April 2011 Calendar of Events in Westchester & Putnam NY from Natural Awakenings Magazine

FRIDAY, APRIL 1

Sassy Ladies Shopping Night Out – 6-10pm. DJ, samplings, free give-a-way’s, shopping for unique finds, fashion tips & eco-friendly goody bag. The DoubleTree Hotel, Tarrytown. $10. 914.396.7664.

Fools Night Out – 7-11:30pm. Comedy by Donna East includes show, appetizers, music and dancing. Partial proceeds benefits “Happy Families International Center”. $35pp. Lakeside at Osceola, 399 E. Main St., Jefferson Valley. 914.245.3246.

SATURDAY, APRIL 2

Frog Music – 10-11:30am. The sounds of spring begin with a chorus of frogs. Explore a vernal pool and watch and listen as spring explodes. Wear boots that can get wet. $5/nonmembers. Teatown Lake Reservation, 1600 Spring Valley Rd, Ossining. 914.762.2912 x110; teatown.org.
Release Stress w/Energy Healing Workshop – 10:30am-12noon w/Penny Lavin from One Light Healing Touch Int’l Healing School. Experiential energy healing workshop helps participants relieve stress and develop innate healing ability. Mt. Kisco Library, 100 E. Main St., Mt Kisco. Free. 914.864.0038; onelighthealingtouch.com.
Family Constellation Work – 1-4:30pm. Beyond psychology, an approach that looks at present life experience within the context of the family “field” and family history; as hidden dynamics are revealed, new solutions emerge. Tarrytown location. Eve-Marie, LMSW, LCAT; 914.909.6292.
Herbal Healing Garden Design Workshop – 2-4pm. Design an herb garden with traditional Native American herbs that can grow locally. Hilltop Hanover Farm, Yorktown. $20. 914.962.2368 x2; hilltophanoverfarm.org.
Become a Yoga Teacher – 5:30-6:30pm. Learn more about deepening one’s yoga practice and becoming a yoga teacher with Lara Azzarito Ward. Graceful Planet, 7 Berkshire Rd. Sandy Hook, CT.  Info: 860.354.6241; lotusgardensyoga.com.

SUNDAY, APRIL 3

Holistic Pet Care for Cats and Dogs – 1-4pm. Discover techniques to help pets relax and have a better quality of life. Circle of Tranquility, Hawthorne. $40. 914.769.1446; bobbisholisticcare.com.
Community Yoga Class – 1:30-2:30pm. Come visit the YogaScape and Spa for the free community class held the first Sunday of each month. 1100 Rte. 52, 2nd floor (at Farmers Mills Rd.), Carmel. 845.225.9642; theyogascape.com.
Candlelit Kundalini and Meditation – 5:30-7pm. Work on all aspects of the self using mental forces, breathing techniques, mantras, postures, mudras, and relaxation. Quest Yoga Arts, 11-13 Main St. Mt. Kisco. $20/pre-register by 4/1. Questyogaarts.com.
Adult Meditation Group – 7:15-8:15pm (4/3 & 4/25) w/ Merrill Black, LCSW/Reiki Master. Unique theme, guided meditation, group discussion. Bi-monthly group. 531 Central Park Ave., Ste. 304, Scarsdale. $15. 914.722.1989.

TUESDAY, APRIL 5

Release Stress w/Energy Healing Workshop – 6:30-8pm w/Penny Lavin from One Light Healing Touch Int’l Healing School. Experiential energy healing workshop helps participants relieve stress and develop innate healing ability. Carmel Reed Library, Rt. 52 & Rt. 6, Carmel.  Free. 845.225.2439; onelighthealingtouch.com.
Water Demo – 7pm. Learn what’s really in drinking water; what is believed to be doing the body good may actually be doing the opposite. Human Bodyworks Massage Therapy & Healing Arts Center, 32 Main St., Hastings on Hudson. Free/registration required. HumanBodyworks.com.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6

Healing Circle of Light – 12-1pm. Spiritinside Healing Center, 344 Main St., Ste. 205, Mt. Kisco. All welcome. Free.  914.730.0155 or 914.400.7056; spiritinside.net.
Journal “Spilling” – 6-7pm. Experience creative endeavors for adults and teens. The John C. Hart Memorial Library, 1130 Main St., Shrub Oak. Free. 914.245.5262 x227; yorktownlibrary.org.
Optimal Health Care Panel – 7-9pm. Bring questions for a discussion with holistic practitioners. Brewster Adult Ed. Info: 845.279.5051×154.

