and was used as a blacksmith shop until WWII. Then it became a tractor shed and grew dilapidated. While the schoolhouse was being rehabbed, Almeida and her husband began to talk to an old friend, Bob Webb, about Almeidaâ€™s dream of farming and teaching people about sustainable living. They were living in Northboro at the time, and were looking for a place for Almeida to farm and offer classes. Webb happened to be one of the owners of Meadowbrook Farm and agreed to lease the land to Almeida. She and her family bought a house in Westford to be close to the farm and moved in last May, just a month after giving birth to their daughter. She laughs as she recalls last June when she would wake up early each day, nurse the baby before heading to the farm to plant pumpkin seeds, until her husband would call to say the baby was awake again, and sheâ€™d race back home to nurse again. Her son, almost 2 then, would call the moon â€œthe fat moon,â€? and a name for her business was born. Almeida met Piper at a party at Webbsâ€™ house in late 2010, and theyâ€™ve been friends and business associates ever since. â€œItâ€™s been nice to have the support of another young female entrepreneur whoâ€™s making a business and a family at the same time,â€? Almeida says. Both women appreciate that their husbands have jobs that support their families while they grow their businesses. They have chosen simple lifestyles without huge mortgages so they can pursue their dreams. But they each foresee a day when their own income will support their families. For now, Almeida hires a babysitter 15 hours a week so she can tend to her businesses, and works on weekends. â€œI truly feel my business is my calling in life as much as being a mother,â€? Almeida says. Piper plans to take some time off once her baby is born. Then, she has plenty of babysitting offers to cash in. Fortunately, her job is just yards beyond her back door.
She says following her passion will set a good example for her kids, showing them that being an adult isnâ€™t boring. â€œWhen you are happy, you are a better parent,â€? Piper says.
An Eclectic Array of Classes The schoolhouse opened for classes last June. Piper renamed it the Rumphius Recycled Schoolhouse after the book character that tries to make the world a more beautiful place, and bedecked it with a fanciful mix of antique and salvaged furniture and knick-knacks. Almeida uses the schoolhouse for classes too, but soon will have her own classroom space in the refurbished apple shed next door. Together, they offer an eclectic array of classes.
Bucks, a modified CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture in which members pay a farmer for a weekly portion of her harvest. With Fat Moon Farm Bucks, you buy a credit to select the veggies you want from the farmstand for a discount all growing season long. She is continuing her successful Kids CSA classes adding a new location in Westboro in which parents learn right beside their children, spend quality time, and the family takes home enough veggies for a meal, Almeida says. â€œThe kids see the whole process â€“ from garden to dinner table, and try new foods,â€? says Liz Schocklin of Littleton. Her son Evan, now 4, tried leeks during last yearâ€™s Kids CSA, and his mom thinks heâ€™s become a better eater since. For the Dolans, a vegetarian family, the farm is heavenly. â€œYou just walk onto the farm and itâ€™s a calming, wonderful place,â€? says Kathi
Visit the Farm Meadowbrook Farm is located at 5 Gould Road in Westford, MA. The Fat Moon organic farm and classes: thefatmoon.com and healthylivingandlearning.com Contact info for both businesses: email@example.com or 978-496-9606 Rumphius Creativity Unhinged art classes: creativityunhinged.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; 978-995-7002. Stable at Meadowbrook Farm, riding lessons and boarding: Debbie Morse, 978-392-9667.
Free Fun at the Farm Check out Meadowbrook Farm at one of these free ongoing events:
Piper teaches masterpiece painting like Van Gogh, sculpting gargoyles and reliving â€œLittle Womenâ€? through writing and plays; she holds vintage tea parties; and leads theater and choral groups. Many of her free-expression art classes use recycled items and she tries to get the kids working outside. This summer, Piper is offering weeklong camps, from Shakespeare to â€œSew Funâ€? fashion to making dollhouses. â€œI love teaching kids that you donâ€™t need to go to the toy store to make your dreams come true,â€? Piper says. Almeidaâ€™s The Fat Moon offers courses in how to grow a pizza garden, preparing healthy 10-minute meals and square-foot gardening. This year, Almeida started selling square-foot garden kitsâ€“complete with wood, soil, plants and seeds â€“ and Farm
Dolan, who lives within walking distance. Dolan and her three daughters did the Kids CSA last year, and her girls would eat green peppers like apples, she says. â€œTheyâ€™re not begging for a bag of Cheetos, theyâ€™re asking â€˜Can I try this vegetable?â€™â€? says Dolan. Her girls also love Piperâ€™s art classes and will be in her camps this summer. And for homeschooling mom Shel Tscherne and her two girls, the trek from Marlboro to Westford for art classes is a chance to revel in the creativity at Meadowbrook Farm. â€œItâ€™s so magical! Oh, to be a kid again!â€? Amy Corneliussen is a freelance writer living in Central MA with her two children.
SUMMER THURSDAYS: 3-7 p.m. beginning early May. Bring your own picnic and explore the farm. Local veggies will be for sale, and kids can do a craft for about $5. MORNING PLAYDATES: 9:30-11 a.m. Spend a morning at the farm with other families on the second Monday of each month. MONTHLY FAT MOON PICNICS: 6-8 p.m. June 2, July 7 and August 4. Bring your own picnic, go on a night hike and enjoy the campfire. You might even get a chance to cook a healthy local treat by the fire, like a cinnamon & honey apple. SUNDAY MEDITATION: 7 a.m. Thirty minutes of quiet meditation and 15 minutes of conversation.
Sweat is Fat Crying six
Women achieving their goals, improving their lives.
Upcoming Camps June 11 July 9
For More Information:
www.AdventureBootCampLLC.com 508.579.6064 email@example.com
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June 2012 edition of baystateparent Magazine