Find Fresh Seasonal Produce at Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden in Novato

July 24, 2014

Indian Valley organic Farm and GardenThis spring and summer, the Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden on the grounds of College of Marin's Indian Valley Campus is a great place to get organic fruits and veggies. A project of College of Marin, Conservation Corps North Bay, and the UC Cooperative Extension, this 5.8-acre certified organic education farm and garden is open to the public for produce shopping on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm from March through October.

Bring your own bags and browse the farm stand for a wide variety of seasonal produce grown right there on-site. Right now, you can get artichokes, beets, radishes, chard, kale, leeks, and more. They also sell plants like poppies and other flowers, fruit trees, and several kinds of strawberry plants.

Explore Berkeley's Tilden Park for Family Fun and Adventure

July 22, 2014

Tilden Park Little FarmFor a fun family day out this summer (or any time of year, actually), head east over the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge and up into the Berkeley hills, where you'll find Tilden Park, a 2,000-acre playground where there's literally something for everyone. Part of the East Bay Regional Parks system, Tilden is so big and there's so much to do here, that it really bears repeat visits!

From hiking trails and campgrounds to a historic carousel and scale steam trains, you'll find a lot to do here. Best of all, many of the attractions are free or very inexpensive. Here are our favorite things to do when visiting Tilden.

Tilden Nature Area and Little Farm

One of the busiest areas of Tilden Park is the Nature Area, and for good reason. This part of the park is home to the Little Farm, the Environmental Education Center, and numerous family friendly hiking trails, as well as group campgrounds, picnic areas, and a playground. It's located right off Canon Drive at the north end of the park.

It's Time for Peace and Love at the 2014 Sonoma County Fair

July 22, 2014

Sonoma County FairIn case you missed or just didn't get enough of the Marin County Fair, you'll be happy to know that the 2014 Sonoma County Fair starts Thursday, July 24 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, and runs through Sunday, August 10. It's worth checking out if you've never been: it's bigger and a lot different than Marin's smaller, more intimate fair, and has more of an agricultural focus, which is natural for a more rural county like Sonoma. The Sonoma County Fair also features the largest themed flower show in the country, which is usually pretty stunning—this year's theme is "Peace, Love & Fair."

The fair includes a kids' area with free appropriate entertainment and activities, including craft projects, a dress-up area, creative hands-on-activities, and plenty of lawn and shade. This year's kids' area theme is "Blast Off to Outer Space", so expect plenty of space-themed fun, and even an astronaut training school! There's also a parents' rest station with changing tables and chairs for nursing.

The fair also holds a daily parade around the grounds at 5 pm that all can participate in—if you want to join in, show up by the Milk Barn at 4:45 pm. Of course you'll also find plenty of other things to see and do, including the usual county fair offerings of concerts, livestock displays, contests, and tons of food, as well as horse racing, rodeos, a even a demolition derby. The fair also boasts two carnivals: a kiddie carnival for the little ones and five acres of more thrilling attractions for older fair-goers.

Healing Your Postpartum Body

July 21, 2014

Pomegranate Center Postnatal yogaMarin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Pomegranate Center in San Anselmo.

Most pregnant women take exceptional care of their bodies and most new mothers take exceptional care of their babies. It’s a rare woman who makes her own mental and physical well-being a priority after giving birth. Now that you have your baby in your arms, you owe it to yourself and to your family to make healing and self-care a priority.

Pomegranate Center in San Anselmo offers a safe and supportive environment to begin taking care of yourself after birth. We offer two Mom and Baby Yoga classes to connect with your baby and your body –this class is just enough stretching and movement to start opening and engaging your muscles after birth. It is a class full of support and community and will give you confidence as you practice mothering (babies are in the class) and self-care.

We also offer a weekly Postnatal Pilates class taught by Tamar Dover: a postnatal mom of two young children (ages 3.5 and 2 years old) who has been teaching pilates for 12 years. We have onsite childcare during this class for children who are 4 weeks-10 years old.

Tacos al Pastor with Homemade Corn Tortillas

July 21, 2014

tacos al pastorThere's something about authentic style tacos that's so delicious, and one of our favorite variations is tacos al pastor, which consist of pork marinated in a red chile sauce with grilled pineapple. In taquerias the pork is usually cooked on one of those vertical spits (like the ones used to cook shawarma or gyros), but we make a simplified version that we cook on the grill and I think it's a great approximation of the real deal. The enzymes in the pineapple help tenderize the pork, and the sweetness plays off the flavor of the red chile and spices.