THURSDAY, APRIL 7

Whole Foods Cooking Class Series – 9:15-11:45am (4/7 & 4/14). Learn quick, easy and tasty recipes using all organic ingredients; low fat, wheat-free, and gluten-free. $160/2-class series or “bring a friend” discount – $145/series per person. Hawthorne. Reservations required. 914.769.8745; yogashine.com.
Pranayama & Meditation – 11:15-12:15 (4/7, 4/14, 4/21, 4/28) w/Amy Pearce-Hayden, ERYT. A practice that fosters the ability to direct ones own energy, and concentrate the mind. YogaScape and Spa, 1100 Rte. 52, 2nd floor, Carmel. $18/first class at studio free. 845.225.9642.
Holistic Moms Network – 6:30-8:30pm. Special guest Julia Trunzo of Fishkill Farms discusses organic pest management, companion planting, composting, and ways to involve kids in gardening. Desmond-Fish Library Program Room, Rt. 9D & 403, Garrison. 917.975.8623; holisticmoms.org.
Best Sleep Tips – 7-8pm. A panel of health and wellness practitioners reaches into their tool kits to assist in creating the best personalized sleep habits to meet needed rest and recovery. The Art of Healing, 1 Front St., Patterson. Donation.  845.878.4325.
Lecture for Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Sufferers – 7pm. w/Upper Cervical Chiropractic. Limited to people who are Fibromyalgia and chronic pain sufferers. Free. Includes dinner. 914.868.6200.
Managing Stress Through Yoga – 7-8:30pm w/Corey Esannason & Christine Racanelli, PhD. Learn new skills to assist in self-regulation, stress reduction, and the potential for positive change. Quest Yoga Arts.11-13 Main St. Mt. Kisco. $40/paid preregistration by 4/4. Questyogaarts.com.
Mindful Eating – 7:30pm w/Natalie Dalessio-Gruneberg. Program includes basic nutrition information, learning to become aware of hunger cues, recipe modification and more. The John C. Hart Memorial Library, 1130 Main St., Shrub Oak. Free. 914.245.5262 x227; yorktownlibrary.org.

FRIDAY, APRIL 8

Book Signing/Seminar – 7-9pm w/Diana Cooper, internationally acclaimed angel & orb expert; author and founder of the School of Angels and Ascension, speaks about the information in the book, “Keys to the Universe”. Awakenings, 215 Katonah Ave., Katonah. $35/pre-registrations required. 914.232.0382; awakeningskatonah.com.

SATURDAY, APRIL 9

Access Healing Potential – Time TBA. (4/9 & 4/10) w/Penny Lavin of One Light Healing Touch Int’l School. Learn 6 self-healing practices and 4 techniques for healing the self and others. 11 CEUs – NYSNA and NCBTMB. Wainwright House. 914.967.6080; wainwright.org.
Gluten-Free Baking – 9am-12noon (4/9 & 4/16). Chef Laurie Gershorgn shows how to limit or remove wheat/wheat products from the diet, preparing delicious dishes with whole grains. Hilltop Hanover Farm & Environmental Center, 1271 Hanover St., Yorktown Heights. $20. 914.962.2368 x2.
2012 and Beyond – 9am-5pm w/Diana Cooper, internationally acclaimed angel & orb expert, author and founder of the School of Angels & Ascension. Katonah Library. $100. Pre-register required with Awakenings. 914.232.0382; awakeningskatonah.com.
Reiki Event – 10am-2pm. Help welcome Reiki Master Barbara Tierney to Body Kneads Massage Therapy of Mahopac. Sample Reiki & chair massage, snacks and beverages served.  880 South Lake Blvd., Ste.102, Mahopac. Free. 914.907.2037.
Mythic Tarot Workshop – 10am-5pm (4/9 & 4/10). Through guided meditation, mythology, instruction, and practical experience, learn to use the Mythic Tarot as a visual guidepost through life stories. Bring copy of The Mythic Tarot deck. Circle of Tranquility, Hawthorne. $120. 914.769.1446; bobbisholisticcare.com.
Crystals and Rocks: The Stone People – 11am-4pm w/Judith Star-Medicine. Wainwright House, 260 Stuyvesant Ave., Rye. $60 or $50/member. 914.967.6080; wainwright.org.
Painting From the Inside Out Workshop –12-4pm. Come explore, experiment and play while painting, allowing spontaneity to release creativity and affect life. No skills required.  Tarrytown location. $55 by 4/4 or $65. Eve-Marie, 914.909.6292; paintinginsideout.com.
Wellness Screenings – 12-3pm. Adrenals, toxicity load, nutritional advice, and spinal screenings available. Sponsored by the Foundation for Wellness Professionals, Dr. Lawrence G. Stern, Stern Chiropractic & Integrative Wellness, PC. Jefferson Valley Mall. Info/914.864.2222.
Activate Intuition – 12-5pm w/Pam Cucinell. Using the Major Arcana of the Tarot, receive an experiential introduction using guided meditation and images to awaken intuition. Participants experience mini-readings. Opal Moon Wellness Center, 2037 Albany Post Rd., Croton. $100/pre-registration required. 914.788.4955; opalmoon.net.
Fermented Foods Workshop – 1-3pm. Learn to make kimchi, sauerkraut, chutney and relish from local foods. Hilltop Hanover Farm, Yorktown. $20. 914.962.2368 x2; hilltophanoverfarm.org.

