Second time around for the Andover Winter Market. Lots of the best of Northwest NJ’s farms, foods, arts, music and more!
Sunday, February 24, 10am to 3pm
Hillside Park Barn
150 Lake Iliff Road
Andover, NJ 07860
Stepping out of my daughter’s school where she had been since kindergarten into homeschooling was a big leap. How would we fill the void that being in school everyday had filled? We found out about the free membership for 7th graders and went to check it out. The Y is a gorgeous new building, spotless with a beautiful pool and state of the art gym. Everyone at the front desk was incredibly kind and helpful.
My daughter signed up for the free 7th grade membership. I asked for a partial scholarship and was granted one. I was able to join too! She looked over the many opportunities and focused on swimming. Although an avid swimmer, it had been years since she had formal lessons. Not since she was a preschooler and the Y leased a pool on Newton-Sparta Avenue.
In the fall, my daughter started in the beginners Minnow group, progressed to Fish, then Flying Fish over the winter. All the teachers have been wonderful. Patient, fun, caring and professional is how I would describe the aquatic staff. With each class completed I saw her confidence and strength grow, on many levels.
This spring she started Guard Start, a program for kids to see if life-guarding is for them. This is a whole new level of challenge for her and she is loving it! It is giving her a better feel for the goals she will have to reach to become a lifeguard. She is embracing those challenges and has grown up so much from autumn to spring, as she progressed through the Y’s aquatic programs.
We have also enjoyed open swim time together playing in the water. I even take an occasional Water Zumba class, which is a smile and giggle inducing workout. My daughter has also taken a wonderful Archery program and found new social outlets through the Friday night teen socials. We even used our AWAY pass to visit the Randolph Y, where I was able to take a Nia class.
I love the Y because it has given us a positive environment for growth and self esteem and for that I am extremely grateful. Check out the Sussex County YMCA. See why it has so much to offer you and yours.
Kath Galvin Cameron
The 5th annual Medicine Wheel Celebration is coming up. I love that place and the peeps making it beautiful. Their vision for a “healing presence” in Northwest New Jersey is happening. Here is a write up I did for the event with collaboration by Paul Cardillo and Brian Hennessey:
When you plant a garden, sometimes you get more than you expect. Gardeners Paul Cardillo and Brian Hennessey had a vision inherited from area youth in the early 2000’s for a community garden at the historical Lusscroft Farm area of High Point State Park. Since installing the Medicine Wheel Garden in 2009, the community of volunteers and admirers continues to grow, drawing gardeners, farmers, educators, artists and nature lovers to celebrate this Sussex County gem each spring.
The Medicine Wheel volunteer group are hosting their fifth annual Medicine Wheel Celebration on May 18th and 19th in conjunction with the Heritage and Agriculture Association, a friends group of Lusscroft Farm. The two day event features an array of local music, gardening workshops, tours, perennial plant sale, craft and food vendors, community discussions and more to support the continued growth and preservation of the gardens and historical buildings.
Hennessey sees the gardens and celebration as “Living Art and Culture” in Northwest New Jersey. “The Medicine Wheel group has given Lusscroft Farm and New Jersey a healing and growing presence, a living example of people and nature together, which is the Sussex county motto.”
The Medicine Wheel Garden designed by Cardillo and a Compost System designed by Hennessey were installed at Lusscroft Farm in 2009. The Medicine Wheel is a circular garden sliced into twelve sections, each featuring three medicinal and deer resistant companion perennials. The gardens use permaculture or permanent agriculture, a method of farming with natural cycles and interconnection. In 2010 a crescent shape moon garden was added. It’s silvery, white and fuzzy foliage and flowers, reflect the moonlight on summer evenings. In 2012, period plantings were installed at the the historical Manor house and Managers dwelling by the Medicine Wheel group.
Saturday May 18th activities include a Garden Meditation, Dedication of the Wood Carved Owl in the Sister Moon Garden, Spirit Hoopers Performance, Garden Tours, a Plant Walk, workshops on Gardening and Mushroom Propagation.
There will be a morning Round Table Discussions on Water Quality and Community Food Protection with Sister Miriam McGillis of Genesis Farm and Dr. William Thomas of Montclair State University’s NJ School of Conservation. There will be an afternoon Open Mic with Poetry and Music hosted by the musical duo Morning Door.
