Fresh Produce at Farmer’s Markets!!

There is no refuting that Wholefoods inspired a new appreciation for full and ripe vegetables, dew-misted greens and the idea of responsible shopping for fresh food.

That being said, there is still the fair-trade option (albeit a little less fresh) at Trader Joe’s or the slow and labor-intensive task of growing your own veggies!

Oh wait, there is one more option… have someone else do it for you and buy direct from farms!

Here are some great websites and apps that connect you to shop local!

Localharvest.org

  • Type in your zip code to find farmer’s markets near you.

Harvesttohand.com

  • A mobile app that helps guide you to farm stands, farmer’s markets, and locally made products.

Gusta.com

  • Enables you to find, reserve, and prepay for local culinary events by local chefs. Great for travel!

Grownyc.org

  • Many cities have their own version of this website that lists the city’s green markets.

If you can’t get to a local market, you can still eat like it using mobile apps aimed towards eating well.

Fooducate allows you to see a letter grade instead of attempting to decipher confusing labels by scanning your products with your smart phone!

Gojee helps you utilize what you already have while putting less known ingredients to use. Finally, you can use star fruit like you do oranges!

In West Tisbury on Martha’s Vineyard there is a Farmer’s Market every Wednesday and Saturday from 9am – 12pm. Below, you can visually experience my journey visiting the Farmer’s Market, “honor system” stands sprinkled on streets nearby, and the Flea Market in Chilmark.

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Spicy Fried Eggs, Summer Salad, & Bagel

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Spicy Fried Eggs, Summer Salad, & Bagel

Using left-overs from dinner & an hors d’oeuvres party, I made a delicious and spicy breakfast today!

Fried eggs with shredded Habanero Cheddar (added to the egg whites while cooking)

Paired with a summer salad of cucumber, greens, avocado, and a homemade dressing of olive oil, mustard, and balsamic vinegar.

Then, on top of a sesame seed bagel half, I used the lemon hummus, goat cheese & herbs we didn’t quite finish two evenings before.

It all turned out spicy and delicious!!

Stick to TAPE

There are some amazing companies revamping Tape’s image. No longer does tape have to play second fiddle, shadowed by paper’s beauty and decorative versatility!

First, to be inspired, click here to see Rebecca Ward’s tape installations.

Below are product examples! Click on the individual tapes for their sources.

Tonight… We SAIL!!!

In celebration of my mother’s birthday, twenty of her closest friends will be setting sail on The Alabama for a sunset cruise. 

We will be bringing our rain jackets for protection from the cool ocean spray and crackers and seafood spread from Larsen’s Fish Market, Menemsha, Martha’s Vineyard. 

In honor of our evening I have a wonderful collection of nautical inspired fashion, food, & decor.

…Please enjoy!

Ahoy…

First is a gallery of appropriate sailing apparel. Make sure to include ‘boat shoes,’ something warm (preferably waterproof), and something with a hint of sailor-fashion.

Tom’s are a great style that support a great causeBeautiful Driving Moccasins by Tod’s

Mossimo’s flats are also a fun find 

Bensimon USA’s lightweight, tennis shoes are another great, colorful, and quick drying option

The cake goes to Mast’s unparalleled waterproof loafers! 

My look today is:

A cute shift from J. Crew with a light blue and white striped pattern, adorned with yellow stitching on the shoulders.

This raincoat from Zara will compliment my outfit while keeping me warm and dry as the evening progresses.

And let’s not forget accessory totes: Raybans, chap-stick, towel, etc. I will carry in this great color-blocked tote.

Other fun combination pieces are shown below.

  

Now back to land!

Decor

Include great seat poofs that are lightweight and easy to maneuver.  

You can also use ground and wall covers to add depth without wasting footprints. Starting as a decorative touch to seating, this cashmere throw will be priceless as evening temperatures dip in outdoor locations. You may also provide some blankets around the property in galvanized bins. The Macbeth Collection has literally hundreds of designs and options to suit your needs.  Click for designs!

Instead of going wild with the nautical theme, include key pieces to accent your summer event.  You may also trade in usual coolers for specialty picnic coolers, available in hundreds of designs.

 This amazing 60 hour candle rope always reminds me of kerosine lanterns and fishing villages of years past.  A floating oil candle could act as the lighthouse beacon in centerpieces.

 Hanging miniature metal oil lamps add the seafaring atmosphere to evening lighting

 As for hors d’oeuvres…

Use small nautical flags to label dishes (DIY using paper, glue, & toothpicks!) Great for any party, especially ocean inspired cocktails (try to consolidate serving dishes)

This cheese tray also incorporates dipping sauces to save space and reduce the risk of spillage.

Wine trays are also a wonderful idea for cocktail parties with limited seating. 

As you can see, ranging from true boating parties to themed events, nautical influenced party ideas are endless! Have fun with bold patterns and preppy colors and don’t forget to include the ocean in your plans!

