Chickens in Somerville

Chickens in Somerville

Chickens in Somerville

I love Somerville Massachusetts.  More specifically, I love Somerville municipal government.  Somerville city government always strikes me as  progressive and forward thinking. I can’t help but be impressed in most interactions with the City.

Case in point – chickens. Somerville recently became the first Massachusetts city to pass an Urban Agriculture Ordinance. The ordinance encourages urban food production and specifically allows for beekeeping and the raising of chickens.

Hurrah!  Many communities have yet to embrace the renewed popularity of raising chickens.  Kudos to Somerville for its chicken-friendly stance.  Ditto for bees – more and more people I know are keeping bees at home and it’s great to see the City acknowledge the value of urban food production.  Look for Somerville eggs and honey coming to a market near you.

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Farm Share Fair in Cambridge

Sign up for a CSA share at the Farm Share Fair

Sign up for a CSA share at the Farm Share Fair

This Thursday there’s a Farm Share Fair in Cambridge where you’ll be able to sign up for a CSA share from farmers who deliver in the Cambridge area.

CSA stands for community supported agriculture. Farmers sell shares in their season’s produce. Each week you’ll receive a box of seasonal vegetables (and in some cases other farm products such as meat or fish). Shares are delivered to local drop off sites.

It’s sort of a fresh vegetables subscription.

Shareholders purchase their shares in advance of the growing season. Shares typically run from June through October.  Prices vary and shares can be bought in different sizes. A typical share might cost on the order of $30 per week for approximately 12 to 15 pounds of fresh produce.

Come by this Thursday to meet the farmers. More than a dozen farms are participating. Be sure to bring your checkbook!

Don’t worry if you haven’t been home for dinner.There’ll be pizza and spring rolls available for purchase as a fundraiser.

The Farm Share Fair is sponsored by theMOVE, NOFA/Mass and Somerville Climate Action.

The Cambridge Farm Share Fair is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011 from 5:30 to 8:00 pm in Harvard Square at the Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.

Categories: Area Events, Living Here
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Pie In The Sky – Community Servings Fundraiser

Pie In the Sky - Community Servings Benefit

Pie In the Sky - Community Servings Benefit

Pie In The Sky – Community Servings Fundraiser   It’s that time of year again – time for pie.

Each year the Community Servings fundraiser, Pie In the Sky, sells Thanksgiving pies donated by Greater Boston restaurants, bakers and caterers. 

Each pie sold helps to provide a week’s worth of meals delivered to home bound folks struggling with AIDS, cancer or MS.

Many people choose to support Community Servings by buying all of their Thanksgiving pies from Pie In The Sky.

Pies are distributed on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  Our Coldwell Banker office at 171 Huron Ave in Cambridge is a pick-up location.  It’s a festive day each year as people come by to pick up their apple, pecan, pumpkin or sweet potato pies that are piled in our conference room.

Pies are $25 or you can buy a “raffle pie” for $75 and get a gift wrapped apple pie and an entry in the raffle for special prizes.  There are some super raffle prizes including a Boston Sports Package with game tickets;  a Harvard Square package with tickets to a show, dinner at the Casablanca and a hotel room; and a Bose sound system.

Pie orders should be placed by November 20th.

Click here to Buy A Pie – or two or three!

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Belmont Hen House Tour

Hen House Tour in Belmont - Backyard Chicken Coops

Belmont Hen House Tour  I’m a huge fan of house tours but this is a new one on me!

This Saturday afternoon, October 30th, there’s a Hen House Tour in Belmont MA.  You’ll be able to tour eight backyard chicken coops in Belmont.   The owners will be on hand to talk about raising poultry.

Raising chickens in the suburbs and city is more and more popular nowadays. If you’re thinking about getting some backyard chickens of your own this tour should give you some great ideas.

The Belmont Hen House Tour is a benefit for the new Belmont Public Library.

Tickets are for sale at: 

  • Belmont Library, 336 Concord Ave, Belmont, MA 02478
  • Champions Sporting Goods, 53 Leonard St, Belmont, MA
  • Vicki Lee’s in Cushing Square, 105 Trapelo Rd, Belmont, MA 02478

Tickets are $20 for a Family – $10 for an Adult – $5 for a Student – Children under five are free

Maps of the chicken coop locations can be picked up on the day of the tour until 3:00 pm behind the Library at 336 Concord Ave at the “drive-by chicken coop”

The Belmont Hen House Tour is scheduled for Saturday, October 30, 2010 from 1 to 5 pm

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Sergi Farm in Belmont

Sergi Farm Belmont MA

Sergi Farm Belmont MA

Did you know that there’s a working farm in suburban Belmont?  Sure enough, Sergi Farm in Belmont, MA is a working five acre farm close to the Cambridge line.

One of the area’s best kept secrets, the folks at Sergi Farm sells vegetables, herbs and flowers that they grow themselves.

