How Does a Local Farm Welcome Fall?

walthamfieldslogoFall is an interesting, wonderful, transitional time for food. Switching from light summer fruits and veggies like zucchini, berries and watermelon and moving towards rich, hearty sweet potatoes, kale and apples makes the change in seasons even more tangible.

In order for this produce to switch over from perfect-for-salads to perfect-for-stews, there’s a whole lot of work that needs to be done on our local farms. Growing season is one thing, but prepping for the winter is another whole animal.

We chatted with our local community farm, Waltham Fields Community Farm, about what they’re doing to prepare for winter. Right now, they’re in the midst of sowing cover crops to replenish nutrients in the soil.

Cover crops are a mix of plants that are grown to be cut down and turned under as a way to replenish and supply valuable nutrients back into the soil for future crop use,” the farmers explained. “We are currently using mixes of oats and peas, and rye and vetch, for our cover crops.  They will provide a fertility boost and add organic matter to the soil.”

Cover crops are sometimes called “green manure” and are considered an example of an organic gardening process. Luckily, this method isn’t exclusive to larger farms… it can be used on small backyard gardens as well!

watermelonradishThe farmers welcome this change in season happily and love all the new produce that comes with it. “While summer seems like the time for leafy greens, many greens are at their best after a cold snap helps convert some of their starches to sugars. Hearty greens such as kale, collards, beet greens and mustard greens are really good right now,” they explained. They also highlighted winter squashes and sweet potatoes as stand-outs for October.

In terms of their favorite recipes, the farmers at Waltham Fields Community Farm believe in simplicity. “It really is true that fresh vegetables taste amazing when treated simply,” they said. They recommend roasting root vegetables with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary as a simple yet delicious weekly dish. They’ll often add broccoli florets, cauliflower and watermelon radishes (gorgeously colored veggies with a tie-dye appeal, pictured above) to the mix as well.

“Staff have been enjoying cauliflower ‘steaks’ (lots of recipes online) and making pesto with fennel fronds and walnuts. We also make hearty soups made of squash, or leeks and potatoes,” they said, offering up a couple more fall ideas. “Our Executive Director recently brought to share a sweet potato pie she made that was savory, not sweet – it was delicious, with a hint of citrus flavor.”

Wondering what the farmers do in the winter? They take a well-deserved vacation! There are also localfooddays of planning, hiring and assessing successes and doubts from the previous growing season. Their winter season isn’t too long, however… seedlings begin to be sowed for next season in February or March.

Want to learn more? If you’re in the area, come check out their Harvest Potluck & Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 13th. It’s a wonderful time to celebrate the year’s successful harvest.

If you aren’t in Massachusetts, you can always check out their website… Waltham Fields Community Farm is doing some amazing things for the local community!

Friday, October 24th is National Food Day, a day celebrating real, whole food and the power it can have to create community and improve health. Learn more on their website, and be sure to celebrate the whole month long!

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Upcycled Halloween Costumes: DIY!

Halloween is just a couple days away… are you struggling for costume ideas?

Unless you’re super creative, it may feel like each year is a fight with time to think up the best costumes. Some feel too difficult, some overdone, and some just impossible.

We promise there’s an easier way! Whether for your kids, yourself or your pet, we’ve found some easy, fun ideas for simple costumes. Better yet- each one uses materials you already have in your recycling bin, making it easy to stay green and #upcycle this Halloween!

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For the Kids
1) Upcycled Batman: Use an old pillowcase and a bit of felt to make this easy superhero costume.
2) Dinosaur: An old hoodie works perfectly for a last-minute dinosaur costume!
3) Rocket Launcher: Two soda bottles and a bit of felt or construction paper and you’re on your way to an awesome getup.
4) Sweatshirt Monster: For the super last-minute, grab a sweatshirt and some cotton balls and you’ve got yourself an insta-monster!

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For Yourself
-Yogurt cup mouse: Utilize individual yogurt containers and some felt to make this adorable mouse costume!
-Bunch of grapes: Have some balloons hanging around? Instant grapes!
-Rubix cube: With an old box and a bit of paint or construction paper, a rubix cube is a few minutes away.

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For Your Pet
-Pinata: Old t-shirts or fabric scraps make for a super adorable pinata costume for your small pets!

What costumes are you whipping up for Halloween this year? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram

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Proudly Made in the USA! Shoes, Bags & Accessories

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Happy Columbus Day! We’re celebrating today with our Made in the USA shop. From clothing to shoes to even food, it can be difficult to find products made in our very own US of A. We’ve put our selection into an easy-to-sort shop, complete with shoes, accessories and bags you’ll love!

