The New England Bead Company decorates delicate wrists, elegant ears, and nude necklines with a plethora of beads and jewelry while offering a cascade of classes from the knowledgeable staff of stringologists. Form personalized pieces with gleaming gems including natural stones, Czech glass, and pearls, or join in a class to loosen digits and output beaded bliss. Adult fingers can learn how to assemble jewelry, attach clasps, or dominate beading battles against schoolyard bullies in Basic Stringing Techniques ($25 plus materials), while youngsters can show off pliable pinkies during the Decorate an Ornament class ($7.50) or the Bungee Charm Bracelet class ($15). Children will expand their creativity, learn valuable beading skills, and get a jump-start on presents for next year's Flag Day.
For the past 87 years, Weston Nurseries has provided garden goods and services through good days, bad days, and days of triffids. If your plant expertise doesn't even go back 87 seconds, Weston's staff of friendly, knowledgeable chlorophyll enthusiasts will happily guide potential green thumbs through a library of nearly 1,800 plants. Assorted perennials start at $8.95 and stand ready to be planted in fertile crescents throughout the Super Mario Brothers level you've built in your backyard. The less soil-inclined can gussy up a porch or balustrade with a hanging planter full of colorful annuals (starting at $32). Otherwise, sweeten summers with highbush blueberry cultivars ($36 for a #3 pot) or give the lily of the valley something to be jealous of with a Rose-of-Sharon ($36 for a #3 pot). Every gardener worth his or her pruning shears knows of the earth's constant craving for crustaceans, so feed its need with Coast of Maine Lobster Compost ($7.99 per one-cubic-foot bag). Gardening accessories are also plentiful; gear up with phalange-guarding West County women's garden gloves ($27.99) and an OXO 3L watering can ($19.99), to name just a few.
When Phil Todaro and Jeff Barton met as lab partners in a seventh-grade science class, the seed for a joint venture was planted. High school came and went, college came and went, and the seed survived in the friends' nonstop talk of breaking ground for their own business. Then, in 1995, Phil and Jeff discovered hydroponic farming in a newspaper article. The seed sprouted. They watered it by taking a class at the University of Arizona from Merle Jensen, a forerunner in hydroponics and the lead designer of Epcot's The Land pavilion in Disney World. Eventually, their seed grew into a thriving hydroponic greenhouse called Water Fresh Farm.
Today, that farm regularly yields a dozen different crops including tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and spinach. Phil and Jeff plant seeds in rockwool cubes, coconut husks, or perlite mixtures and, once they sprout, transfer them to nutrient-rich pools of water, where they can grow and splash one another during games of Marco Polo. The market sells these vegetables alongside artisan breads and cheese, fresh pasta, and deli meats from local establishments and farms. Other sources of food include the kitchen, which serves soups, sandwiches, and entrees including pumpkin-sage ravioli and pulled pork in an apple-cider barbeque sauce. Nearby, the silo prepares fresh hot dogs and ice cream in six different flavors, including moose tracks and watermelon sorbet.:
GetModa Designer Consignment Boutique’s staff serves customers who crave designer style. But by purveying consignment garments, they save those same customers money. After carefully selecting which wares can enter their selection—the team only accepts designer labels that are clean and in excellent condition—they pass on seasonal clothing and accessories to patrons. From Missoni shirts and Paige Denim skinny jeans to Chanel sunglasses and Gucci scarves, the shelves boast both outfit-overhauling pieces and slight but powerful flourishes capable of making a daisy look like a daisy wearing a dashing Alexis Bittar Swarovski crystal cuff bracelet.
Stationed a safe distance away from the crowded city center, Easteleigh Farm has kept bygone eras alive since the early 1900s in Framingham. Current ownership converted Eastleigh back to a dairy operation in the early 2000s, and visitors have reaped the benefits ever since. During stops at the on-site store, visitors find fresh-from-the-farm products, including raw milk, cheeses, eggs, and honey. Even the farm's land exudes a high level of verdure: instead of crop-dusting the property with protein powder, Eastleigh uses all-natural nutrients such as fish oil to keep the land healthy. Visitors can see just how healthy the bounty is, too, during tours and hayrides around the farm.
Professional bartenders teach in classrooms set up as fully functioning bars. The facilities present lifelike conditions for students to learn skills such as the proper shake and pour for a variety of cocktails, muddling raw ingredients, and getting the right amount of head on a draft beer. Courses also cover the technical elements of bartending, which may include setting up drink stations, understanding liquor laws and board-of-health requirements, and operating payment systems that accept both credit cards and gold ingots.