Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Today was an easy day of running, unlike many Tuesdays (Helloo, Speedwork Tuesdays), given that we had the race on Sunday. Although it was only a 5k, I subscribe to the belief that you must listen to your body regardless of the distance and that intuitive fitness keeps you active, healthy, and injury free (oh, in addition to strength training and foam rolling). 4 miles on the mill with another 10 minutes on some cardio equipment. Add in a few weights and I called it a day. Now that we got through that, let’s get to the original intent of this post.

In the month since I’ve watched Food, Inc., I’ve done a lot of research on the food industry and its disgusting practices that have a stronghold on America’s eating habits. Despite what you think, you do have a choice in the matter. In an effort to help support the farming community and to make small waves in changing food industry practices, I’ve officially convinced Chris, after lots of begging, to be a part of the Red Fire Farm CSA. Being a part of a CSA Farm Share (Community Supported Agriculture) means that Chris and I have bought a share of the Red Fire Farm in order to help sustain its business in return for a portion of its weekly haul of organic vegetables. Although there is the ability to buy into 24 weeks of veggies, we decided that we would first start with the 20 week Summer program. Families can also buy into a fruit share, egg share, and/or flower share, all for an additional charge. Red Fire Farms also allows CSA members to head to their farm located in Granby, MA to pick shares of excess crops, like beans and strawberries, for free!

Screen shot 2014-03-18 at 9.04.27 PM Screen shot 2014-03-18 at 9.04.43 PMThe amount you pay is based on a sliding scale and the honor system, as Red Fire Farms hopes that those who are financially more stable can contribute a little more, so that those who are not as financially sound can pay a little bit less. Although the total cost of the share feels daunting at first, when you break it down into a weekly budget, its most likely right around what you are already spending on veggies. This particular CSA also allows you to pay for your share in smaller increments. I also knows friends (who first shared this information with me) that split the cost of the share with another couple, making it that much more affordable! Furthermore, Red Fire Farms thankfully has pickup locations in two separate parts of Somerville (where we currently live), with one of those being less than 5 minutes from us. They also have pickup locations in Cambridge, Newton, Brookline, Jamaica Plain, etc.!

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Each Thursday for 20 weeks starting in June, I will be able to walk to our Somerville location, reusable bags in hand, and pick out as many veggies that are available to me that week…and yes, that is the danger of buying into a farm share. If you have a poor growing season, then your shares will obviously be smaller and you’ll have to supplement your supply by going to the grocery store. However, the same goes for when the season is flush; the more they grow, the more I can bring home!

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Finally, Red Fire Farms states that:
Our goal with the CSA is to provide a good source of seasonal local produce for the community that is a good value for organic food, and raised sustainably for the environment and the farm crew. Staying with the local outdoor seasons of the produce makes the CSA a better value. While saying that, our farm is one of the leaders in season extension, and you will get crops earlier and later than at other places because of the extra work we put in in the fields!”

I look forward in taking part of this year’s share and am excited to take the time to create dishes made from locally sourced, organic, seasonal vegetables. Once the season arrives, I will certainly share my experience with you readers!

Has anyone else participated in a farm share or shop regularly from farm stands throughout the summer? Gripes or likes?

Ras na hEireann Race Recap


Goal officially accomplished! I set out to run this race with hopes of PR’ing at 24:00 minutes, and I did just that at 23:32! Thankfully, I even came in a little bit faster than goal pace, although my garmin and the official results suggest a 5 second pace discrepancy. I find that quite odd given that my garmin still clocked me in about .03 longer, yet the same overall time from the official results. At least I’m getting better at these tangents!


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Lets start from the beginning. First off, the day was FREEZING. I think when race time started, it was about 27 degrees. This would have been..ok… if my mind wasn’t set on it being 40 degrees based on the weather reports from earlier this week. Anyway, I decided to split from the apartment at 10:30, in hopes of making it with a few minutes to spare before the gun went off. In order to grab another mile, I jogged down to the race start, which was an amazing idea given how cold it was.

I decided to leave Chris in the dust at this point, because he wasn’t ready to leave the apartment when I was (even with plenty of warning and planning). I didn’t see him until the very end of the race…which was only about 1 minute after I finished. YES you read that right. Stupid Chris hasn’t been running at ALL and still finished with 7:55 minutes per mile, on average. I have to say, I’m very proud of him, even if I’m also super jealous that he hasn’t put in the same work but put up similar numbers.

unnamed-1(Yes, I am in the process of getting a new Canon Powershot, instead of using my Iphone camera all of the time.)

After the race, all of the bars in Davis Square and the surrounding areas hosted an after party, with kegs of Harpoon Beer on tap until they were kicked, with many of the bars hosting a local band.

Baby Snake, Chris, and I wound up heading to The Pub in Ball Square for the rest of the afternoon, where we met up with my co-counselor from camp, Jen, who was also at the race. Jen and I met up at the very start in order to high five and wish each other luck. Jen’s girlfriend, by the way, was also a race photographer for the event.


Several hours later, ugh… read that right, and a few games of foosball, Chris and I wandered home with no plans of indulging our Sunday night routine and instead ate a calzone and ice cream. DAIRY AND GLUTEN FAIL. Whatever, it was just what the doctor ordered.

All in all, I have to say that the event was very well organized and the start and finish made for a very enjoyable experience. Most of the 5k’s run in Davis Square are along the same route, so I was pretty familiar with the terrain seeing as how I had run the Jingle Bell run in years past, in addition to jogging along Broadway for many of my weekly training runs. There were some very small hills that would slow me down, but in the same breath, you were always lead to a glorious downhill, which is how we ended the race. Tack on an After Party and my friends, you have a world class 5k experience. I highly recommend this to other runners in the Boston area. Thanks to the organizers for putting together a stellar event!

Friends, you should also join me in running the Runners World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon in June! Use the code from Blonde Ponytail blog and save yourselves some money when you sign up for 1, 2, or all 3 of the events! I’m looking forward to seeing all of my blogging heros!

Well, well, well.

Ooops. Has it been like two weeks since I’ve last posted? Jessie Spano moment. Can’t really discuss the ins and outs of school and outside of school, my life has been a lot of check-ins with friends and/or running… and then more typing at night (psych eval party, Whoo hoo!). While I’ve had a fun/busy couple of weeks, I certainly wouldn’t call it blog worthy.  Who cares about what I eat, every single time I go out to dinner.

I will say though, that I have been pretty proud of the progress I have made over the last several months when it comes to running.  As you can see on the sidebar, I recently completed two-7 mile runs this week, with the second averaging about 7:55 minutes per mile. Pretty dang good if you ask me. The best part was that my treadmill runs were all unbroken. Don’t stop, get it, get it.

This Sunday, Chris and I will be running in the Rás na hÉireann 5k in Davis Square. Only 36 bibs left, in exactly this moment!! Come on, you know you want to run with us. I’ve decided that I actually want to race this event, even though I’m not “training” for a 5k. I just think it would be good for me to get in another speed sesh and really push myself during an event. Less than a month until my half marathon!

In other news, Go Mom Go and I have officially signed up for the Biggest Loser Run/Walk Half Marathon up in Killington, VT. At the very least, that woman is crossing the finish line, even if she has to drag herself across. Oddly enough, she isn’t as motivated by medals as I am, but I bet she’ll start to get a taste for racing once she participates in an event.  YOU GOT THIS!

I’ll be sure to follow up on Sunday with a race recap of our 5k. My goal is to beat 24 minutes, but I’m also not very consistent when it comes to racing. Fingers crossed! Let’s hope I actually make it to the event this time!