SUNDAY, APRIL 10

Reiki Healing Circle – 11am-1pm. Reiki is an ancient natural healing technique. Circle open to all levels of experience and training. Opal Moon Wellness Center, 2037 Albany Post Rd., Croton. $20. 914.788.4955; opalmoon.net
Build a Pizza Box Solar Oven – 1pm. Recycle a pizza box into a real solar oven and learn about the power of the sun. Kids welcome. Emanuel Lutheran Church, 197 Manville Rd., Pleasantville.  $20; $15/kids. 914.589.6744.
Indoor Worm Composting Class – 1-3pm. Turn kitchen veggie scraps into a nutrient dense soil and construct a worm bin in this fun, eco-friendly workshop. Emanuel Lutheran Church, 197 Manville Rd., Pleasantville. $20 +$10/materials fee. 914.589.6744; skillsoffthegrid.com.
Conquering Contrary Spaces – 1-3:30pm w/Colleen Breeckner. Hatha sequence designed to develop strength in the practice that makes accessible some of the more difficult asanas like handstand and arm balances. Quest Yoga Arts, 11-13 Main St., Mt. Kisco. $40/preregister.  Questyogaarts.com.
Meditation and Satsang – 1:30-2:30pm w/Amy Pearce-Hayden. Join a thought provoking discussion form a yogic perspective, followed by guided meditation. Second Sunday of each month. YogaScape and Spa, 1100 Rte. 52, 2nd floor, Carmel. 845.225.9642.
Monthly Kirtan – 3pm w/Satya Franche & Ma Kirtan. Wainwright House, 260 Stuyvesant Avenue, Rye. $10/advance, $15/door. 914.967.6080; wainwright.org.
American Healing Traditions – 3:30pm. Learn how Native Americans approached healing and used natural herbs and local plants. Participate in Native American talking circle. Emanuel Lutheran Church, 197 Manville Rd., Pleasantville. $20. 914.589.6744.
Restorative Yoga – 5-7pm. Gentle, classic supported postures and breath. Release tensions; calm the nervous system and increase self-awareness. Quest Yoga Arts. 11-13 Main St. Mt. Kisco. $25/preregister by 4/8. Questyogaarts.com.

MONDAY, APRIL 11

Book Signing: The Healthy Home: Simple Truths to Protect Your Family from Hidden Household Dangers – 6-7pm. w/ authors Dr. Myron Wentz and Dave Wentz. Lincoln Center’s, Alice Tulley Hall, 1941 Broadway, NYC. Info: MyHealthyHome.com.

TUESDAY, APRIL 12

Westchester Holistic Network Breakfast – 8-10am.Gather with holistically-minded to enjoy an organic breakfast and a speaker in a beautiful setting. April speaker, Cathy Wilke, “The Yoga of Marketing.”  $18 Non-members; $15 members.  914.422.1784; WestchesterHolisticNetwork.org.
Trigger Point Massage Class – 7-8:30pm. Find out what trigger points are, how they affect health, and learn at-home therapies to release stress in the affected areas. Bring friend/family member to work with. Stern Chiropractic & Integrative Wellness, Mount Kisco. 914.864.2222.
Angelic Guided Meditation – 7-9pm w/Francine Vale. Come into alignment with the Higher Self creating greater self-empowerment so life becomes more peaceful and harmonious. Human Bodyworks Massage Therapy & Healing Arts Center, 32 Main St., Hastings on Hudson. $15. 917.445.1767; HumanBodyworks.com.

FRIDAY, APRIL 15

Channeled Meditation – 7:15-8:45pm w/Suzy Meszoly. Have a deeply physical experience during the channeled meditation which realigns imbalances, addresses illness and tunes one’s frequency to a higher resonance. Opal Moon Wellness Center, 2037 Albany Post Rd., Croton. $50/registration required. 914.788.4955; opalmoon.net.

