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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Summer Fun Favorites!

Hi again! 

I feel as though I haven't written a post in a while.  I had an amazing vacation in Portland, Oregon to thank for that as well as a seven-year old boy to entertain all summer.  We had a blast!  So, I thought I would list some of the fun/healthy things we did that highlighted this summer!

Fun Farm Afternoon:  Another family and ours met up for the afternoon and decided to head to Tangerini's Farm.  We got some veggies, let the kids run around the hay maze, let them feed the animals, and had some icecream. We had a beautiful afternoon soaking up some fresh air and vitamin D.  The best past of bringing the kids to the farm is that they are exposed to where their food comes from (not just the grocery store) and show them that they have local food available to them as well!

Lake days:  I brought the kids down to some lakes early in the summer, including Wallum Lake in Douglas and Mendon Town Beach in Mendon.  I packed up some of our own snacks like fruit, nuts, air-popped popcorn, carrot sticks, and homemade sandwiches so I could skip the unhealthy snack bars and icecream truck.  We laid out the blanket in a nice shady spot and let my older son run around to his heart's content.

CSA Pick-up Days:  I belong to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), where I give a farm money to be a member, and then every week I arrive with my bags to pick up this week's bounty.  I belong to Tangerini's Farm, which has been great.  Last year I did Heirloom Harvest which was also wonderful (but too far away with the baby).  Each week my mother and I loaded the kids in the car and picked up our goodies.  The great part is that each week there is "U-pick" items as well.  My son loves to pick veggies and then is more inclined to try them out when they are on his plate later!  For more information about finding a local CSA near you check out  If the CSA isn't for you, they will also tell you how to find local farmers markets as well!

Jammin:  So one morning I woke up and I called my mom from bed and the conversation went kind of like this-- "Hey mom, want to go buy 5 lbs of blueberries and make jam?"  "Sure honey, I will be over in a little bit".  And instead of buying just 5 lbs, we went with 10.  That afternoon we made a ton of jam to last us the winter.  We plan to pick the concord grapes growing in my yard to make grape jelly next week because the grapes are almost there.   Next year we plan to do strawberries as well!

Grill nights with friends/family:  This summer, instead of going out to eat with friends/family, we decided to have them over!  We made simple meals that were local and seasonal and avoided going out for meals that were more expensive, higher in salt and fat, and made from less-than-ideal ingredients!  Examples include:
  • Grampie meal:  Grilled whole chicken, grilled baked potatoes with onion, salad, and sauteed greens.
  • Dad meal:  Steamed mussels in a tomato wine sauce with fresh salad.
  • Friend meal:  Steamed lobsters and steamers, grilled baked potatoes and grilled summer squashes, with a salad.
Picnic in the back yard:  My husband worked from home one day so we decided to have a picnic in the backyard with both kids.  My older son Sam played on his play structure and swing set and baby Levi laid on the blanket.  We soaked up some sun and fresh air and ate a nice little picnic lunch.

I hope you had a happy/healthy summer that include a lot of good memories!  Having a good time and staying healthy can be synonymous if you keep it light, fun and simple!  Although I do have to say, that as much fun as I had this summer, I would say that I am enjoying having Sam back to school to get back into a routine. I do plan on posting more often now that Sam is back in school too!

Enjoy the remainder of the summer! 

In health and wellness,
Nicole Harter

1 comment:

  1. Love it! Definitely have to find out about that CSA project, such a great idea!