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at the New Year’s Eve Party Written by Reiley Curran

When you hear “New Year’s Eve Party,” what images come to mind? Streamers, balloons, confetti, party hats . . . and champagne? New Year’s Eve is a holiday frequently marked by heavy drinking, and, sadly, drunk driving. SRSLY thinks we can do better. Just like most of SRSLY’s fun events, the idea for this event came from our youth members. They wanted to give teens and families a fun and substance-free way to celebrate and ring in the New Year. So they planned activities that would appeal to all ages, and asked the community to help out. Dozens of local businesses, service clubs and families donate their money, time and energy to make this event a success, and we couldn’t do it without them. With support from local businesses and service clubs, this event is free and open to the public, including visitors from out of town. Although the event is held in Chelsea, families from Dexter, Grass Lake, Manchester and Stockbridge are also included. “Our New Year’s Eve party is a great example of the community coming together to support fun and safe events for the whole family to enjoy,” said Jesse Kauffman, SRSLY Director. SRSLY coalition members plan games and activities that will appeal to all ages, including face painting, video games, cookie-decorating, music, dancing, swimming, basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer, team competitions (relay races, group games, and more) and a chili cook-off. Since the first party in 2008, teams of friends and families have consumed more than 100 pies in the team pie eating contest (no utensils required). “We had an awesome time,” said one local mom, whose family won the group games. To top it off, they also took home one of three grand prizes at the end of the event. The SRSLY goal for the event is to provide a free, fun and safe environment in which kids and parents can celebrate together. Eight years on, the SRSLY New Year’s Eve party is a holiday tradition for many families. Join us at our 9th party this year and celebrate safely. The SRSLY New Year’s Eve Party will take place 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 31, at Beach Middle School in Chelsea. This is a great way for families to celebrate together in a fun environment that promotes healthy decisions. For more information go to www., or email


and with our programs and offerings. Still, as the wintertime allows the earth to rejuvenate for a rebirth in spring, we also take the time to rejuvenate in order to bring new and interesting offerings to the community. With new agricultural practices developing on a constant basis, innovations like hoop houses allow us to grow through the winter season. Although much of the field plantings will go dormant, our use of frost blankets in our hoop houses keep the cold-tolerant plants warm enough to mature, and in the months of December and January when sunlight is minimal, our hoop houses act as refrigerators for the plants that have reached the point of harvest. Our aquaponics system (growing fish and vegetables in a closed system where fish waste feeds the plants, and the plants filter the water back to the fish) that operates out of our greenhouse allows us further opportunity to grow greens throughout the year and provide them to local food businesses.

Robin Hills Farm Written by Ben Wielechowski

Fall is an interesting time of year on a farm. It is a season of changes and of contradictions. It is filled with pride, but also with sadness. It is filled with bountiful harvests, while plants begin to wither and fade. There is beauty and there is bleakness as rich autumnal colors make way for a barren, dormant landscape. Robin Hills Farm is no different. A season’s hard work gives us much to be proud of, and yet the shift in energy (of nature and of us) brings along its own blues. The slow season will be a welcome change from a frenetic summer, but farm work doesn’t completely end for us—not in the garden, and not anywhere else on the property. There is always general maintenance of the farm as well as planning for the future growing season. Although the growing season nearly slows to a halt, we at Robin Hills continue to develop, with our infrastructure 58

As the harvest season comes to a close, our educational and community offerings slow down as well. We offer fewer programs, but winter provides us with a unique opportunity to offer free community classes on a variety of topics that fit into what we care about here at Robin Hills Farm: healthy, mindful, deliberate living. In addition, as an eco-tourist destination, winter brings along its own unique recreational opportunities which we intend to embrace should the season arrive in its full glory. This means sledding and cross-country skiing, ice-skating and more. We also understand the desire for a warm reprieve from the outdoors, so this also means barn dances, film screenings and other social events. Robin Hills Farm is, indeed, a four-season farm. Still, it echoes the natural rhythms of the seasons by taking time to slow down and regroup, while working to accommodate the growing demand of agricultural tourism and sustainable living practices on its 129 acres.


Connected fall winter lr 2016  

The first ever 5 Healthy Town's publication dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle. Serving the communities of Chelsea, Dexter, Grass Lake,...

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