“It is a fun and fundraising event”, says Hennessey. “Plant sales, raffles and auctions will generate money for Outlook Lodge and other Heritage and Agriculture Association projects at Lusscroft Farm.” The plant sale will offer native and deer resistant landscape, medicinal plants and herbs, heirloom and organic vegetables, fruits, berries and more.
Sunday May 19th there will be a panel discussion on Living Art and Culture in Northwest New Jersey featuring internationally acclaimed artist France Garrido and chainsaw sculpture Brett McLain. Sunday workshops include Soil Fertility and Sustainability with Brian Hennessey, Biology and Structure of Mushrooms with Ian Blanchard, Garlic as Medicine Roman Osadca, Organic Fruit Orchards and Propagation with Pete Tischler. Throughout the weekend there will be tours of the Medicine Wheel Gardens with designer Paul Cardillo.
An afternoon of local music features Alex Phillips, Maribyrd, Jordan Koza, Maura Glynn, the Hawk Owls, Eric Waldman, Mike Lawlor, Joe Biglin with Friends. The Matty Carle Band will finished the Sunday musical lineup.
Vendors include All Things Good, Hemp Heaven, Brink Ink, Love Yourself Jewelry, Coffee Coops, Pixie Pop the Clown, the Village Shaman, Lee’s Bees, Johnsonburg Farms, Bread Boy, Marley’s Jewelry, Eco Energy Option, Sunbird Hoops, Mother Nature’s Gifts at Serendipity, Healey’s Country Crafts, Brookcroft Alternatives, Adansonia Botanicals and more.
The Friends of the Medicine Wheel work with the Heritage & Agriculture Association, a Friends group supporting Lusscroft Farms buildings, trails and year round events. Both groups work together in cooperation with the NJDEP/Division of Parks & Forestry to restore historic Lusscroft Farm.
The Medicine Wheel Gardens are located in Lusscroft Farm at 50 Neilson Road and 4-H Way, Wantage, NJ 07461. The suggested donation for the Medicine Wheel Celebration is $5 per person, kids free. For more info go to http://medicinewheelgarden.wordpress.com/ or call Brian Hennessey at 973-864-2327.
Teresa DeAngelo introduced me to Nia 5 Stages. As a relative newby to Nia practice, 5 Stages was not on my radar, but I was intrigued. “A one hour class dedicated to self-healing, moving from the ground up using the five stages of human development: Embryonic, Creeping, Crawling, Standing into Walking”. The 5 stages came out of Nia co-creator, Debbie Rosas want for a practice to heal on a deeper level. There is a lot of science behind the method. Debbie explained the method on this podcast.
Teresa gave us a little sampling of the practice. After an overview and a meeting with “Skelly”, her life sized mannequin, I was reminded that I have bones and nerve endings and muscles in my feet doing amazing things! As a plus sized woman, sometimes it’s hard to get past the outer and remember how hard a body of any size is working to do its beautiful best.
The smooth wooden floors of Chow & Zen were a great space to experience our class. Nine adults ready for a body adventure. Teresa guided us to start in a fetal position, as fetal as an adult can be. I wonder if that will deepen with time? Slowly we each began to move, stretch, curl, unfurl - each in our own way. We eased into crawling, which was much harder then expected, then eased into walking on all fours with our “bear paws”. We then moved on to squatting which I was nervous about trying, but my thighs rallied and I made it to standing. Walking on tippy toes felt funny and walking normally was how we ended the first cycle. We did a second round and that felt easier, now that we were getting our groove going.
Teresa asked for words to described how we felt. I felt “tingly” and “more awake”, others felt “ease”, “stretched.” It felt a bit “out there” to move in this way the first time, but really…so innate when you think about it. Moving from flat bed, to right angle chairs, car seats, exercise equipment are all so linear. How has our physical movement changed with the industrial and now technology age? What basic human movements are we missing in our modern lives? Crawling, squatting, stooping? Did they serve a purpose we have forgotten?
I have been thinking about how this simple practice could have so many applications working with physical rehabilitation, kids with learning challenges, those of us in need of mind/body connection.
Since our one hour dip into the 5 Stages, I have been adding it to my morning stretch time. I do the 5 stages for about 5 minutes before my morning exercises or running out the door. I find it is a wonderful way to wake up the body. Nia instructor and 5 Stages facilitator Teresa D’Angelo will be offering classes, one on one guidance and is coordinating a 5 stages training here in NJ with Laurie Bass.
