Get Ready for Harvest Festival at the @BronxZoo

kidsgardening.orgThose summer days are finally coming to an end and back-to-school season is in full swing. September has always been one of my favorite months of the year, as the weather is perfect, the leaves are just beginning to change and fall is just around the corner. In NYC, September is also hands-down, THE BEST month to visit the Bronx Zoo! The animals are much more active and engaged with their surroundings and the overall scenery of the zoo is breathtaking to see this time of year. The Bronx Zoo invites families to join them in their celebration of the fall with a range of activities that reflect the harvest season.
Starting September 12-15 and continuing September 19-20, for the price of an admission ticket, everyone who visits will be able to take part in many educational and extremely fun and engaging activities happening at the zoo. Keep reading to find out all that the zoo has to offer and be sure to check out the Bronx Zoo website for more details http://www.bronxzoo.com/events
• Tap your toes and snap your fingers as you watch Blue Plate Special perform live bluegrass music featuring strong three-part vocal harmonies, mixed with the acoustic sounds of accordion, banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin and upright bass.

• Learn the basics of composting and natural fertilization of your garden, discover how the fall is the perfect season to plant bulbs, learn how the different types of bulbs work and how to prepare a planting bed, along with design ideas. You can also preserve the beauty of summer with a beautiful flower press craft all courtesy of KidsGardening.org.making mozzarella cheese

• There will be great food-centric activities including: Skinnytaste founder on-site with samples of homemade apple butter and a book signing of her newest cookbook; Chef from famed Arthur Avenue, Mike’s Deli teaches guests how mozzarella is made along with a sample of his highest quality Fresh Mozzarella A.K.A a piece of heaven! Guests can also taste different types of freshly-picked apples – part of the fall season bounty and locally grown from local orchards.

• Join the beekeeper and owner of Honeybrook Farms as they show the tools of the trade and show off the byproducts their busy workers generate, including beeswax candles, beeswax balms, and several flavors of honey.

• Stephen Ritz, teacher, Ted Talk presenter and founder of the Green Bronx Machine hosts a workshop where visitors can participate in an interactive cooking and tasting center and brew their own teas and beverages using locally grown herbs while learning the savory flavor of herbs grown vertically in space age Tower Gardens, using 90% less space and 90% less water.

• Learn how to craft inviting, natural tablescapes utilizing the beauty and bounty of the fall season – flowers, pumpkins, gourds, berries, fruits and nuts. Linda Ochser, master arranger, will share her secrets of color, container selection and composition to help you create unique centerpiece to last throughout the season.
Here is the full list of Activities:

Harvest Festival – September 12-15, 19-20
September 12
• LIVE BLUEGRASS MUSIC: Blue Plate Special will be playing their blend of American roots music featuring strong three-part vocal harmonies, mixed with the acoustic sounds of accordion, banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin and upright bass.
• DEMONSTRATION: Composting your garden. Learn the basics of how to collect for composting and natural fertilization of your garden, presented by Kidsgardening.org
• HANDS-ON ACTIVITY: Make a seed ball! Seed balls allow vegetation to be introduced to land by throwing (or, on a large scale, dropping from an airplane) compressed bundles of soil containing live vegetation. This guerilla gardening technique dates back to the 1930’s and is still used today to treat areas burned by wildfires. On the home front, and a much smaller scale, seed balls are fun to make and offer an inexpensive way to spread native plants and flowers.
• CRAFTS: Create your own flower press and preserve the beauty of summer when you press your own flower to create beautiful art run by Kidsgardening.org.
• FOOD DEMONSTRATION AND TASTING: Skinnytaste will be on-site for a demonstration of with samples of homemade apple butter, and book signing of her newest cookbook.
FOOD DEMONSTRATION AND TASTING – From famed Arthur Avenue, learn how the best mozzarella is made from the chef’s at Mike’s Deli. Sample a piece of heaven, the highest quality Fresh Mozzarella. Mangia Bene Vive Bene!
• APPLE TASTINGS: Taste different types of freshly-picked apples – part of the fall season bounty and locally grown from local orchards.

