Friday, August 11, 2017

What Is a Farm Stay and What Do You Do If You're There on Chicken Slaughter Day?

About 90% of board books and kids songs seem to be farm-related, right?  This New York City family drove 3.5 hours towards the Catskill Mountains in East Meredith, NY, to stay at Stone & Thistle Farm and investigate this alluring world that children's books are obsessed with.  We were surprised to learn that barnyard animals do NOT actually wear sunglasses or dance around in pajamas, but there is a cluck-cluck here and a cluck-cluck there.

Actually, it wasn't our first visit to a farm, so we knew that.  We visited Stone and Thistle Farm in 2014 and left thinking that it would be a great to return regularly to the farm we have been buying meat from at a greenmarket in Brooklyn.  Staying for a couple of nights is a mind/body/soul experience for us.  Yes, one can visit a farm for a couple of hours, but I think you have to stay longer to feel the rhythm of a farm and understand what a contrast a diversified family farm is to the world of factory farms and monoculture. My husband and I tell our kids to respect the earth, animals and each other, but you really see how it all connects when you stay at this farm.  It's something you can't learn from books.


So, for the 4th of July, we rented a car and did a two-night farm stay at Stone & Thistle. 

 We were reminded that eggs don't come from the refrigerator of a grocery store. 

A lot of hard work that starts at 5 am goes into running a farm.

When you stay at Stone & Thistle, you literally stay in the middle of a working farm.  There are animals all around, there, everywhere.  My kids loved visiting with the chickens in the morning when they were let out of their coops, later to visit the hens and collect eggs, and then circle back in the evening to put chickens back in their coops.

We took some time to explore outside the farm and find some ponds to swim in, but we enjoyed roaming around the farm and doing farm chores the most.

Farm life is the opposite of city life...

But, if you find yourself missing the city, there's a touch of NYC graffiti if you look for it.

 You do get used to the squawking.  (Lotta birds.)

We happened to be at the farm on Thursday, which is chicken slaughter day.  We had to decide whether we were going to let our children witness, from afar, how chickens become food.  Would it be brutal?  When I saw a nine-year-old girl participating in the slaughter process (her "job" was to cut the chicken feet off), I realized that to many people, turning animals into food is just part of life, not something that requires censoring.  This is where our food comes from.  It suddenly seemed more dishonest to me to hide that step of the process from our kids.  They can see every other stage, but not that?  It definitely got us thinking.  We chose to let our kids see the process from a distance and they got it.  As Farmer Tom said, kids usually take from the experience what their parents end up telling them about the experience.  

If you want to stay at and experience a working farm, I highly recommend Stone & Thistle upstate for an educational  and worthwhile experience.  If you would like to buy meat from a wonderful family farm, Stone & Thistle sells its meat at greenmarkets in Brooklyn and elsewhere.

New York City Family thanks the Warren Family for raising happy, healthy animals. 

Stone & Thistle Farm

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Are Lemonade Stands Legal in New York City?

Lemonade stands are a rite of passage for many American children, but are those stands legal in New York City?  When life gives our mini New Yorkers lemons, can they not only make, but also sell the lemonade?  Some cities, including Austin, have taken "measures" to allow lemonade stands, but there are isolated stories of lemonade stands getting "squeezed out" and shut down, which is something that happened in Oregon in 2010.  What's the deal in New York City?  Could you get a ticket?  Is the juice worth the squeeze?  I posed this question to Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City, directly and reached out to a police lieutenant in Brooklyn.  I also inquired with the office of Brad Lander, my Brooklyn district's City Council Member.

How'd he know about tips?

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Kathy Price is the Communications Candidate Running for CEC15

My name is Kathy Price and I'm running for public office in New York City.  It would be an honor to be elected by our PTA members to become part of the Community Education Council of District 15 in Brooklyn (CEC15).  