SATURDAY, APRIL 16

Volunteers Landscape Day – 9am-2pm. Horticulturists, gardeners and landscape enthusiasts of all skill levels welcome. Rain or shine. Lunch served. Please dress appropriately for woodland terrain and bring work gloves. 584 Route 9D, Garrison. Register: 845.424.3812.
Garden Readiness – 10am-12noon. Receive tips and techniques for greening up the grounds for spring with Master Gardener Maggie Pichura. $5/nonmembers. Teatown Lake Reservation, 1600 Spring Valley Rd, Ossining. 914.762.2912 x11; teatown.org.
Awaken Wellness Fair – 10am-6pm.Cutting-edge wellness of body, mind and spirit. Over 100 practitioners, speakers, readers and vendors with info about self care, living green, etc.  $10 online thru April 14; $15 at door. Doubletree Hotel, Tarrytown. Info: AwakenFair.com.
Introducing Image Keys – 10:30am-3:30pm. Learn how to raise and maintain a Higher Consciousness with unique tools for transformation and spiritual awakening. Opal Moon Wellness Center, 2037 Albany Post Rd., Croton. $44. Registration required. 914.788.4955; opalmoon.net.
Psychic Saturday – 11am-4pm. Learn to empower the self with good decisions for all life’s issues by finding the path to higher understanding. $60/30mins and $100/45mins. Spiritinside Healing Center, 344 Main St., Ste. 205, Mt. Kisco. 914.730.0155; spiritinside.net.
Book Signing – 11:30-1:30pm w/Roland Comtois, International speaker and author of “And Then There Was Heaven, A Journey of Hope and Love”. Chat with Roland and experience impromptu connections with those on the other side. Awakenings, 215 Katonah Ave Katonah. Free. 914.232.0382; awakeningskatonah.com.
Befriend The Body – 2-5pm w/Shamanic Practitioner Mikki Davis. Explore what it means to take care of the self via lively discussions, journaling, body-centered meditation, and creative play in a sacred space. Liberation Yoga and Wellness Center, 900 S. Lake Blvd, Mahopac. $40. 845.803.8389.
Monthly Kirtan & Drumming Circle – 7pm. Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Westchester (UU Coffee House), 236 South Bedford Rd. /Rt. 172, Mt Kisco. 914.241.1360.

SUNDAY, APRIL 17

More Truth Will Set You Free Workshop – 2-4:30pm w/Elka Boren, Shaman & Clairvoyant. Also private session’s w/Elka available 4/14-4/19. Human Bodyworks Massage Therapy & Healing Arts Center, 32 Main St., Hastings on Hudson. $45/workshop. 917.445.1767; HumanBodyworks.com.
Rising Star Healing System Initiation – 5-9pm w/Elka Boren, Shaman & Clairvoyant. Also private session’s w/Elka available 4/14-4/19. Human Bodyworks Massage Therapy & Healing Arts Center, 32 Main St., Hastings on Hudson. 917.445.1767; HumanBodyworks.com.
Candlelit Kundalini and Meditation – 5:30-7pm. Work on all aspects of the self using mental forces, breathing techniques, mantras, postures, mudras, and relaxation. Quest Yoga Arts, 11-13 Main St., Mt. Kisco. $20/pre-register by 4/15. Questyogaarts.com.

TUESDAY, APRIL 19

Prema Birthing Certification Class – 5:30-8:30pm w/Elka Boren, Shaman & Clairvoyant. Also private session’s w/Elka available 4/14-4/19. Human Bodyworks Massage Therapy & Healing Arts Center, 32 Main St., Hastings on Hudson.  917.445.1767; HumanBodyworks.com.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20

Awakening the Hidden Storyteller – 6pm. Join award-winning author and storyteller Robin Moore for a journey to unleash inner creativity. The Graduate Institute, 171 Amity Rd., Bethany, CT. Free/space limited. 203.874.4252; learn.edu/events.

THURSDAY, APRIL 21

Group Past Life Regression Workshop – 7-9pm. Certified hypnotherapist Saundra Blum leads group gently down the path to examine how past experiences influence life today. $35.  Awakenings, 215 Katonah Ave., Katonah. $35. 914.232.0382; awakeningskatonah.com.

SATURDAY, APRIL 23

Bee Keeping Workshop Series – 10am-12:30pm, 13 Saturdays over the year. w/ D J Haverkamp. Class room lectures and hands-on experience.$160. John Jay Homestead, Katonah.914.232.7173; Bedfordbee.com.
Rock & Roll Kirtan – 7pm. Featuring Satya Franche, Ma Kirtan, and others. A night of ecstatic sacred chanting set to deeply soulful, lively modern grooves. Garrison Gold Club, 2015 US 9, Garrison. $20/advanced, $30/door. Satyafranche.com.  

MONDAY, APRIL 25

Sustainable Design for the Cheap & Lazy – 6pm w. Michael Molinelli. This exciting program is an investigation on what green architecture really is and how it affects life. Somers Library. Preregister at 914.232.5717; somerslibrary.org.