We stopped by on Wednesday after our weekly tour of new listings. I bought some fresh picked broccoli for supper.

Check out the Sergi Farm website to find out what’s fresh and for sale in the stand, info about volunteer opportunities, and their blog that will keep you up to date on what’s going on at the farm.

See you in line when the corn’s in!

Sergi Farm is located at 34 Glenn Road, Belmont, MA. Take Blanchard Road to Glenn Road and watch for the sign.

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Oysters In Cambridge – Then And Now

Former Aku-Aku Tiki Is Now A Sea Captain At The Summer Shack

Former Aku-Aku Tiki Is Now A Sea Captain At The Summer Shack

Oysters in Cambridge – Then and Now.   Did you know that Cambridge was once home to extensive oyster beds?

Cambridge Oysters – Then

The oyster beds were along the banks of the Charles in what is now Cambridgeport.  In the 1600s the oyster beds produced enormous oysters in such quantities that navigating past the reef on the Charles River was difficult.

The salt marshes that bordered the river were filled in the 1800s and the oyster beds are now covered by land that includes Fort Washington and MIT.

Oysters In Cambridge – Now

A local group  – the Massachusetts Oyster Project – is working to reintroduce oysters to rivers that flow into Boston Harbor.  The group has introduced oysters to the Charles River in Charlestown.

Oysters filter water and can counteract pollution.  A renewed oyster population will lead to a cleaner Charles and a cleaner Boston Harbor.

You’re probably not going to be eating oysters out of the Charles anytime soon.  So where can you get oysters in Cambridge?

Where To Buy Oysters In Cambridge

Cantabridgians in search of raw oysters have a number of local options:

Jasper White’s Summer Shack at Alewife has a popular oyster bar.  This is the first Summer Shack, opened in 2000, in the former Aku-Aku.  The tiki at the front entrance is now a sea captain in a yellow slicker.  617-520-9500.

The raw bar at the East Coast Grill on Cambridge Street in Inman Square is another popular option for oyster lovers.  617-491-6568

Rialto in Harvard Square has Duxbury oysters for $1 on Monday nights. 617-661-5050

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Garden at the Fletcher-Maynard Academy

This healthy crop of corn and sunflowers put a smile on my face when I spotted it while on our tour of new listings last week.  These are outside the Fletcher Maynard Academy, part of the Cambridge Public Schools, on the corner of Harvard and Windsor Streets.  I think it’s probably part of the Citysprouts garden at the school.  

Look at the corn at Fletcher-Maynard!

Check out the corn at Fletcher-Maynard!


Look how high the sunflowers grew!

Look how high the sunflowers grew!

CitySprouts is a group that brings gardens to Cambridge’s schools.  Here’s a wonderful video about the program – the students are just great in it – and you can see some more of the garden at the Fletcher Maynard Academy:



This is the condo we were previewing on tour – it’s very stylish – we loved it.


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Ice Cream Places Near Cambridge

ice cream coneIce Cream Places Near Cambridge  Hot weather’s on the way – and hot weather means ice cream. Hot and humid weather is the only excuse you need to satisfy your craving for a nice, big ice cream cone.

Here are some of my favorite spots for a cone. And since hot weather is also a good excuse for an air conditioned road trip (especially since I don’t have air conditioning at home!) these ice cream stands are outside of Cambridge, just a short drive away:

Bedford Farms in Bedford Center is one of my family’s favorites. Delicious ice cream, a place to sit on the lawn, and a quick drive from Cambridge.

Bedford Farms Ice Cream is located at 18 North Street, Bedford MA.  Open year round.  Check the website for more info. Summer hours are Mon – Sat 11am – 10pm and Sunday noon to 10pm.

Kimball Farm has three locations.  Carlisle is closest to Cambridge and a nice scenic drive.  There are farm animals to watch while you eat.  If you want to make a day of it and plan an outing for the entire family, the Westford location has a driving range, bumper boats, miniature golf, a midway with arcade games and more.  The location I know best is in Jaffrey NH where Kimball’s took over longtime favorite, Silver Ranch

Be warned – the kiddie cone at Kimball’s is most shops’ large.  You’ll be overwhelmed by the small size cone.  And large servings make for large crowds – the parking lot is often packed and the line long.

Check the Kimball Farm website for hours and more information.

Johnson’s Drive-in in Groton Mass was a pleasant surprise when we ended up there one night after a long day.  The fried clams were great and so was the ice cream.  It’s the kind of roadside joint I like – not too fancy (not at all in fact!), not expensive, and mighty tasty food.

Johnson’s is on Route 119 at 164 Boston Road, Groton MA.  Call 978-448-6840 for hours. 

I’m sure there are lots of fabulous ice cream places out there.  What are your favorites?

Categories: Living Here
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