Our Purpose

Our purpose is to generate awareness, education, and support for holistic parenting and to provide a nurturing, open-minded and respectful community for parents to share these ideals. We serve to encourage moms (and dads) in their efforts to parent naturally and to raise their children holistically, to help holistic moms find others with whom they can connect and to continually educate ourselves and our families about alternative health, mindful parenting, natural healing and environmental stewardship.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

October Meeting: Attachment Parenting the Maturing Child

Holistic Moms Network of San Jose Presents. . .

"Attachment Parenting the Maturing Child:
Featuring guest speaker, Justine Saffir, Director of Sunnymont Parent Co-Op Nursery School"
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Cambrian Branch Library Community Room
1780 Hillsdale Avenue, San Jose, CA

Attachment Parenting newborns and babies often comes naturally to many Holistic Moms.  Babywearing, breastfeeding on demand, co-sleeping and other AP techniques just seem to make sense and allign with a mother's instinct.  As the child matures and develops her own will, however, many find the new challenges of parenting with attachment in mind much more difficult to address. 

Join us as we host our guest speaker, Justine Saffir, Director of the Sunnymont Parent Co-Op in Campbell, as she speaks on Attachment Parenting the Maturing Child.  Justine will address common questions such as how to provide positive discipline, diffuse sibling rivalry and how to strengthen the parent/child bond during the school years.  Please bring your questions and a friend.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A review of a local sustainable farm; Early Bird Ranch

I just got back from a fantastic day visiting the Early Bird Ranch at Half Moon Bay (actually, Pescadero) with fellow HMN member, Lenore.  Lenore had heard about fresh, locally pastured chickens being available there and pre-ordered some chickens for the fall harvest.  We made a day of it by tripping out to the coast with our families to pick up her chickens and speculate on some Thanksgiving turkeys.

May I say that I am really excited about these farmers!  Kevin and ShaeLynn Watt are a young couple who "risked it all" by abandoning their graduate studies in Comparative Political Science and Animal Behavior to pursue sustainable bird farming.  Adorned in a long, blue butcher's apron, Kevin Watt welcomed us to the farm and offered us a tour of the harvesting facilities.  He and several family members had just finished up the very first harvest on their new farm.  Though their bodies were fatigued from hours of bird butchery, their eyes and voices showed signs of the rushing adrenal effects of success.  Their pride was apparent and well-deserved.  Some buckets of blood were waiting for their trip to the compost pile but, otherwise, there wasn't much indication of the day's work remaining around the slaughter tent.  We had just missed the last bird of the day by 30 minutes.  I admit that I wish I had been able to see the whole process personally. They promised me the opportunity in the future.

In five weeks, another 100 to 200 birds will meet the end of their stress-free existence in this sparkling example of an open-air slaughterhouse (portable tent, really).  The blue and white striped tent covered a raised floor of wood slats.  The slats, Kevin explained, are designed to allow for any solids or splashes from the harvesting process to fall through and return to the soil.  The stainless steel counters, sinks and scalding pots were sanitized and drying in the late summer sun.  This idyllic scene is quite a contrast to the industrial chicken slaughterhouses that can turn stomachs as well as former carnivores into strict vegetarians.

When Kevin's interests strayed from politics to farming birds, he decided to do it right. He interned and worked for a year and a half with Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms, the admirable chicken farmer featured in Food, Inc.  After learning from the best, Kevin and his girlfriend began dreaming of starting a farm of their own. Kevin and his now wife, ShaeLynn, pooled all of their savings and scrupulously budgeted how they could afford to rent a 10 acre farm in Pescadero.  The land they selected is gorgeous, located in a perfect, pastoral valley just inland of the coast.  Each bird is respectfully raised from chick to maturity on the farm, spending their days in the pasture.  Their diet is supplemented with organic feed.  The Watts are enthusiastic and bursting with ideas on how to not only take from their newly acquired land but to give back to it as well.  They are consciously rotating different animals throughout their acreage to ensure that the soil is growing in sync with their wards. 

Each bird at the Early Bird Ranch is dispatched by hand using a very humane and efficient method; the main artery and vein of the chicken or turkey are cut, causing instantaneous brain death. The windpipe, however, is kept intact so that the heart may continue beating long enough to pump the remaining blood from the bird. The carcasses are then scalded, plucked and bagged for you to take home that day.   These are the freshest birds you can get!

Early Bird Ranch is located at 4900 Cloverdale Road in Pescadero, right off of Hwy 1.  Their chickens and turkeys are available during the dry seasons of the year for about $4 a pound.  Lenore's chickens were all a very healthy 5 pounds each!  These are not scrawny chickens.  They harvest every 5 weeks or so as the new batch of birds mature.  If you would like to join their mailing list or reserve a turkey for Thanksgiving, contact them via email at kevin@earlybirdranch.com or shaelynn@earlybirdranch.com

View their website with more details at www.earlybirdranch.com

Kevin and ShaeLynn would love to have us out for a tour of the facilities with the kiddies.  They won't be able to give us a full tour when they are harvesting, but you are welcome to watch them work when you pick up your birds.  Would anyone like to tour this farm and then go and get some pumpkins down the road in October?  Post a comment if you'd like to join us.

Christina Byard
Co-Leader, Holistic Moms Network of San Jose

Thursday, September 2, 2010

September Meeting

Holistic Moms Network of San Jose Presents. . .

"An Evening of Natural Beauty"

Want to join us for an evening of beauty? Wondering what natural and holistic beauty products and treatments others love? Join us for a fun evening of hanging out, pampering, and learning what others use, make, and/or recommend. Bring your favorite beauty products and/or remedies to show and share. We'll try each other's favorites and/or learn what others recommend.

We'll be making a wonderful facial moisturizing cream from the "Doing it Gorgeously" book by Sophie Ulliamo.  (http://www.gorgeouslygreen.com/) Bring a small jar to take the cream home in and a very modest donation to offset ingredient costs.

Click on the blog post title "September Meeting" to R.S.V.P. via the evite.

Hope to see you there!