TUESDAY, APRIL 26

Teach Them How to Find Us Workshop – 5:30-7pm w/Robin C. Mueller. Experience a guided journey to the Angelic Realm to speak to an Angel, Guide or loved one. Spiritinside Healing Center, 344 Main St., Ste. 205, Mt. Kisco. $100/registration required. 914.730.0155; spiritinside.net.
Green Drinks Westchester – 6-8pm. Informal, social networking group built around a common interest in the natural environment. Flying Pig, 251 Lexington Ave, Mt. Kisco.Info: Call Dani 914.403.5149.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27

Spring Cleanse Cooking Class – 6:30pm. Enjoy the flavors of Spring and learn about the cleansing properties of foods in this fun and interactive vegetarian cooking class. 360-C Mount Pleasant Ave., Mamaroneck. $45. 917.843.9055; livehealthynewyork.com.

THURSDAY, APRIL 28

Grand Opening of Green Design Expo – 4pm. Ribbon-cutting ceremony of this new store offering green products for home, school and office, involves area students. 640 Central Park Ave., Scarsdale. Info: 914.902.5305; GreenDesignExpo.net.
Childbirth Preparation Class – 6:45-9pm Six consecutive Wednesdays at The Yoga Yurt in Chappaqua. $350/couple includes 6 sessions + 1 postpartum visit. Contact Victoria Gearity, 917.685.671;  BirthingFromWithinWestchester.com.

FRIDAY, APRIL 29

Jean Houston: What Would You Do If You Could Not Fail? – 4/28-5/1. The first of a dramatic series of weekends comprising Jean Houston’s 2011 Mystery School, focusing on claiming the power of intention.Garrison Institute. Info/register: 845.424.4800; garrisoninstitute.org.
Uncovering Potential/Opening to Possibility – 7-9:30pm w/Gabrielle Semel, RYT.  Take a look at the energetic body with respect to the elements through asana, yantra, meditation and journaling. No experience necessary. The YogaScape and Spa, 1100 Rte. 52, 2nd floor, Carmel. $40. 845.225.9642.

SATURDAY, APRIL 30

Access Healing Potential – Time TBA. (4/30 & 5/1) w/Penny Lavin of One Light Healing Touch Int’l School. Learn 6 self-healing practices and 4 techniques for healing the self and others. 11 CEUs – NYSNA and NCBTMB. E. Fishkill location. 845.878.5165; onelighthealingtouch.com.
11th Annual World Tai Chi & Qigong Day – 9am-3pm. Chinese cultural event with demos, lion and ribbon dance, musicians, crafts and more. Hammond Museum, 28 Deveau Rd., North Salem. Info/ 914.262.1478
Free Yoga Classes at Graceful Planet – 9:30am-5:30pm. Enjoy five free classes with Lotus Gardens Yoga Schools graduating students. Classes are one hour beginning at 9:30am. 7 Berkshire Road, Sandy Hook, CT . 860.354.6241; lotusgardensyoga.com.
Movement As A Way To Agelessness – 10am-12pm. Discover how Trager® and the timeless wisdom of Qigong (energy development) can help achieve a more ageless body. Opal Moon Wellness Center, 2037 Albany Post Rd., Croton. $35/registration required. 914.788.4955; opalmoon.net.
Backyard Chickens 101 – 10am-12noon. Come learn about raising these wonderful animals in one’s own backyard and meet some new chicks. Hilltop Hanover Farm & Environmental Center, Yorktown Heights. $20/pp, $5/children. Registration required: 914.962.2368 x2; hilltophanoverfarm.org.
Wildflower and Native Plant Sale – 10am-12pm. Wide variety of plants available with expert planting advice.  Transform a landscape into a haven for wildlife and diversity. The Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College, 75 Grasslands Rd. Valhalla. Info: 914.606.7870; nativeplantcenter.org.
SPCA of Westchester Dog Walk & Pet Fair – 10am-2pm. Live music, food, refreshments, games and crafts for children, and shopping in the Fair’s vendor village to benefit homeless animals. Info: SPCA914.org; 914.941.2896 x. 22.
Getting in Touch With Spiritual Guides – 10am-5pm w/Valerie Stiehl. Wainwright House, 260 Stuyvesant Ave., Rye. $90 or $75/member. 914.967.6080; wainwright.org.
Edible Mushrooms & Poisonous Look-A-Likes – 1pm. This program answers questions such as “What is a mushroom, how many kinds are there, what are their functions in the environment and which are edible”?  $5/nonmembers. Teatown Lake Reservation, 1600 Spring Valley Rd, Ossining. 914.762.2912 x110; teatown.org.

SUNDAY, MAY 1

Introduction to Permaculture Lecture – w/ Cameron Kelly. “How Permaculture Can Heal the Planet-Starting in Your Own Back Yard!” Emanuel Lutheran Church, Pleasantville. Register/info: Cameron:  914.589.6744.