If elected to be a CEC15 member, I will be a clear communicatorcommunity connector, and spirited celebrator.  I will help connect CEC15 with the district schools and parents, so there is an even greater sense of partnership and sharing of best practices.  I will enhance communication strategies through technology, so schools and parents feel increased access to the CEC, and I will celebrate the successes of our schools, our kids and CEC15.  Connecting, communicating and celebrating our community represent several of my core values as an individual.  I have the time and availability to dedicate to the CEC and it would be a great honor to represent District 15 as an elected volunteer.

Clear communication was the focus of my career for 20 years as a public relations professional.  I worked in senior communications roles at The New York Times, CNN and Harper's Magazine.  I also have an MBA in marketing from Fordham University.  I started working at CNN in 1996, the same year Fox News Channel and MSNBC launched, and part of my job was working successfully within a suddenly competitive landscape where CNN went from being the only 24-hour news network to one of three.  When I worked at The Times from 2000 to 2006, I helped strategically navigate the issues surrounding transitioning from being a print-focused and New York-centric newspaper to a digital and international news outlet.  At Harper's Magazine, where I was vice president of public relations from 2008 until 2011, I created and established a social media presence for a 160-year-old magazine, the oldest in America.  I'll bring the communications expertise of working at some of the most-respected media companies in the world to the CEC.  I will confidently speak to multiple stakeholders, amplify the voices of District 15, and make sure our community feels heard on important issues and developments that affect our district.  I also value communication on a personal and community level.  In 2013, I spoke up and helped make 9th Street safer by proposing to CVS that they create safety signage for their parking lot's driveway.  CVS agreed to implement my ideas and I worked with their corporate leadership team to create signage to alert drivers and pedestrians to the hidden driveway, helping the hundreds of people who walk on 9th Street every day.  

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thank You Week Love Letter No. 4: Loco for Local Community

Isn't it the worst when a company's marketing looks completely different from what your first-hand experience is with that company?  There's a house plant company called The Sill, which literally markets itself as the friendliest, happiest plant company in the world, making plants accessible and fun for all.  The concept was fresh two years ago, so I followed the company online as they grew from an online-only store to a real store.  When I excitedly went into their actual store a year ago for the first time, I was met with silence, curt answers to questions, a snide remark to a basic plant question, and an unwelcoming vibe.  The store felt nothing like the online marketing.  When I feel tricked by marketing, it's like, bye.  But when a company is what they say they are, I'm all in.  That's the idea behind this thank you series where I've been thanking the authentic companies in my life all week.  I want to do a little something to spread the word of people who are doing good and doing good business.

On day 1 of thank you week love letters, I recognized fitness companies that encourage real wellness, not shrinking bikini sizes.  On day 2, I pointed out a site that helps cut out the (physical and emotional) excess in our lives.  On day 3, I talked about early education resources that have been invaluable to our family.

Today, I appreciate organizations in my community: Capoeira Brooklyn and the Park Slope branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.  These are super local to me, whereas my other posts have mostly been nationally or even internationally accessible.  More than ever, though, I'm thinking about community on a smaller scale and wanting to surround myself with my family, on my block, in my neighborhood, in my city, in my state, in my country!  But, community starts small.

I'm lucky to have Capoeira Brooklyn on my block.  My son has been learning this Brazilian martial arts with Mestre Foca since Greyson turned 3.  This capoeira studio isn't just teaching a skill or a sport to make a buck.  When a child or adult takes capoeira with Mestre Foca, he's also buying into a lot of good energy, a spirited community and a group that truly embraces all people.

Mestre Foca and his wife teach and practice capoeira and their two kids also practice the sport.  They don't just preach, they live it.  To me, this family represents the spirit and energy of capoeira.  I love that the whole family is dedicated to capoeira and they all share the love of it with the world.  Capoeira is not just martial arts, but it's also dance, music, culture and Brasil...and it's all the energy that those things represent.  It's love, it's community, it's fitness, it's so many things in one sport.

Tudo bem, Mestre Foca!