Buying products made in the USA isn’t just a way to show your American pride; the same arguments that apply to buying local food from the farmers’ market also apply here. Decreasing the mileage a product has to be shipped to get to your front door saves on natural resources and pollution… helping your environment and country at the same time!

Try some of our American-made shoes, bags and socks and experience the quality so true to these fashionable, sustainable products.

 

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Our Unique Boot Boutique

We’re strong believers here at PlanetShoes that an awesome pair of shoes can totally make an outfit. It’s so easy to go from something drab to an ensemble that makes you stand out with the addition of a great pair of unique shoes. Whether by some added hardware, an awesome color, interesting design features, or surprising waterproof properties, attention-grabbing boots are something we’ve been totally falling for this autumn. Check out some awesome new brands and a couple old ones with updated features, complete with boots that truly spice up even the most creative of wardrobes.

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What are your favorite unique boot brands for fall? We’d love to hear your faves! 

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Slip into (Free) Socks!

socksConfession here… if there’s one thing that we’re addicted to here at PlanetShoes besides shoes, it’s definitely socks. Our dresser drawers are all heaping with a variety of colors, shapes and sizes of warm and comfortable pairs. Especially up here in Boston in winter, socks can make or break the warmth of your feet. There’s really nothing like a quality pair of wool socks when the snow and cold sockwellGWPcomes around… it truly makes all the difference.

We’re celebrating socks this week with one of our compression brands, Sockwell, by giving you one FREE pair if you buy two pairs of Sockwell socks! Known as some of the best socks in the compression sock world, Sockwell come in super cute colors and adorable fabrics that look wonderful peeking out from behind some great fall riding boots. Why have two when you can have three?

The ultimate trend in socks this fall is color. The sock selection on our site is currently looking like a rainbow of hues, spanning from fall colors like mulberry and olive green to brighter colors like pinks and oranges. There’s something special about wearing a pair of bright colored socks under your shoes that simply puts a smile on your face when taking them off after a long day. Looking cute and comfy around the house isn’t too bad, either!

Goodhew Vineyard Socks28071_171_thumb27685_MMC_thumbSockwell Circulator Women 2 Pair Pack

 

 

Another new trend we’re seeing: thigh-high socks. Notable brands like Smartwool and Goodhew have come out with these higher heights, combining the warmth of the typical winter sock with the height of tights or leggings. They work perfectly with tall riding boots, peering out more than your typical sock to give your fall outfits a bit of extra flavor!

What are your favorite sock trends? Do you love socks as much as we do? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Our Best and Brightest Bags for Fall Escapades

This time of year is all about adventure. Foliage-adorned hikes, exploring a new part of your city in temperate fall weather, making your way to a family member’s home for Thanksgiving… it’s all about new, joyous experiences.

Whether spontaneous or planned, being a bit prepared for any adventure is a great start to making the most of it. A few snacks, sunglasses, and an extra sweater or scarf are must-haves for your fall escapades. We know this, which is why we’ve put together a collection of our best, brightest new bags to help you hold your most important accessories and experience all this season has to offer.

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BUCO
A new addition to the site, BUCO handbags are luxurious, high quality and chic. We adore the intricate, laser-cut detailing on these leather bags. Some options are even made of vegan leather! Perfect for a day in the city, matched with some great leather riding boots, a chunky wool scarf and some shades.

LouenHide
Bright, bold colors and impressive functionality define LouenHide bags. If you’re looking to stand out, LouenHide bags are the perfect pair to muted fall colors. Even better… they’re true vegan designer bags at a super affordable cost.

Fly London
We adore Fly London’s wedges. In fact, they’re probably one of our number one recommendations for fashionable footwear that stay comfortable during a whole day of fun. Their bags take on their signature leather and beautiful, unique colors to match your Fly London shoe collection with ease!

Dakine
Perfect for the young-at-heart, Dakine bags span all sorts of weekend adventures. With trendy backpacks for outdoor hikes and trails to handbags that match your sense of style, Dakine keeps you super prepared with their spacious, functionality-driven bags.

Pikolinos
Yes, you heard correctly… the gorgeous leather shoe brand is now making handbags! Incorporate these into any outfit in which you’d wear your Pikolinos shoes. Off to a cooking class? Road trip to a new city? Romping around your closest beach town, less crowded in the fall? Pack up your Pikolinos leather tote and watch the compliments ring in.

Where will a great bag take you this fall? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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