FRIDAY, MAY 6

Nature Friendly Plant Sale – 4-7pm (5/6) & 9am-2pm (5/7). Select from a wide variety of unique and hard-to-find annuals/perennials, deer resistant and native plants, heirloom vegetables/herbs, hanging baskets and wildflowers. Teatown Lake Reservation 1600 Spring Valley Rd., Ossining, 914.762.2912, x110; teatown.org.
Pranayama & Meditation

Cultivating Good Grades – School Gardening Blooms in Westchester County

by Anna Snider

St. Matthew’s Head Start gardening at the Ossining Organic Community Garden

In the past few years, school gardens have sprouted all over the country, and Westchester County is no exception. Educators are using school gardens to promote healthy eating, get students excited about learning, and teach subjects like science, math, language arts and social studies. At Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE), we promote school gardening because we believe that experiential learning is the key to engaging students and developing critical thinking skills.

Researchers and teachers have documented the positive impact of school gardening on standardized test scores and GPAs, but perhaps the most fascinating finding in these studies is that students involved in school gardening are more enthusiastic about learning.

With urbanization, children have come to associate food with grocery stores instead of the plants and animals from which their food comes. Both urban and suburban kids have become disconnected from their food sources, as illustrated by an inquisitive fourth grader who recently pointed to a yellow bean plant and asked me, “Is that a French fry plant?” Children who grow vegetables themselves are more likely to eat those vegetables, which is why school gardens play an increasingly important role in nutrition and obesity prevention programs.

School Gardening in Westchester
It is estimated that there are nearly one hundred school gardens in Westchester County, used in a variety of ways. Here are a few examples:

In 2010, the New York School for the Deaf in Valhalla started gardening with students thanks to the help of a Master Gardener Mentor from CCE.  Harvesting vegetables grown in raised beds, students baked a zucchini birthday cake and served salads to students and staff every Friday. They also created cement stepping stones for the garden and sold baked goods made from the vegetables in the school café. The income generated from these sales was used to teach the students about eating healthy on a budget.

At Bedford Hills Elementary, the school nurse decided to start an after-school gardening program after becoming concerned about childhood obesity and poor nutrition. Her idea became a reality with the help of funds from the school district, donations from parents and local businesses, a Master Gardener, and a high school shop class that built a compost bin. An enthusiastic group of third, fourth and fifth graders now meets weekly during the growing season to select, plant, maintain and harvest their vegetables. The entire school visits the garden and participates in special events like salad days, pumpkin harvesting and science projects, making the garden experience an important and delightful part of the school.

If you are a teacher, or parent who’d like to start a garden in your child’s school, here are some guidelines to help you start:

• Make sure that everyone is on board. A school garden will not succeed without the support of the administration, so you will need to form a school garden committee that includes school administrators, teachers and interested parents. Determine what funding is available and apply for grants, if needed. Remember to include students in some of the decisions; studies show that students involved in planning and planting become lifelong gardeners.

• Determine how the garden will be used—whether in the curriculum to teach a variety of lessons, from math to social studies, or in after-school programs or 4-H clubs. If you need some ideas, consider attending a School Garden Workshop at CCE, where we can guide you through the many options available for different grade levels.

• Start small. You may want to garden in containers the first year or add a new raised bed to your garden each year.

• Decide on a site for your school garden. If you are planting vegetables, make sure that the site receives at least six hours of sunlight every day. A Master Gardener School Garden Mentor can help you decide on the best site for your garden.

• Decide who will be responsible for which tasks. Care of the garden over the summer can be divided among students and parents, or it can fall to the custodial staff.

• Get gardening!

Anna Snider is a Horticulture Resource Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester County, NY.  Call CCE at 914.285.4617 for info on school gardening workshops.

How to Start a Community Garden in Your Neighborhood

by Rev. Peggy Clarke

Onatru Community Garden in Lewisboro

Community gardens are springing up all over the county with more being planned, or at least dreamed of. While many people wish that they could start a community garden, they may fear the cost or feel overwhelmed by the idea of organizing one. But founding these gardens needn’t be an expensive or complicated endeavor.

The first and largest challenge is to locate the land, and the easiest way to do this is to use land that’s already available. Prime examples include houses of worship or public properties like a town park or the lawn outside city hall. Schools are usually very open to starting community gardens (see article on next page), and some people are even approaching country clubs with the idea. Those who aren’t concerned about longevity might also look into unused commercial space that can be temporarily repurposed. Of primary concern is finding a space with access to water that gets a lot of sun during the day.

Once the land is secured, it must be prepared (land often needs to be plowed), fenced in and connected to a water source. Professionals may suggest testing the soil and adding nutrients, but these steps are not necessary for non-professional gardens, since the yield is lower and the toll on the land is minimal, especially in organic or natural gardens.

Deer fencing is necessary in much of the county, and this often constitutes the greatest expense. I suggest fencing that drops 18-24 inches below the surface to discourage diggers.  When creating our InterGenerate Community Garden at Marsh Sanctuary, we made fence posts from the trees were taken down to make room for the garden. This was not only cost effective, but it also added to the aesthetics of the garden.