It's also fun—and surprisingly easy—to make your own corn tortillas, and there's nothing quite like a freshly made tortilla hot out of the pan. It helps to have a cast iron tortilla press, but you can use a rolling pin in a pinch. The kids love to make their own tortillas, although we leave the cooking to a grownup, since they're baked in a hot cast iron pan. Actually, quite a few of the tortillas never make it to the taco part of the meal, since they're so good on their own.

If you've never had a fresh, hand made tortilla, you're in for a treat. They're really quite unlike the packaged kind you get at the store, and they're really delicious. One more tip: rinse your chopped white onion in cold water and let drain before you use it to top your tacos. This really takes away a lot of the strong raw onion flavor.

Ingredients

for the tacos

  • 2 ounce package whole guajillo chiles
  • 1 cup pineapple, cut into chunks

Blackberry Buttermilk Skillet Cake

July 20, 2014

blackberry buttermilk skillet cakeThis is the time of year when delicious blackberries are now readily available at the farmer's market. Blackberries also grow wild throughout Marin, so they're free and plentiful if you know where to look (and don't mind the occasional jab from a blackberry thorn). The kids love to go pick blackberries, which we usually end up eating out of hand. If we have enough left over, we try to make a blackberry dessert like this old-fashioned buttermilk skillet cake.

This cake is best made in a cast iron skillet. If you don't have one, go get one—cast iron pans make everything you cook in them taste better, and they're virtually indestructible. You can cook with them at home, take them camping, and eventually pass them down to your grandkids! You'll find them at the hardware or sporting goods store for around $20 or so. They even come pre-seasoned, so you can use them right away.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • dash of salt

Hike Into the Past at Kule Loklo in Point Reyes

July 19, 2014

Kule LokloExplore a piece of Marin's past at Kule Loklo, a reconstruction of a Coast Miwok village located near the Point Reyes National Seashore visitor center in Bear Valley. It's just a short .3-mile hike from the parking area, but it feels like you're travelling a world away, back to a time before European settlement in California.

Kule Loklo, which means "Bear Valley", was created back in the 1970s to give visitors to Point Reyes an idea of what life was like for Native Americans in the area. The village is not built on the site of any existing Miwok settlement, but is in a place where one definitely could have been, with a nearby creek and plenty of oak trees and wildlife.

The trail to Kule Loklo is easy to manage for everyone, and perfect for an off-road stroller. On the way, you'll get a nice view of the Morgan Horse farm and other facilities at Bear Valley. Follow the trail to the right, pass a stand of tall eucalyptus trees, and you'll find yourself at Kule Loklo.

Marin Weekend Family Fun for July 18, 19 & 20

July 18, 2014
Hamilton Community Pool Novato
Cool off at a Marin community pool this weekend!

Here are our picks for great events and activities for children and families this weekend. Find more events for the whole week in Marin and beyond in our Family Events Calendar.

Friday, July 18

  • 2014 Child Safety Fair
    Habitot Children's Museum, Berkeley
    Friday & Saturday, 10 am–12:30 pm

    A two-day safety event with multiple demonstrations from community experts that include: choke saving skills, toxin free homes, earthquake safety, helmet, auto, and water safety. Free admission. Location: 2065 Kittredge Street, Berkeley. For more info, call (510) 647-1111 or visit their website.
  • Theater By Kids 4 Kids: Peter Pan Jr.
    Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley
    Friday 10:30 am, 1 and 3:30 pm & Saturday 11:30 am, 2 and 4 pm

    Come support the MTC Summer Campers as they perform Disney's Peter Pan Jr. on the main stage! Perfect for ages 5 and up - Bring the whole family. This is a free event. Seating is general admission and available day of or in advance by calling (415) 388.5208. Wendy Darling loves to tell stories to her brothers, Michael and John. But when her father announces she must move out of the nursery, Peter Pan comes to visit the children and whisks them away to Neverland. Their adventure introduces them to the Lost Boys, Mermaids, Indians and even the infamous pirate Captain Hook!  Location: 397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Children's Garden Series: Caterpillar Puppeets
    Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
    Friday, 11–11:30 am & 12:15–12:45 pm

    This free event is part of the Children's Garden Series at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. Join master puppeteer Joe Leon and his friends: the Three Little Bla-bla-blas, the singing Gunnywolf, and the shy artist mouse Amadeus, who sketches a lucky audience member at every show! Free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Friday Family Date Nights: Miss Kitty
    Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    Friday, 5–7:30 pm

    Bring your family to enjoy later hours, live entertainment, special outdoor activities, and more. All activities and performances included with all-day museum admission. Free admission for members. This Friday: Bay Area musical treasure Miss Kitty sings and plays the tunes her pint-sized audience requests. For more info, call (415) 339-3900 or visit their website.
  • Jazz & Blues by the Bay
    Gabrielson Park, Sausalito
    Friday, 6:30–8:30 pm

