats out of the car to wash the covers. Upon removing the Britax Beasts, I discovered they were harboring a small community of broken crayons, cheerios and Kashi granola bar crumb fugitives.

So this morning instead of running past the car wash like I do day after day, I thought my carseat-less vehicle could use a little quality time with the vacuum before I spent a half hour reinstalling the seats.

Mama Appleseed

October 21st, 2009 | Posted by Alison Spath in Healthy Habits - (12 Comments)

Today’s homeschooling activity du jour? Apple picking!

We met up with some homeschooling friends at an apple orchard today to enjoy the blast of warm air we’ve had and to do a classic upstate NY fall activity – slip on rotting apples and sit on pumpkins.

Kids! Running!

Kids.  Running.

All the varieties available for picking – some of which I’d never even heard of. Topaz, Fortune, Northern Spy? Come on, you’re just making these up.

Tons'O Apples

On our way to pick some Crispins, Mama Appleseed’s fav!


Apples on Tree

Lettuce Go for a Bike Ride

August 15th, 2009 | Posted by Alison in Healthy Habits - (15 Comments)

Having gotten my run in last night, I was just plum in the mood to go for a bike ride this morning.

Pre Ride Plum

I didn’t want to go too far or too long because I had plans to hit up the Farmer’s Market at the end.

I rode around town and just shy of 40 minutes rolled into the Farmer’s Market about a mile and a half from home. It’s held in the parking lot of church and I always pay careful attention to where I park lest I’m struck dead by lightening.

Thou Shall Not Park Here