The much needed water can come from a variety of sources. If the garden isn’t near a house of worship, school or city building, a solar or human powered pump can be connected to a nearby pond, or a rain capturing system can be devised. Visit Lasdon Arboretum in Somers or Hilltop Hanover Farm in Yorktown for some wonderful examples.

Once the land is prepared and the water secured, garden organizers need to adopt a usage model. Some gardens simply offer individual plots for members. Others feature individual plots and Giving Gardens, in which each member helps to provide food for those in the community who lack access to fresh produce. Still others create one large garden that members tend together, and some offer workshops, camps or harvest suppers.

Most community gardens are inexpensive to run, and all have rules and expectations for behavior. Checking out some of the most successful gardens and talking with the organizers is a great way to get started. Onatru in Lewisboro is one of the oldest in the county, and it’s run by the Lewisboro Garden Club. InterGenerate, with both community and communal gardens, is committed to helping new gardens succeed. There’s no need to fear, since the joy of building a new garden lies in the community that forms around it, making every endeavor a success.

Rev. Peggy Clarke, is Co-Founder of InterGenerate, in Westchester, NY. For more information, visit intergenerate.community.officelive.com.

How to Prepare for a Juice Cleanse to Achieve Optimal Results

by Rosemary Devlin

Chef Tom juicing at O2 Living’s Live Raw Food Café in Cross River

Juice cleansing has gained notoriety among the celebrity community as a quick-fix diet and an excellent tool for achieving weight loss. In reality, although oftentimes weight loss does occur, it is not the primary objective of a juice cleanse. Juice cleansing is designed to remove dangerous toxins that may be left behind by processed foods.

The Origins of Cleansing
The origins of cleansing date back to 1747, when Dr. James Lind, who studied medicine at the College of Surgeons in Scotland, conducted a study on the disease scurvy. Through his research, Lind proved that the use of citrus fruit blends in directed dosages and a controlled environment could treat and eventually eradicate the disease. Building upon Lind’s principles, clinical researchers went on to study the effects of administering fruit-based fluids to cancer patients. They determined that fruit juices are a valuable tool for removing toxins from the body.

The Modern-day Cleanse
One modern-day adaptation of Lind’s principles is the juice cleanse, which is designed to detoxify the body using all-natural fruit- and vegetable-based juices with no artificial ingredients.  Juice cleanses focus on the digestive system, which regulates which nutrients get into the body and which toxins are removed. Before embarking on a juice cleanse, you may follow a pre-cleanse protocol that eases the body into the cleansing process. Components of the protocol include reducing intake of certain foods prior to cleansing, planning for your daily schedule, and developing a nourishment plan to supplement your cleanse.

Your Pre-cleanse Diet
It is important to remove certain foods from your diet at least 24 hours prior to starting a cleanse.  This helps the body adjust to receiving its nourishment from only juices and raw foods. Foods to remove include dairy, flour, sugar, meat, alcohol and caffeine. During your cleanse, you will be consuming multiple juice drinks throughout the day, which will remove toxins from the body while providing necessary nourishment. Since cleansing juices are crafted from raw foods, it is also recommended that you integrate raw foods into your diet before starting the cleanse.

Your Cleansing Schedule
To receive optimal benefits from a cleanse, it is important to follow a strict schedule. To help adhere to the schedule, it is recommended that you cleanse at a time when you can lighten your schedule and minimize stressors. Plan to consume cleansing juices at regular intervals, typically two to three hours apart, and to supplement your diet with a limited number of whole, live, nutrient-rich foods only if necessary.

Your Cleanse Diet
During the cleanse, you should consume non-caffeinated herbal teas and/or water between cleansing drinks to prevent dehydration. For optimal results, it is best to consume only the cleansing juices during the process. However, one or two whole, live, nutrient-rich foods can be consumed during the course of the day, if necessary. These should be eaten before early evening and chewed thoroughly to increase the volume of enzymes in your mouth and aid in the digestion and absorption of the meal into your body.

Begin your cleanse with the intent to consume only juices. If you find that your body needs additional nourishment, start by integrating one whole, live, nutrient-rich food into your daily plan. Increase to two of these meals only if absolutely necessary. If you are unsure how to prepare the foods or what foods qualify as whole, live and nutrient-rich, consult a nutritionist or ask if your cleanse provider offers prepared meals that meet the cleansing requirements.

After the Cleanse
Once you have removed the toxins from your body, it is important to develop a plan for sustaining the effects of the cleanse. For optimal results, it is recommended that you continue consuming raw foods post-cleanse, as these foods do not contain harmful toxins. Additional ways to sustain the benefits of the cleanse include managing/reducing stress levels and working towards achieving a more balanced lifestyle that makes wellness a priority.