    Jazz & Blues by the Bay at Gabrielson Park in Sausalito is a free event. Lawn seating available (first-come first-served). This Friday: Jimi James, sponsored by Sausalito Art Festival. For more info, visit their website.
  • Tam Valley's Creekside Fridays
    Tennessee Valley Cabin, Mill Valley
    Friday, 6:30–8 pm

    Bring the family, pets, chairs, and blankets to the weekly free musical event. This Friday: The 85's. Food available for purchase. For more info, call (415) 289-4152 or visit their website.
  • Pacheco Plaza Summer Music Series
    Pacheco Plaza, Novato
    Friday, 6–9 pm

    Enjoy Pachamama Band, an eclectic mix of highly talented musicians from Bolivia, Cuba, and Brazil along with some surprise guests. This is an exciting blend of sultry South American music.! Free. Dine, picnic, kick back and relax to the great music or get up and dance. Arrive early for best parking. Location: 366 Ignacio Boulevard, Novato. For more information, visit their website.
  • Marin Shakespeare Company: Romeo and Juliet  Preview
    Forest Meadows Amphitheater, San Rafael
    Friday & Saturday, 8 pm
    , Sunday, 4 pm
    Preview performances encourage audience feedback; tickets are discounted. Performances take place at Forest Meadows Amphitheatre at Dominican University of California in San Rafael, 1475 Acacia Avenue (at Grand Avenue). For more info, visit their website.

Saturday, July 19

  • Civil War Days
    Casini Ranch Family Campground, Duncan Mills
    Satuday, 9 am–5 pm and Sunday, 9 am–3 pm

    Come and experience Civil War living history in the Sonoma County town of Duncans Mills. Interact with soldiers and civilans and see battles, period demonstrations, and even a speech by President Lincoln. Admission is $12 for adults, $6 for juniors 6–12, and free for kids 5 and under. Parking is $5 per car. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo for the kids from 10 am–2 pm, face kids' crafts from 9 am–2 pm, children's music or storytelling from 9:30–10:30 am, and more live music from 11 am–12:30 pm, as well as fresh produce, prepared foods, and great local restaurants. For more info, visit their website.
  • WildCare Family Adventures: Rush Creek Bird Walk
    Rush Creek Open Space Preserve, Novato
    Saturday, 10 am–12:30 pm

    Enjoy a day out in nature with the family. WildCare naturalists will lead fun family programs full of discovery. Come search for waterfowl and other birds from the White Pelican to the Red-tailed Hawk and Allen’s or Ana’s Hummingbirds. Please, no animals (except service animals). For more info, call (415) 453-1000 ext. 17 or visit their website.
  • 34th Annual Big Time Festival
    Bear Valley Visitor Center Pt. Reyes
    Saturday, 10 am–3 pm

    Join the National Park Service and Point Reyes National Seashore Association for the annual Big Time Festival at Kule Loklo, a Coast Miwok cultural exhibit located near the Bear Valley Visitor Center. This free family event celebrates traditional Native American festivals that would bring together local tribes during the summer months. Throughout the day demonstrators will exhibit their skills in basketry, flint knapping, clamshell bead making, and more. Traditional dancers from the Intertribal Pomo group and Dry Creek Pomo will also perform a variety of traditional dances. Vendors will also be selling a wide variety of crafts. Free parking available at the Bear Valley Visitor's Center. For more info, visit their website.
  • The Great Sausalito Play Date
    Sausalito Public Library
    Saturday, 10–11:30 am

    We will begin the morning with stories, songs, and finger plays, and then set the children loose on ‘stations’ of lushly tactile materials—sticky, soft, crinkly, over, under, squish, jump, play! Children 3 and younger and their grownups. Location: 420 Litho Street, Sausalito. For more info, call (415) 289-4121 or visit their website.

Infant & Child CPR Classes for Marin Parents

July 17, 2014

infant CPR trainingLearning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an important part of any first-aid training, and knowing how to properly administer this technique can save a life! Parents and caregivers in Marin County can learn how to administer CPR to infants and children through many different resources. Here are a few places to learn pediatric CPR in Marin. Most of these classes also cover other first-aid skills like automated external defibrillator (AED) basics and the Heimlich maneuver. If you know of a class that's not on the list below, please let us know and we'll add it!

The Novato Fire District provides CPR classes on the third Tuesday of each month. Classes cost $15, and cover adult, child, and infant CPR, AED familiarization, and the Heimlich maneuver. Certificate is valid for two years. For more information, visit their website or call (415) 878-2690.

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