The Philly Farm and Food Fest: Local, Organic, Sustainable Family Fun (Ticket Giveaway!)

Screen shot 2014 04 10 at 10.32.38 PM e1397183650202 The Philly Farm and Food Fest: Local, Organic, Sustainable Family Fun (Ticket Giveaway!)


I’m so excited! Something came up last year and we couldn’t make the Philly Farm & Food Fest. This year we received a pair of press passes and I can’t wait to check out the local & sustainable exhibitors, cooking demonstrations, speakers and (yay!) beers.

The Philly Farm & Food Fest takes place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Annex from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm on Sunday, April 13th. Kids under 12 get in free, and there’s plenty to do that’s just for them:  watch Watermelon Magic, a family friendly film, and then make & take a craft; sample local & organic treats from five different ice cream & ice pop makers; and shop at the Whole Food Markets mini grocery store.

This is the Farm & Food Fests’s third year— and it’s been growing by leaps and bound each year! On Sunday you can check out:

  • shopping! The freshest organic foods from around the region will be collected under one roof— 132 vendors will be sampling and selling their locally grown and produced foods. Meet the farmers, chefs and small business owners that are on the cutting edge of Philadelphia’s flourishing artisan food scene.
  • demos on beekeeping, small batch canning, growing native plants and more.
  • the Demo Kitchen. Learn from farm-to-table chefs like Chef Barbie Marshall, a Southwest Philadelphia native who competed on FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen; Roberta Pipito, who will prepare a noodle-free, gluten-free “spaghetti,” and Char Nolan, who will demonstrate whole food, vegetarian dishes that can be made for under ten dollars in ten minutes.
  • “Great News About Good Food” panel discussion led by hospitality consultant and food blogger Clark Wolf.
  • Local Libations Lounge featuring Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskey, Dock Street Brewing Company, Frecon Farm’s Cidery, Paradocx Vineyard (that’s right down the street from me!), Philadelphia Distilling, Sly Fox Brewing Company, Stonekeep Meadery, Subarashii Kudamono (who will introduce a new dry Asian Pear Wine), Victory Brewing Company and Weyerbacher Brewing Company. Maybe I should have Jeff drive.
  • Shellfish Salon, a guided tasting of delicious east coast oysters and clams led by Sam Mink, owner of Oyster House. Experience freshly shucked salty beauties from Cape May Salts and Choptank Oyster Company and freshly cooked clams from Heritage Shellfish Cooperative.


Now, here are the deets:

General Admission tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Children 12 and under are free.

A limited number of tickets are still available for the timed and guided tastings in the Local Libations Lounge and Shellfish Salon for $15 per person (must be 21 for those and you have to buy the tickets in advance).

Tickets are available at but I have a pair to give away! Just comment below letting me know who you would take. Entry period closes at midnight on Friday, April 11th; winner will be selected at random.

Add These to Your Netflix Queue to Help Spark A Love of Math, Science, Nature

gull 700x508 Add These to Your Netflix Queue to Help Spark A Love of Math, Science, Nature

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.

― Carl Sagan


I’ve been working with Netflix as a member of the Netflix Stream Team; this month the theme was Science Fair inspiration. But to tell the truth, I couldn’t get into the idea of talking about our Science Fair ordeal this year— I tried— I’d much rather keep it upbeat icon smile Add These to Your Netflix Queue to Help Spark A Love of Math, Science, Nature Maybe I’ll tell that story once time has taken out some of the sting.

BUT I do love Netflix as a prodigious resource to foster an interest in not only science, but math and nature. There are TONS of shows, movies and documentaries on Netflix that will help inspire a child’s curiosity and desire to learn; here’s a few of our favorites.


10 Netflix Picks to Help Spark a Love of 11 Add These to Your Netflix Queue to Help Spark A Love of Math, Science, Nature

10 Netflix Picks
to Help Spark a Love of Math, Science and Nature


The Magic School Bus

There are four seasons of field trips with Ms. Frizzle and the kids on the magical bus. I love the way she teaches real lessons beyond the classroom.

Wild Kratts

This is one of Cass’s favorite shows. Zoologist brothers Martin and Chris Kratt and their crew (complete with strong female characters!!) teach all about animals, habitats and “creature powers.”

Microcosmos (Le peuple de l’herbe)

A French documentary in which microscopic cameras and special microphones offer an up-super-close, breathtaking look at the world of insects and other tiny creatures.

The Blue Planet: A Natural History of the Oceans

Narrated by David Attenborough. Beautiful underwater footage. One of my favorite series ever ever ever, but I am super partial to the deep sea bits.


A favorite for family members of all ages, although some episodes might be a bit much for littler ones. (A great intro to the concept of developing a hypothesis and testing your theory.)

