Urban Farm!

GARDENYesterday was my birthday and it could not have been a more beautiful and exciting day.  I was invited to attend the first ever alfresco, locally sourced dinner at Urban Farm on Randall’s Island.  Travelling by water taxi with wine in hand, I was transported to a 3,000 square foot urban farm that aims to provide schools and groups who lack on-site or proximal open space with the experience of environmental education and nutritional learning by growing, harvesting, and eating farm-fresh produce. It was appropriate to have celebrated my birthday here, as I actually spent the beginning years of my life being raised on a farm with my mother and my sister in northern Vermont – essentially I felt I was brought back to my roots.  I was very lucky to have grown up with nature and I hope that the Urban Farm program continues to expand and help city schools educate about the importance of utilizing the earth and natural ways to fuel bodies, minds, and spirits. The sun set as I tasted fresh raw clams and explored the grounds.  herbsI stuck my hands into the beds of herbs, rubbing the scents into my skin and tasting the fresh basil, mint, rosemary, chives and thyme (which we could all use some more of!) chickens Chickens roamed around and the grass was as soft as you could ever dream of.  And no, I did not eat these chickens, these ones are solely responsible for eggs!  In fact they are so well-praised, they flocked away from my camera chirping “no pictures, no pictures.” Dinner was served under a pink and yellow hued sky in a field overlooking the river with a lively blue grass band. All of the food was locally grown and organic – both the sea bass and the rib eye were excellent and the vegetables and fruits were literally grown just feet away from where we were sitting.  As the night snuck in and the bright flames from the candles danced on the table top, I felt free and happy.  A perfect ending to what had been a perfect day, trying out a Stray Boots adventure earlier in the day. This tour lead me around the West Village into unique boutiques, secret gardens, quaint restaurants, and important landmarks.  Set up as a scavenger hunt that allowed me to see the city (and my favorite area of it) in a whole new way, even after almost 8 years of residency – and to be treated to flowers, food & surprises all along the way. I would recommend both of these adventures to anyone! And I feel very lucky to have had such a special and beautiful birthday. I’m looking forward to another year of throwing caution to the wind, following my heart, facing challenges head on, and rising up to meet every opportunity.  URBAN FARM 2

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