One month of this practice and I feel more as ease, more in my body. The 5 stages feel more intuitive to me than any other stretches I’ve done. I think it has been a stress reliever too. I breath a little deeper, stand a little taller. I will be taking more classes on 5 Stages. What an interesting journey this Nia is turning in to.
Hooping has been a long journey for me. For a long time, I was a hoop repeller.
The first time I attempted to hoop was in a class with Jessica of Whirled Revolution. During that class I dropped the hoop at least 50 times on the hardwood floors. I retreated to hoop in the privacy of my own home. I got a custom hoop from Jessie. An absolute beauty. A lot like me: plus sized and colorful. The hoop has, I’m guessing about 8oz of water that swooshes around and slows the hoop down to catch up with my extra curves and slower pace.
At first I pushed the hoop as hard as I could to the right in an attempt to get it going and kinda spazzed in an attempt to keep the hoop up. More droppage. For days, weeks, months. My goal was to get through one Michael Franti song, keep the hoop up for about 4 minutes.
At one point, I put the hoop away for a hoop hiatus and came back to a kind of ovalized hoop, from it sitting unused for so long. For whatever reason, that did it ~ the hooping clicked! I finally got through Say Hey!
Now as part of my Move with Joy 2013 Resolution, I hoop most days for 20 minutes, some days, just 5. I hoop to netflix or youtube videos of Tina Turner, Bob Marley, Bruno Mars, Jamirquai, anything with a great groove.
As my endurance increased, my stomach muscles responded. There are times when I have felt like I was wearing an internal corset! Muscles were saying “say hey, what’s up?!” I even lost a few inches around my hips.
But that’s not really what the hooping was about. Hooping is about getting stronger at my very core, on many levels. That makes my very happy, hoopy.
Northwest New Jersey winters are testing for us color seekers. By this time of year there are many shades or gray and brown with a few spots of green emerging.
But at SpringFest you can bypass Mother Nature and get an infusion of colors. Pinks, Reds, Purples, Blues, Yellows and Green, lots of Greens at the Conservatory at the Sussex County Fairgrounds. The display gardens run from standard issue lawn with dots of landscaping to fantastical moss covered fairy houses with fountains.
You can also get primed for Gardening Season through the many workshops and demos given throughout the 4 day event.
Locals featured this year include Delia Quigley on root vegetables speaking about their medicinal properties and how they strengthen the intestines on Thursday at 4:00. Artisan Paul Klemm will have his cob oven and natural building methods all weekend long.
In addition to the gardens, shopping and lectures, there is a themed cafe featuring the top notch cuisine of Krave.
Springfest Garden Show, held March 14-17th at the Sussex County Fairgrounds, Plains Road in Augusta, NJ. Hours are 10am -5pm daily. Lectures are free with paid admission to the show. Adults: $12. Seniors 65+: $9. Children under 12 free. For more info: www.springfestgardenshow.org or call 973-948-9448.
NWNJH: Dan, how did you wind up on this path to foraging?
Dan Farella: I discovered foraging because i was seeking a greater and deeper connection with nature, I instinctively and intuitively felt something primal, some spiritual connection, and knew that through practicing awareness of what natural plants and mushrooms were around me I could develop and evolve that practice of turning on my senses, learning to rely on my own skills, and take my own power as a human back to be directly connected to nature. A human birth right that I feel has been slowly shaken out of us.
NWNJH: Who were/are your mentors?
Dan: My mentors are any and all beings that have walked a path of herbal medicine and foraging, indigenous people of the world, to those who survived the great depression relying on their foraging skills, to immigrants that came here and brought foraging knowledge, to all of the modern day teachers and guides of herbalism and foraging.
NWNJH: The late Frank Cook was a forager and explorer of plants all over the world. Cook mentored here in Northwest New Jersey through his plant walks. A few people have asked me if you worked with Frank?
Dan: In my journey and discovery learning this path I discovered Frank Cook who had already been deceased for several years, largely through my friend Meghan in North Carolina that had connection with him. She had some amazingly prophetic dreams where he was guiding me. And as I have learned more about him, his life, and his story i have felt that he is like a spiritual guide, and older brother who has helped pave the way and opened the door of these traditions. I have since connected with many of his friends, students, and community in the NC area.
NWNJH: I love how foraging connects people so immediately to their food. What kinds of reactions do you get from people who are new to foraging?