September 13th
• LIVE BLUEGRASS MUSIC: Enjoy the musical stylings of Too Blue. Traveling freely between the genres of bluegrass, swing, Celtic & jazz, a Too Blue performance is a dynamic dose of serious fun. Smooth harmonies and adventurous musicianship bring stellar arrangements to life and leave the listener anything but “blue.”
• DEMONSTRATION: Composting your garden. Learn the basics of how to collect for composting and natural fertilization of your garden, presented by Kidsgardening.org
• HANDS-ON ACTIVITY; Make a seed ball! Seed balls allow vegetation to be introduced to land by throwing (or, on a large scale, dropping from an airplane) compressed bundles of soil containing live vegetation. This guerilla gardening technique dates back to the 1930’s and is still used today to treat areas burned by wildfires. On the home front, and on a much smaller scale, seed balls are fun to make and offer an inexpensive way to spread native plants and flowers.
• CRAFTS: Create your own flower press and preserve the beauty of summer when you press your own flower to create beautiful art, run by Kidsgardening.org.
• FOOD DEMONSTRATION AND TASTING: GrowNYC will be onsite with a salsa demonstration from market fresh ingredients plus sampling opportunities.
• APPLE TASTINGS: Taste different types of freshly picked apples – part of the fall season bounty and locally grown from nearby orchards.
• FOOD DEMONSTRATION: Join Beth from Beth’s Farm kitchen for a demonstration on how to make jam. Learn the fundamentals of making jams and using chutneys from Beth Linskey of Beth’s Farm Kitchen, who has been making and selling jam from local fruit for 30 years. In addition, Beth will share her indispensible wealth of knowledge on how to properly store and jar your fruit preserves and provide useful tips on ways to use preserved fruit other than on toast.

September 14th
• LIVE BLUEGRASS MUSIC: Enjoy the musical stylings of The R.J Storm & Old School bluegrass band that brings together tasteful instrumental musicianship, rich harmonies and an energetic stage presence.
• DEMONSTRATION: Learn all about how the fall is the perfect season to plant bulbs. Discover how bulbs work, types of bulbs, how to prepare a planting bed, design ideas and more with KidsGardening.org.
• HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES: Make a seed ball! Seed balls allow vegetation to be introduced to land by throwing (or, on a large scale, dropping from an airplane) compressed bundles of soil containing live vegetation. This guerilla gardening technique dates back to the 1930’s and is still used today to treat areas burned by wildfires. On the home front, and on a much smaller scale, seed balls are fun to make and offer an inexpensive way to spread native plants and flowers.
• CRAFTS: Create your own flower press and preserve the beauty of summer when you press your own flower to create beautiful art, run by Kidsgardening.org.
• FOOD DEMONSTRATION AND TASTING – You’ll swoon as Executive Chef Raymond Jackson of Alvin & Friends whips up a scrumptious, seasonal dish redolent of the contemporary Southern and Caribbean flavors for which this awarded New Rochelle restaurant is known and loved.
• FOOD DEMONSTRATION AND TASTING – From famed Arthur Avenue, learn how the best mozzarella is made from the chefs at Mike’s Deli. Sample a piece of heaven, the highest-quality fresh mozzarella. Mangia Bene Vive Bene!
• APPLE TASTINGS: Taste different types of freshly picked apples – part of the fall season bounty and locally grown from local orchards.

September 15th
• LIVE BLUEGRASS MUSIC: Enjoy the musical stylings of The R.J Storm & Old School bluegrass band as it brings together tasteful instrumental musicianship, rich harmonies and an energetic stage presence.
• DEMONSTRATION; How to clean-up your garden or other ideas brought to you by KidsGardening.org.
• “MIND YOUR BEESWAX” DEMONSTRATION AND SAMPLING– Join the beekeeper and owner of Honeybrook Farms as they show the tools of the trade and show off the byproducts their busy workers generate, including beeswax candles, beeswax balms, and several flavors of honey.
• HANDS-ON ACTIVITY: Make a seed ball or other activity! Seed balls allow vegetation to be introduced to land by throwing (or, on a large scale, dropping from an airplane) compressed bundles of soil containing live vegetation. This guerilla gardening technique dates back to the 1930’s and is still used today to treat areas burned by wildfires. On the home front, and on a much smaller scale, seed balls are fun to make and offer an inexpensive way to spread native plants and flowers.
• CRAFTS: Create your own flower press and preserve the beauty of summer when you press your own flower to create beautiful art run by Kidsgardening.org.
DEMONSTRATION: Learn how to craft inviting, natural tablescapes utilizing the beauty and bounty of the fall season – flowers, pumpkins, gourds, berries, fruits and nuts. Linda Ochser, master arranger, will share her secrets of color, container selection and composition to help you create unique centerpiece to last throughout the season.
• FOOD TASTING: Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture will be onsite and share one of its favorite seasonal recipes, made from the freshest hand-picked garden ingredients of various vegetable. Try a sample of their delicious Gazpacho soup and learn how to make this wonderful cold soup delight.
• APPLE TASTINGS: Taste different types of freshly-picked apples – part of the fall season bounty and locally grown from local orchards.
September 19th
• LIVE COUNTRY FRENCH MUSIC – LES TAPPANZIGUES playing acoustic guitar and cello, will make you feel like you are in the farms of Tuscany.
• HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES: Join the incomparable teacher extraordinaire, Stephen Ritz, teacher, Ted Talk presenter and founder of the Green Bronx Machine. He will host a workshop; “Brewing Up the Magic of Herbs and Spices with Green Bronx Machine.” Visitors can participate in an interactive cooking and tasting center where they will brew their own teas and beverages using locally grown herbs and learn the savory flavor of herbs grown vertically in space age Tower Gardens, using 90% less space and 90% less water.
• CRAFTS: Create a seasonal fall collage made out of leaves with varying colors of the season. Learn why leaves change color. Presented by Whitney Parkerton
• APPLE TASTINGS: Taste different types of freshly picked apples – part of the fall season bounty and locally grown from local orchards.
• FOOD DEMONSTRATION AND TASTING: Join BAKED NYC for a dessert table sampling featuring their fall items (pumpkin whoopie pies, pumpkin chocolate bread, cinnamon marshmallows, pumpkin cheesecake brownies. In addition, Matt Lewis (owner) will demo our new fall mix later in the afternoon.

