Friday, June 29, 2012

Our first CSA pickup from Riverglen Farm!

Yesterday was our first pickup of our veggie box from Riverglen Farm ( Over the past few years we have become much more conscientious about what we are eating and where are food is coming from. We are still growing some of our own summer veggies in our back garden - tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, beans, peas, carrots, peppers, lettuce, spinach, onions and cabbage - our little 12x4 garden patch can actually grow quite a bit! But we decided this year to supplement our garden with a bi-weekly box of organically grown veggies from a local farm - this service is called Community Supported Agriculture. It helps farms sustain their business and it offers your family the freshest and healthiest food options. It is a young couple that run the farm and are trying to make a go of their business. Everyone is so very friendly and really puts an effort into getting to know the people supporting their farm. They are so great with Ewan and he absolutely loves getting to see their animals and people actually working the farm.

Yesterday, our basket of goodies had lettuce, salad greens, peas, onions, garlic scapes, turnips, radishes,  herbs, and swiss chard. The farm also sells eggs year round as well as chicken three times a year - so we also added some farm fresh eggs and three huge chickens to our order. The radishes, turnips and garlic scapes are the three veggies that we are not familiar with so I spent last night coming up with some new recipes to try.

I am excited to be sourcing almost all of our summer - fall foods locally and knowing exactly where our food is coming from and how it is being grown. I think it is a great experience for Ewan seeing exactly how food is produced as opposed to it magically appearing in the grocery store. As well as beginning to understand that different seasons and weather bring around different types of foods. In fact our grocery store trip this morning was so very short and sweet with only one bag of dried goods and we were in and out in only a few minutes.

My only dilemma is how to explain to Ewan that we are eating his beloved chickens. As I was putting the chickens into the cooler, Ewan said "you don't have those chickens over there, right?" I said those chickens over there gave us the eggs that we have and these are eating chickens in the cooler. I didn't have the heart to tell him that we were going to eat the chickens that he had just spent 30 minutes running around and playing with.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Getting Creative!

So over the past few weeks I have been feeling a lot more creative - probably because Alan has been travelling for work a lot and I have had more time on my hands. I have been working hard again at my scrapbooking and Ewan's book is now up to date as well as a scrapbook that I made of 'Just the 3 of us' - between Ewan's 1st birthday and up until Isla was born. I have also been making some good progress on Isla's baby book. After Isla's baby book I am definitely going to be making yearly books online with a digital album - they are not nearly as time consuming and easier since all of my pics are organized online.

Besides scrap booking, Ewan and I also made stepping stones and a 'children's garden' for him to take care of and play in any way that he would like. In the garden we included lots of different 'feely' plants, colours, smells, logs and rocks, and a little place for him to plant seeds. Ewan absolutely loves being in this garden and can water it from the rain barrel all day long. The stepping stones were a really nice personal touch - we used the plastic tray for under pots, cement and then made footprints in them. Word of advice - make sure you have someone quite strong with you if you are buying a bag of cement. I definitely did realize how heavy cement is and had to wonder around the store and parking lot for some one to lift the bag for me - I couldn't move it at all!

Another artsy thing we attempted was dying play silks ourselves. If you have never used scarves or play silks I highly recommend them. They are a great sensory activity for babies and toddlers and then turn into a great imaginative tool for older kids. the are simply scarves of all different sizes that can be dyed lots of fun colours. Isla loves sucking on the scarves and playing peek a boo and Ewan dances with them, uses them as grass when playing with his farm, water with sea animals or as part of a costume. I will be placing another order of these soon - they are quite reasonable when ordered in bulk, so let me know if you are interested in placing an order with me. Again, a really great open ended 'toy', a perfect addition to any playroom.

My next project is going to be making a mobile. I have all of my supplies and I am hoping to begin this week. My thought is that it might make Isla like her crib more. I know I am just grasping for straws here. But it is also really beautiful.

I have also been thinking of some great craft ideas for the kids at the summer camp program. There are sure to be a few new ideas in addition to some A Gym Tale classic art projects this summer.

What have you been crafting?

Friday, June 15, 2012


This week Ewan, Isla and I ventured to Miller's farm in Manotick to do some Strawberry picking. This is the first time that I have taken Ewan strawberry picking and he absolutely loved it! We chose the largest basket (which didn't look that big at the time) and Ewan picked away for a good hour. He loved digging through the bushes and walking down each of the rows. I had picked some, but my back was in a lot of pain having Isla in the sling while picking - I sure wish my baby would sit in a stroller! So Ewan actually picked almost all of our berries. He also enjoyed walking around the farm and looking at all of the tractors and helping to water some flowers.

Since then we have baked some strawberry muffins, made strawberry smoothies, strawberries in yogurt and on ice cream and just eaten a whole lot of strawberries! Any other strawberry ideas? Send them my way:)

We will definitely try making it out a few more times before the strawberries are out of season. It was really a great activity for the whole family and created a positive experience about growing our food and eating healthy.

I can't wait for raspberries next month!