Dan: Either they react with the fear that has been programmed into them by industries wanting to get in between them and their food source; such as fearing if there is poop or pee on the plants. What I like to mention is that poop and pee can be washed off, pesticides and genetic modification cannot be. Or they respond with a deep instinctual awakening, the same that I’ve had. It is our birth right and has sustained us this far. We literally have more DNA in our genome of dandelion than we do of processed fast food. So there is often an excited awakening that occurs when people break through their wall of perception and realize that just about every little “weed”, plant, shrub, and mushroom that they see has medicinal and edible value. Very few are poisonous despite what the media has taught us. Most of the time it helps people to feel empowered to realize that nature is literally throwing itself at us trying to remind us that we never left eden. And what does that say about us as a species to then turn around and wage a war on our front lawn with pesticides? Surely there’s lots of work to do.
To learn more about Dan and his educational events log onto www.returntonature.us .
Here is a video of Dan sharing his wisdoms on a foraging walk.
Dan will be in Blairstown, NJ on Saturday March 9th for a Foraging walk.
Winter Foraging – Wild Suburban Teas with Dan Farella
14 Bridge Street
Blairstown, NJ 07825
March 9th, 2pm
Suggested donation, $20, BYO Mug. Outdoor and Indoor event. Questions and RSVP by text to 862-266-1754.
February is the longest shortest month, imho. But my “move with joy” new year’s resolution is going strong.
Finally having Nia classes in our area is a huge help. And being a part of the Nia Jam was the highlight of my Fabulous Fabruary. 25 beauties danced, sighed, punched, kicked and smiled through the 90 minute session that went by in a Heart Beat!
Our Jam was lead by the amazing goddesses Kim Lane, Bernadette Pleasant, Alina Taubman, Leena Gabrielsen and Teresa D’Angelo. Each them brought their firey, sexy, ethereal energy to the dance and brought out those essences in me. It was absolutely blissful to move my way, in joy. This Nia is very powerful stuff.
Bi-weekly classes on Sunday at Chow & Zen are all I can attend in my area right now. It’s a start and I know Nia will find it’s footing in our area – one body/mind/soul at a time.
Nia speaks to my Soul and helps connect my Mind and Body in the most fun movement exercise class ever! More like festival dancing, just indoors! What’s not to LOVE!?
Northwest New Jersey is hosting it’s first ever Nia Jam, a 90 minute intro to Nia Dance movement combining Dance Arts, Healing Arts and Martial Arts to High Energy Music!
The jam is FREE and takes place this Sunday 3pm to 4:30 at the gorgeous Chow & Zen Massage & Holistic Center, 14 Bridge Street, in Blairstown, NJ. Donations will be accepted for the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation. Dress to move, heal and have a blast! More details at Nia New Jersey website.
And you can RSVP at email@example.com 0r call 862-266-1754.
It’s never to soon to start thinking about those warm summer afternoons and evenings when sweet sounds of music fill the air of fields, farms and parks of Northwest New Jersey. If you have a Northwest New Jersey event to share, drop us a line and we’ll share it on the blog.
Here are some super early bird specials from Black Potatoe Festival coming up this July.
Happy New Yous!
My New Year’s intention for 2013 is to move with joy through life. I’m talking about moving to music, dancing, hooping, and rebounding. I’m also talking about putting a little Soul Train boogie into each moment, whether it’s doing the dishes or walking the dog.
I used to go see a lot of music. One of my favorite things to do. I miss it, but not the scene. What I realized is I missed is the DanCing! I’ve been waiting to go someplace to hear music and dance. Well that just wasn’t happening as often as I’d like. So I wait no more. I dance in my living room to P-Funk. I Hoop to Jamiroquai. And I take Nia classes!
What the heck is it? It’s fun! It’s movement! It’s for all bodies! I am not a graceful petite flower kinda girl. But Nia is about moving what you got, in a way that is intuitive and healing. Yeah there is choreography involved, but you do what you can and modify where you need. It has been a long time coming, Nia classes are finally happening up in my neck of these northwest woods! you can go to http://www.nianewjersey.com for more chances to get your groove on.
Come join us! We will be dancing on alternate Sundays starting Sunday January 6th, 1pm at Chow & Zen, 14 Bridge Street, Blairstown, NJ 07860. On the other Sundays, we’ll get tribal with the very earthy and sexy tribal belly dance. We have an absolute hoot with Toni Grenz. So we got dance going on every Sunday this winter. What better way to keep those winter blues at bay?!
So turn up this blog post and let it rip!