Birds, birds, everywhere!

After once again being inspired by the singing birds of Martha’s Vineyard mornings, I found myself looking through a cache of wonderful pieces from the UK’s Rockett St George site.

I’ve added some other great accents as well… please enjoy!

Summer Garden Sprouts

** Remember to click each picture for links to great websites**

My sister just adopted some tomatoes from the street in Boston. Yes, three orphaned tomato sprouts were on the side of the road next to a sign that read, “Looking for a kind home with lots of sun and rich soil!”

It’s difficult harvesting vegetables in the city, but the result is often well worth the effort. Below are some bright ideas for creating your own city garden.

Space savors! 

Begin your garden by using old eggshells… 

  • When cracking eggs for breakfast, save 3/4 of each shell, then rinse them with water and allow them to dry.
  • Using a safety pin, carefully poke a hole in the bottom of each shell, as this small hole will serve as an exit for future roots to use.
  • Fill the eggshell 3/4 full with dirt.
  • Plant your seeds! When they begin to sprout, you can plant the entire shell into the garden. Ultimately, the roots will break through the shell’s base and, as the shell crumbles, will absorb fertilizer from the surrounding soil.  

You can also skip the shells and simply use the cardboard to get them started. 

Or, you may even decide to skip saving eggs & containers altogether, in which case, you can just buy some starter kits!  While it’s not quite a ‘starter,’ as it is meant to remain a home to cute herbs, the eggling is still a fun gift… 

The Micro-Green grow box is also meant to be the end all answer to your city-gardening needs. All you need is a windowsill!

Now that your plants have sprouted, you have to decide where to put them; an obstacle that needn’t obstruct your urban garden plans!

Vertical Farming

One option is to hang them from a door.

Another vertical gardening option is to build shelves, using containers you can collect from recycling, Good Will, or other second hand stores.Additionally, you can create your own shelving (that is easily dissembled in the autumn and stored for next season) using a ladder and some boards.

And, of course, there is always the option to purchase something like this designer trellis.

Some of the best indoor growers from start to harvest are mushrooms. There are hundreds of kits out there, but the two I love most are below:

A DIY project! (Click for the steps)  And a purchase option (Great gift for the city gardener)… 

Choosing the right plant for your garden is also important. Peas are natural vertical growers that are beautiful because they climb towards the sun, sharing their flowers along the way.

  • Hint: Provide a small base and something for them to crawl up.

Spider Web Style – have fun with your strings; the peas will follow your lead!You can also finally make use of that ladder you’ve saved in case you might need it. By hanging wires from the rungs to each pot, you will encourage many happy vines to sprout with the additional benefit of creating a little privacy from your neighbor. Here’s another example of good, old-fashioned, resourcefulness. Use what you have (a ladder, old chair, fencing).
 And, if you are one of the lucky ones with a backyard… PLEASE get this amazing rocking chair/trellis: 

I’ve also recently started composting for next year’s garden (it takes about 6 months to begin a compost). Below you will find the tips that I use: 

  • Construct a bin by drilling 1/4″ holes 4″-6″ apart to allow the compost to breathe. 
  • Begin filling your compost by the green/brown rule: Three parts brown to one part green.
  • Begin with your three parts brown:

Brown: Leaves, shredded newspaper, twigs  


  • Wet everything until it has the consistency of a wrung out sponge.
  • Add your one part green to ‘activate’ your compost:

Green: Fruit & vegetable peels, weeds & lawn clippings, trimmings & rinds

  • Smell-you-later: top your greens with more browns to keep your bin working properly and avoid smelling. Continue the layering with one part green, three parts brown, one part green, etc.
  • Rotate or stir your pile weekly, checking for the bottom to smell earthy and to appear very dark and crumbly (this normally occurs after 6 months).

 (An amazing ready to roll compost unit… easy to turn!) 

  • Harvest your fertilizer to help harvest your crops!

Brunch at home!

After missing brunch yesterday morning, I had a case of the ‘sorrys’ – a derivative of a saying once used to describe days when we were moody (the ‘meanies’), but that is now altered to describe any mood throughout the day.

Rather than missing out on the joy of a delicious Sunday breakfast, I decided to explore what magic the fridge had to offer today.

Behold, Sunday’s Finest from Saturday’s leftovers… 

An Everything Bagel, lightly buttered and paired with Eggs & Bacon.

To begin, I sauteed cherry tomatoes in olive oil and then combined the tomatoes with minced red onion and shaved jalapeño (shaved to gather taste rather than spice). I then added some summer zucchini and (to balance any remaining spice from the jalapeño) cream cheese to soften the eggs, rather than my normal splash of milk.

Voila! Breakfast made from dinner’s salad and a (jalapeño) cocktail’s garnishes.

~Marisa