We are already almost to four weeks into summer around here and the lack of routines and schedules is making us all a little jumpy. I have to admit, I don’t love summer. Sleeping in, seeing friends and going exploring is cool for a while and then my tots start marching off the edge with boundless energy and opressive hot summer days.
This week we had a quick getaway to see some friends at Dillon Beach. I definitely want to share some tips with you since this was our second year vacationing there. If you haven’t heard of Dillon Beach, it’s a sleepy beach on the Marin coast where cool summer days becon those of us overheating in the valley.
This weekend we are unpacking and packing again for our next short trip to Sonoma wine country next week. So ready for some lazy days by the river. We are also going to try to get out for some blueberry picking, farmer’s market shopping and getting some house projects finished. Here is what we are obsessing over around here right now
Last week was one of those weeks that finishes before it begins. With Spring Break and the holiday weekend we are all ready for a nap! This weekend I want to get ready for pool season and get myself amped up for spring. We are going to finish putting our patio furniture outside and buy some pieces we need to complete our set. We need to stock up for the week at the farmer’s market and do some meal prep for the week to keep us on track. What are you doing this weekend? Here is what we are obsessed with today
As we enter week two of our kitchen remodel (our before kitchen is pictured here) I realize how unprepared my meal planning really was before demo. Similar to when we had our first child and I completely ignored everyone’s advice to cook-ahead, freeze meals and stock up. We were so desperate for food those first weeks. This time around I should have listened to that same advice. I didn’t.
Making meals ahead of time and freezing them would have been awesome planning ahead. Really I’m not sure I could have done it. With everything families have going on every day it seems unrealistic to plan ahead two weeks of dinners. Not to mention where do you put them all?
Be realistic about how long you are going to be without a kitchen.
Demo- 1-2 days
Cabinet Install- 2-3 days depending on size of kitchen
Countertop Fabrication and Install- 7-10 days depending on size of kitchen
Appliance Install-1 day
Here is how we are surviving our kitchen remodel on a budget without eating out every day. (more…)
This week at Farm Tots was full of exploring and learning about citrus farming in our area. This was the first year we were able to get out of the house and visit some of our local mandarin farms. My tots are obsessed with mandarins and call them orangies because they are a cuter smaller version of oranges. Instead of buying them at our usual store, Costco, I wanted to get outside and find where we could buy them locally.
We are getting ready for a Farm Tots style Thanksgiving and preparing for some upcoming travel. While I am doing laundry and organizing our household here is what I am thinking about and reading and what my weekend inspiration is this week. (more…)
It’s spring! We can be outside more and it is perfect weather for outside projects. You know what the best part of outside projects is? No clean up! My favorite projects are ones that my tots can be involved in completely and this one fits that requirement.
My family loves to stand by the windows in our family room looking outside and trying to figure out what birds are visiting us that day. Now that it’s nice outside we are getting lots more bird friends coming to see us. I figured. Why not offer them a snack?
One of the best part of having Farm Tots is that they start to appreciate the plants and animals close to home more and more.
In a large bowl add ingredients, mix well until blended. Let tots mix with their hands. Should make bath time more interesting.
Line your work surface with wax paper and weigh down the corners.
Press seed mixture into a cookie cutter, press firmly so mixture is tight packed and insert a piece of your straw into the shape to make a hole in your “cookie”. Be sure not to make your hole too close to the top, or the yarn will break right through when it’s hung. Cookies are easily broken. Take it from us.
Let sit for one minute, then slowly slide your cookie out of your cookie cutter. Repeat until all your mixture has been used up. Let the cookies dry over night and don’t move them! Even if they seem dry. They aren’t. We know. From experience.
String your twine through the hole and tie them. Hang from a visible tree. Watch your new friends arrive!
Four years ago my first child Benjamin was born in the small farming community of Davis, CA. Through bleary sleep deprived eyes I took my colicky swaddled boy and started endless walks up and down the meandering paths that weaved through our town. Through sun filtered trees he started to calm as the cool Delta breezes brushed his dark hair from his inquisitive eyes. I realized quickly that this child was meant to be outdoors. We explored every inch of every trail that was accessible by stroller and I spoke softly showing him all that the nature surrounding us had to offer. Horses poked their heads over our back fence and I would point them out each morning to Benjamin and saw his first smiles as could focus his gaze on them.
Nothing could relax Benjamin like being outside and we were fortunate enough to be surrounded by miles of farmland in all directions. We started venturing out on short drives as the weeks and months started to blur together. We watched cattle grazing and learned about goats and sheep. We visited apple orchards and corn fields and I pushed that stroller through dirt pastureland and through muddy puddles.
Our family moved from Davis before Benjamin’s first birthday and settled in another rural community. This time we found ourselves in El Dorado Hills in the Sierra Foothills just outside Sacramento, CA. We wanted a home with more land and a lower cost for housing and found just that. As we planted our own garden and got ourselves settled we welcomed a new family member, our second child, Harper.
With two children we found it even more important to continue to teach our family about the area we had settled. Benjamin was now the most active two year old boy we could imagine so getting him outside where he could run free, kick the land and move his arms freely was the only way we could get through the transition to having two children in diapers. We set out on weekend trips exploring the foothills and getting to know the people who grow the ingredients that had become staples in our quest for local cuisine.
We made a decision as a family to eat local and organic as much as possible. When that wasn’t available we would at least try to eat local and as a last resort procure ingredients that were organic from our local stores. We began cooking more seasonally and learned about what our area offered during different month of the year.
For the last year on each of our outings I have commented to my Husband that there aren’t many resources for families looking to teach their children about local harvests. The idea for a blog about tot friendly farms and food festivals swirled in my mind for weeks and months. Now, with a four year old and two year old I have decided to make this blog a priority and try to provide another resource for families that want to learn more about where there food comes from. I hope our passions for farming, local harvests and cooking can inspire others to try to eat more local foods and teach their children about the importance of land stewardship and how farming fits into the future.