• FOOD DEMONSTRATION AND TASTING – Learn about the ancient art of food preservation with Brooklyn’s Chef Jin, cooking teacher, TV personality and founder of Jin’s Journey, producer of Jin’s Jams & Jellies. She will show how to safely can foods at home, and provide samples of a sweet jam and pickled vegetables prepared on site.
FOOD DEMONSTRATION AND TASTING – From famed Arthur Avenue, learn how the best mozzarella is made from the chefs at Mike’s Deli. Sample a piece of heaven, the highest-quality fresh mozzarella. Mangia Bene Vive Bene!
• COMPOSTING DEMONSTRATION- Learn about how to compost your foods and all about earth worms and the work they do to create soil from waste. Guest speaker: Whitney Parkerton
• FOOD DEMONSTRATION – Learn techniques and recipes for how to pickle any vegetable from your garden. Presented by Whitney Parkerton.

September 20th
• LIVE BLUEGRASS MUSIC: Angell Bandd was formed when several musicians decided they had a desire for playing and singing more songs outside of the usual bluegrass repertoire, and wanted to include some more classic country/honkey-tonk songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s- but still play in the bluegrass style. This kind of honky-tonk kick-ass bluegrass will keep folks dancing and having even more fun than the band!
• HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES: Join the incomparable teacher extraordinaire, Stephen Ritz, teacher, Ted Talk presenter and founder of the Green Bronx Machine. He will host a workshop; “Brewing Up the Magic of Herbs and Spices with Green Bronx Machine.” Visitors can participate in an interactive cooking and tasting center where they will brew their own teas and beverages using locally grown herbs and learn the savory flavor of herbs grown vertically in space age Tower Gardens, using 90% less space and 90% less water.
• CRAFTS: Create a seasonal fall collage made out of leaves with varying colors of the season. Learn why leaves change color. Presented by Whitney Parkertonbronx zoo fall3
• FOOD DEMONSTRATION AND TASTING – Artist, Chef and World Traveler, Lexie Smith will demonstrate how to create a masterful pastry delight.
• FOOD DEMONSTRATION AND TASTING- Watch Beth from Beth’s Farm Kitchen create a squash soup served with BFK chutney. Learn the fundamentals of making jams and using chutneys from Beth Linskey of Beth’s Farm Kitchen, who has been making and selling jam from local fruit for 30 years. In addition, Beth will share her indispensible wealth of knowledge on how to properly store and jar your fruit preserves and provide useful tips on ways to use preserved fruit other than on toast.

• FOOD DEMONSTRATION AND TASTING – From famed Arthur Avenue, learn how the best mozzarella is made from the chefs at Mike’s Deli. Sample a piece of heaven, the highest-quality fresh mozzarella. Mangia Bene Vive Bene!
• COMPOSTING DEMONSTRATION- Learn about how to compost your foods and all about earth worms and the work they do to create soil from waste. Guest speaker: Whitney Parkerton
• FOOD DEMONSTRATION – Learn techniques and recipes for how to pickle any vegetable from your garden. Presented by Whitney Parkerton.
• APPLE TASTINGS: Taste different types of freshly picked apples – part of the fall season bounty and locally grown from local orchard

Come one, come all and enjoy the fall at Bronx Zoo this September!

{ disclosure: I am honored to be a 2015 Wildlife Conservation Society Ambassador. This post is part of a sponsored campaign. I received membership for my participation, but any reviews and opinions are always my own. }