A cleanse can provide a significant jumpstart to your wellness-centered lifestyle. When considering a juice cleanse, first determine whether or not you can commit to the dietary changes and scheduling requirements that are needed for an optimal cleanse. If you decide that a juice cleanse is right for you, remember to follow a pre-cleanse protocol and develop a post-cleanse wellness plan for optimal success.

Rosemary Devlin is a two-time entrepreneur, working mother of five boys and founder of O2Living (O2Living.me), a natural lifestyle and wellness community in Cross River, NY. She can be reached at 914.763.6320 or Rosemary@O2Living.me.

Juice Fasting for Health at New Age Health Spa in the Catskills

New Age Health Spa

New Age Health Spa, a destination spa just one hour northwest of Westchester in the Catskill Mountains, offers numerous unique and innovative ways to relax, improve health and relieve stress. Time spent at a destination spa renews mind, body and spirit, leaving visitors energized, focused, and ready to enjoy benefits that last long after they return home.

Spring is a great time to try the Juice Fasting Program at New Age Health spa. Fasting with fresh juices can help to awaken the body’s innate healing abilities and create better health. Throughout history, people have fasted for many reasons including physical healing, religious tradition and tests of willpower. In recent times juice fasting is more commonly associated with cleansing and detoxification, transitioning to a healthier diet, breaking food addictions or jumpstarting a weight loss program. At New Age Health Spa, where their Juice Fasting Program has been in place for 25 years, guests can customize their own individual fasting experience with selections from a diverse menu of classes, lectures and spa treatments to help them achieve their unique goals. The program also offers the opportunity to fast among like-minded people with guidance and support from supportive and well-informed staff members.

New Age Health Spa offers a number of affordable, all-inclusive packages. For information and reservations, call 800.682.4348 or visit newagehealthspa.com.

Tasty Greens for Spring with Whole Foods Cooking Teacher Vitalah Simon

Whole Foods Cooking Teacher Vitalah Simon

Eating a wide variety of fresh green, leafy vegetables is essential for a balanced diet, and it also helps your body transition to springtime. High in vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, folic acid and chlorophyll, greens specifically nurture the liver and gallbladder. They offer a light, uplifting energy, providing a feeling of expansiveness.

Remember that greens need to be washed well, and often they taste best when cut thin. Though most recipes call for boiling, steaming or sautéing greens, some are eaten raw or juiced, and some are added at the end to soups and stews. Dark leafy greens tend to have a bitter taste which, while delicious, can be quite strong if you’re not used to it. To modify this and to enhance variety, try adding a little oil in some form: crushed, roasted seeds, flaxseed oil, or salad dressing. Or try sautéing them in olive oil and garlic with a drop of tamari or sea salt.

Bok Choy, Mustard Greens or Broccoli Rabe Sauté with Carrots

•    4 cups bok choy stems and 2 cups bok choy greens, cut on diagonal,
or 6 cups mustard greens or broccoli rabe, cut into 1-2” pieces
•    1 tablespoon olive oil
•    1 tablespoon garlic, minced
•    1 teaspoon tamari
•    ½ cup carrots, cut into matchsticks

Wash veggies and chop all ingredients as indicated. Heat a heavy skillet; add oil, then garlic, then carrots for 1 minute. Add bok choy or broccoli rabe stems. Sauté about 2 minutes, Add bok choy/broccoli rabe greens, and sauté 2 minutes. Add tamari and cook 1 more minute. (For mustard greens, put all in the pan after carrots, then cook as above.)

From the kitchen of Vitalah Simon, Whole Foods Cooking Teacher,    ©2011, 113 Fairfax Ave, Hawthorne, NY. Contact Simon at 914.769.8745 or YogaShine@verizon.net.

Diva-Mamas Do Lunch March 31, 2011 in White Plains

Shira Adler

Any woman who sacrifices her inner diva to play the role of Mama (defined as someone who gives more than she receives) is invited to take a lunch break and connect with like-minded Diva-Mamas on Thursday, March 31 in White Plains. Shira Adler (aka blogger Diva-Mama) will lead women in sharing, laughing and learning transformational tips and tools that can be used in daily life.

Adler is passionately dedicated to helping women in their struggles to balance life, love, family, career and relationships. Her process of connection and transformation, One Voice, Many Paths, is designed to help women reconnect with the incredible, talented, passionate diva that dwells within. The luncheon includes a sumptuous three-course meal of cheese, salad, chocolate fondue and fountain drinks. The cost for the lunch and workshop is $29.95.

Divas-Do-Lunch takes place at The Melting Pot, located at 30 Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains. The restaurant is 100 yards south of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and across from the City Center in White Plains. For more information and to RSVP, visit ShiraAdler.com.

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