Our Mindful Life

Our Mindful Life: August 2012

Our Mindful Life

Our Mindful Life is about paying attention to what it is that we do on a day to day basis and how we impact each other and the planet. We will talk about all of the things that we do here at home to make ourselves and the world a better place.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Farmer's Market Find

Welcome to the August 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Farmer's Markets

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about something new they've learned about their local farmers.


Our family has been going to the farmer's market for five years now.  We know which sellers never spray at several different markets.   We know which market to hit for which deals, depending on our needs that week.  We know what produce to expect at any given time of year and what to expect to pay for it.

Of course, we know all of this about farmer's markets in Missouri...    Where we don't live anymore.

So, we've had a good time learning about the farmer's markets in our new areas in Ohio.  We are learning about prices, sprays, times, and gardening specialties.  It's been a pleasant surprise to learn that most of the farmers at our local markets grow without pesticides or chemical fertilizers - because that is what the buyers want.

It has been a great experience, to say the least.  One of our favorite sellers is a farm belonging to a local Amish family.  Baby Elliott loves to see the horse used to pull the wagon into town.  During the market he is tied to a nearby tree, in the shade.  Elliott points at him and excitedly yells, "doggy!" every time.  And the best part is that this farm is selling a product we had never seen at a farmer's market before!  In fact, it is a product we had never thought to source locally at all, before.  So we have been quite excited to find it not only local, not only direct from the farmer who makes it, but also cheaper than what we've previously been able to purchase it for!

MAPLE SYRUP!  Local, Ohio maple syrup, made on the farm!  And it tastes great too!


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon August 14 with all the carnival links.)

  • 10 Simple Ways to Make the Farmer's Market More Fun for Kids — Lorie at Reading Confetti shares ideas and books to help kids get the most from the farmers market experience.
  • 10 Things I Want To Teach My Daughter About The Importance of Shopping at the Farmer’s Market — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares the ten lessons she hopes to impart to her daughter about the importance of shopping at local farmers markets.
  • Charmed by Two Small Town Markets — Shannon at GrowingSlower was charmed by two small-town farmers markets while on vacation.
  • The Olympia Farmer's Market (and a giveaway!) — Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes and family took a trip to their state capitol to experience a new market. See what they saw, and enter to win a book written about that very market.
  • On the Hunt . . . At the Farmer’s Market! — Exploring the farmers market by Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy writing at Natural Parents Network — with a scavenger hunt!
  • Exploring the Market ... Alphabet StyleThat Mama Gretchen is in the midst of creating a learning tool for her toddler and it's all about the market!
  • Unschooling at the Farmers Market — Megz at Aspen Mama loves building memories as a vendor at the Market.
  • Montessori-Inspired Vegetable Unit — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares links to Montessori-inspired vegetable printables and activities to help your family get the most out of a trip to the farmer’s market.
  • Markets — How sustainable mum has fitted a monthly farmers market into a weekly food shop.
  • The Farmers Market In Under An Hour ("Carl Style") — Andrea and family at Tales of Goodness adapt their farmers marketing approach to make everyone happy.
  • Tales Of a Troubled Gardener — Sam at Love Parenting writes about her dream of self-sufficiency and her lack of gardening skills!
  • A Few {Of The Many} Reasons Why I Love Our Farmer’s Market — Even though the experience can sometimes be less than peaceful, MomeeeZen shares why she enjoys taking her family to the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings.
  • Experiencing the Farmer's Market from a Different Perspective — Emily at S.A.H.M. i AM had a great time letting her toddler lead the way at the farmer's market...
  • Ask A Farmer's Daughter — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter answers questions about her life growing up on a small family farm in New England.
  • Giving Up the Grocery Store — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares her family's summertime challenge to eliminate trips to the grocery store and rely almost exclusively on local, farm-fresh foods.
  • Urban farming and fresh food in the city — Lauren at Hobo Mama takes trips to farms, gardens, and markets within reach of a big city.
  • Market Tip: Get to Know Your Farmers — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger finally gets up the guts to talk to her farmers and learns she is among ardent food lovers.
  • New Farmer's Market Find — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is excited to make a new find at her new farmers market.
  • "The Real World" Grassroots Edition — jessica at instead of institution takes some time out to write a love note.
  • 9 Insider Tips for Farmer's Market Newbies — Dionna at Code Name: Mama chatted with a few farmers to bring you some insider information on how to get the most out of your local farmer's market.
  • The Place Where I Can Say "Yes!" — Erica at ChildOrganics gives you a tour of her favorite vendors at her local farmers market and discusses the benefits of creating community through the market.
  • Raw Local Milk — Jorje shares her family's field trip to a local dairy. Learn what you can appreciate from a small town farm at Momma Jorje.com.
  • Italian Secret Vegetable Soup Recipe — Alinka at Baby Web convinces an Italian Farmer & Cook to reveal a precious minestrone recipe and shares it with her readers.
  • Where do our eggs come from? A visit to Sucellus Farms. — Carli at One Fit Mom takes her family to meet the chickens that have been providing their daily eggs.
  • Beyond the Farm — Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy and her family enjoy looking beyond the food at the local farmer's market to see the wares of the over vendors.
  • Magic at the Market — Do you ever take time to really look at the food you eat? Amy at Anktangle enjoys marveling at the beauty (and the utility) of the foods and goods available at the farmers' market.
  • Farmer's Market Discoveries — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen reminisces about the discoveries she's made at the Farmer's Market throughout the years.
  • Are You Getting the Most out of Your Farmers' Market? (My List of Not-So-Common "Musts") — Sheila at A Living Family shares some uncommon ways to squeeze even more joy and connection (and yumminess!) from your local farmers' market experience.
  • Pick Your Own And Eat It — Luschka from Diary of a First Child shares their trip to a PYO farm and the journey from picking to eating her favourite food
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    Tuesday, August 7, 2012

