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17th Street Farmers Market Review

17th Street Farmers Market Address: 100 N 17th St, Richmond, VA 23219 (Shockoe Bottom) Hours: Saturdays and Sundays 9-4 (late April – October+) Website: http://www.richmondgov.com/FarmersMarket/ I really want to like this market.  It’s located in Shockoe Bottom in the market pavilion next to Main Street Train Station.  This location has been used as a market for over 200 years!  The location is cool and lively and...

Ashland Farmers Market Review

Ashland Farmers Market Address: 101 Thompson St, Ashland, VA 23005 Hours: Saturdays 9am -12pm (May-Oct, limited vendors year round) Website: http://www.town.ashland.va.us/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC=%7BBDB5FE96-6722-413B-8CB7-E50BD78FA45C%7D This market gets the award for most improved.  It had been a small market with limited variety and annoying parking.  In 2011 they improved its layout, parking and vendor...

Byrd House Market Review

Byrd House Market Address: Idlewood Ave at S Lindin St, Richmond, VA 23220 Hours: Tues 3:30-7 (May-Oct) Website: http://byrdhousemarket.blogspot.com/ Byrd House is a fun and funky Tuesday market near Oregon Hill (a couple blocks north of Hollywood Cemetery).  Besides going to the Tredegar/Brown’s Island area which is about a mile away, I really haven’t spent much time in this part of the city.  It’s a compact...

My Manakin Market Review

My Manakin Market Address: 68 Broad Street Rd, Manakin-Sabot, VA 23103 Hours: Saturdays 9am-1pm, May-October Website: www.chiknegg.com I avoided this market for a long time because I assumed it was way out in Goochland and didn’t want to drive that far when closer options are available.  Well I finally got around to trying it and it’s way closer than I thought.  It’s on Broad Street just a few miles west of...

West End Farmers Market Review

West End Farmers Market Address: 12450 Gayton Rd, Richmond, VA 23238 Hours: Wed 3-6:30, Sat 8-12 (May-October) Website: http://www.westendfarmersmarket.com/ This market is in front of a small shopping center at Gayton Rd and Ridgefield Pkwy (Ollie’s shopping center).  I guess it’s considered Short Pump but it’s a bit off of the main drag.  It’s not the most charming setting but there’s tons of parking and a...

St Stephen’s Farmers Market Review

St. Stephens Farmers Market Address: 6000 Grove Ave, Richmond, VA 23226 Hours: Saturdays 8-12 (May-Oct) Website: http://saintstephensrichmond.net/farmersmarket This market is hosted by St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church on a really cute section of Grove Ave that has both shops and beautiful old homes (it’s a great neighborhood to walk the dog and browse at all the cool houses).  When churches offer farmer’s markets,...

Jean’s Greens – Vendor Review

Another online supplier I use regularly is Jean’s Greens: http://jeansgreens.com/shopping/gifts.htm. They’re a good source of herbs, homemade skincare ingredients and containers.  I’ve placed dozens of orders with them and have been pleased by their quality, delivery speed and customer service.  They also have quite a selection of premade products including skincare, general health, petcare and even some random...

Mountain Rose Herbs – Vendor Review

I order a lot of supplies online because the pricing is good and some of the items are difficult to find in stores.  Mountain Rose Herbs (mountainroseherbs.com) is one of my favorite suppliers.  They carry an extensive inventory of products including: Herbs and spices (most of which are organic) Tea and tea supplies Essential oils and aromatherapy supplies Homemade skincare ingredients Containers and packaging for homemade...

Pura Stainless Steel Sippy Cup Review

Due to health and environmental concerns I’ve been trying to reduce our use of plastic, especially when it comes to kid/food products.  One of the first things I looked for was a replacement for Luke’s plastic sippy cups.  I wanted a cup that was durable, easy to clean, easy to store and that my son would actually use.  I tested several different brands and this cup stands out as our favorite: Pura – Stainless Steel...