The Life of Birds

Another David Attenborough. Another fantastic visual feast, coupled with epic storytelling.

Ken Burns: The National Parks: America’s Best Idea

True story: my senior year history textbook said, and I quote, Roosevelt pined to save the national forests. Horrible pun aside, this Ken Burns series tells that story (of which my hero John Muir was a major figure).


Nature is one of TV’s greatest treasures. You really can’t go wrong here, but I’ll give a special shoutout to Animal Odd Couples and A Murder of Crows.


These two aren’t currently available on streaming— do the DVD or add to your queue for when they become available to stream:

Dirt! The Movie

It’s been a while since I’ve seen this one, but I remember being enthralled by the passion the people interviewed had for the soil under their feet, and their efforts to preserve it.

Between the Folds

All about modern origami, which is a lovely art and a fascinating application of mathematics.


Now if only Netflix would add old episodes of Bill Nye the Science Guy! My older kids saw most of these on VHS thanks to the local library, but we don’t have a VHS player anymore.


Netflix Web Logo e1385872614215 Add These to Your Netflix Queue to Help Spark A Love of Math, Science, Nature


What are your kids’ favorite science/math/nature related shows?

What other documentaries have you loved on Netflix?




Stand Up for Safer Chemicals. Sign the Petition to #FightToxins

TFF 300 toxins square Stand Up for Safer Chemicals. Sign the Petition to #FightToxins

If we are going to live so intimately with these chemicals
eating and drinking them,

taking them into the very marrow of our bones—
we had better know something about their nature and their power.

-Rachel Carson, Silent Spring


* This post is sponsored by Seventh Generation through Mom Bloggers for Social Good.
All opinions are my own.*

Rachel Carson was talking about pesticides, but it doesn’t stop there. There are over 80,000 chemicals on the market in the US that have never been fully tested for toxicity. We’re talking in our kids’ toys, in our furniture and fabrics, in our electronics and car interiors, in our food and beverage containers, in our building materials. In the products we use to “clean” our houses and “wash” our clothes and dishes. In the shampoos we use on our hair, the lotion we rub into our kids’ skin. It’s mind-boggling.

How is this even possible? The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) grandfathered in 62,000 chemicals when it was enacted, and over 20,000 been added since. (And that number is steadily growing. Thousands have been added since the first time I wrote about this on a newly launched blog, eight years ago.) The EPA has only required testing for about 200 of those chemicals (that’s less than 10%), and has partially regulated only five.


The Toxic Substances Control Act was passed in 1976.

News flash: I was born in 1976. And trust me, I am no spring chicken.

Not only have these chemicals not been fully tested, but we have no real concept of the effects of prolonged exposure, the potential dangers of how they break down over time or when they react to each other. Some chemicals are persistent, building up for years, decades even, moving up the food chain and into our bodies.

Babies are being born carrying a body burden of 300 toxins. Research indicates that exposure to even low doses of certain chemicals, especially in the womb or during early childhood, can affect our hormonal, reproductive, and immune systems. Rates of allergies, asthma, learning disabilities, birth defects, neurological disorders, cancers and more rise all the time. Even obesity may have chemical ties.

TFF early exposure square 600x600 Stand Up for Safer Chemicals. Sign the Petition to #FightToxins


Whether or not you’re willing to make the jump to direct causation, I think we can all agree that it’s time for a change.

What does reform look like?

  • it should protect the most vulnerable: pregnant women, children, and the workers and communities who are disproportionately exposed to chemicals
  • it should give the public the right to know about the safety of chemicals
  • it should allow states to maintain safety laws which exceed federal protections
  • it should require the Environmental Protection Agency to fast track regulatory action on the most harmful and immediately threatening chemicals, with specific timetables.


TFF baby sitting 534x600 Stand Up for Safer Chemicals. Sign the Petition to #FightToxins


Be a superhero. Stand up for safer chemicals.

If you believe you have a right to know what you’re allowing into your home and your body–

If you think it’s beyond unfair that children are stuck with a stacked deck of a toxin body burden before they are even born–

If you’re not cool with your family’s bodies being used as science experiments–

If you think it’s nonsense that these chemicals have pretty much had a free pass for 38 years–

Seventh Generation is asking you to stand up for safer chemicals. If they amass the support of 100,000 signatures by Earth Day, the Toxin Freedom Fighters at Seventh Generation will deliver them to Congress on April 30th and use them to start necessary conversations. About how the TSCA fails the health of the public. About the need for change.

Do me (and your family) a favor and sign the petition and then spread the word.



Be aware of the chemicals in your life.

And keep voting for change, in the booth and with your dollar.


Tell me please so I can gauge for future posts:

Are you concerned about constant exposure to unregulated chemicals?

How much do you know (and would like to know) about chemical regulation?