    Small Space Storage and Organization

    Papa and I are no strangers to small spaces.  In fact, we kind of have a thing for them.    One of the things we have learned about small spaces is that you really need to think outside the box with them.  You really have to search out the nooks and crannies with them, unlike larger spaces.  Our current small space, the camper, is a work in progress, but I wanted to share some of the tricks we've employed to make three and a half months of five people living in about 300 square feet possible.

    Let's start with this little corner!

    This is our menu board, fruit basket, and the kids' art supplies.  The menu board was inspired by the one here.  The idea was great, but I needed it to go a step further.  One of my downfalls in life is that I have a ridiculously difficult time coming up with ideas for side dishes - or even remembering to think of them in a timely manner.  So, I set up the menu board to help me with this.  Each color of clothespin is one day.  There is a color for each day of the week.  The top row is for the main dish.  The middle row is for a veggie or fruit side.  The bottom row is for a starch based side.  I made the little strips of construction paper and wrote down all of our options on them. Red is beef, orange is pork, yellow is chicken, and green is main dishes with fish or veggies.  Blue is sides.  I store all of the strips in zip top baggies for now, but I would like to find some type of little cups I can hang on the wall for them.  At the beginning of the week, the kids and I plan out our menu for the week.

    Next up is our fruit basket.  Don't mind that it seems to be a bit sideways.  We started out with a long, narrow basket at the back of the table, along the wall.  But with Elliott's reach getting longer and longer, we were growing short on tabletop space.  Then I saw this basket on pinterest, and my wheels got to spinning!  But I felt that the rigid metal in that basket might bruise delicate fruit.  So we found this basket with the wire frame wrapped in raffia, and it seemed to be just the thing.

    Last is the under cabinet basket of art supplies.  I originally saw the idea here, and it was the perfect solution for the conundrum of where to put the kids' things that we didn't want the baby to get in to.  This one holds the coloring books, crayons, dry erase boards and dry erase crayons and markers.

    The one on this side holds paper page books.  And just beyond it is our spice storage.  The top basket came from the bathroom section of Walmart.  It came with suction cups which we removed and then screwed it to the wall.  The lower one came from a thrift store and has two levels.  Honestly, though, we have more spices than we can fit in this set up.  We would prefer to have 3 of the larger ones.  We just haven't sprung for them yet.

    This is some of our storage and organization in the dining area.  I'll share more from the kitchen and bath next week!

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