All New Square Foot Gardening – Book Review

This book rocks.  If you’re tempted to start a garden but you’re worried that you don’t have the time, space or know-how – All New Square Foot Gardening is going to be right up your alley.  Mel Bartholomew’s technique maximizes space and minimizes work.  Last year we built our first real garden using this technique and I was so impressed with how well it worked and how easy it was to...

Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots – Book R...

Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots by Sharon Lovejoy is adorable.  It’s full of whimsical projects that kids (and adults) will love.  Most of the book outlines kid themed garden projects that children can play in, eat, explore and enjoy.  The book begins with Sharon’s 20 favorite plants for children – pumpkins, sunflowers, gourds, corn, berries, hollyhocks, carrots, mimosa, poppies, tomatoes, trees,...

Vitamix Review

Vitamix Product Review: I didn’t think it was possible to love a blender, then I got a Vitamix.  That sounds unbelievably corny but it’s true, this blender rocks.  My mom got one over 4 years ago and she wouldn’t stop talking about it.  It became a running joke in my family, she’d gush to everyone, “This machine has revolutionized the way we eat, it has literally changed our lives!”.  Now anyone who knows...

The Vaccine Book – Book Review

When my son was born I was alarmed by the large quantity of vaccines I was expected to pump into his tiny, developing body.  I am generally in favor of vaccines – they’ve saved countless lives and I’m grateful that they’re available.  But the sheer quantity (sometimes more than 6 at a time when you include combination vaccines) at such a young age instinctively got my guard up.  Some of the vaccines...

Pregnancy Book Reviews

When I was pregnant with Luke, I read everything I could get my hands on.  I wanted to know what to expect and how to create the best possible environment for my baby.  And I was in luck because there are a ton of pregnancy books out there.  Some of them are really great and some are absolutely terrible.  One of the first books I picked up was the classic What to Expect When Your Expecting.  That’s the one you...

Making It – Book Review

Making It is the latest book by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen (they also wrote The Urban Homestead and the blog Root Simple).  They’re big time advocates for the do-it-yourself lifestyle and demonstrate how living closer to the land is possible, even in urban environments.  They live on a small property in Los Angeles where they’ve built a true urban homestead.  They grow much of their own food, raise chickens...

Organic Body Care Recipes – Book Review

Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles was the first homemade skincare book I purchased and to this day it’s still my favorite.  It’s great for a beginner because it’s really thorough, has a wide selection of recipes and includes helpful background information to get you started. She begins the book by describing the needs of your skin, hair and nails and then further breaks it down by skin type...

Clean House, Clean Planet – Book Review

I’ve been reading DIY housecleaning books (and journals and articles and websites) for years.  Most of them have some good ideas but leave you lacking.  Some talk extensively about why to clean naturally but give very few actual recipes.  Others give tons of recipes but leave you overwhelmed and not sure which ones are any good.  Still others are really vague and hard to duplicate.  Then I found Clean House, Clean...

Making Babies – Book Review

It seems like everyone I know is either pregnant or trying to get pregnant.  And a surprising number of us have struggled with infertility, often with no explainable cause.  These are fit, healthy, youngish couples with no apparent medical conditions.  Yet month after month, sometimes year after year, infertility rears its ugly head.  This book, Making Babies by Sami David and Jill Blakeway, recently caught on with our...

Taking Charge of Your Fertility – Book Revie...

I bought this book years ago because I was sick of manipulating my hormones and wanted to get off the pill.  However, we weren’t ready for kids yet so I still needed some form of birth control.  I stumbled upon this book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, and it quite honestly changed my life.  The book is based on the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) which monitors your body temperature and cervical...

Where to buy seeds

Marshall and I have moved a LOT in our five years of marriage.  In that time we’ve lived in 5 different homes in 4 different states.  Last year we finally landed in Virginia and the first thing I wanted to do was start a garden.  I love food, I love plants and I love being outdoors so gardening is a natural fit.  I have a tendency to jump in over my head so I ordered a bunch of seed catalogs and got way too...