Picnics, Come Rain or Come Shine

Picnic baskets conjure up images of wholesome family fun and romantic lunch dates set on a provincial countryside. But just as backpacks and luggage have been morphed and streamlined throughout the years, so too has the classic picnic basket. Manly men who like to pack food and drink on their outings, rejoice!

In the summer months, the Better Farm crowd rarely goes anywhere without packing a cooler. It's convenient, if not wholly practical or fashionable. Coolers can be cumbersome when you're packing a kayak; they can be awkward to carry on a hike; and they can be downright annoying when you're trying to tailgate or look cool at Alex Bay's biker rally or blues fest. So I was thrilled to discover the release of picnic backpacks, which leave your hands free as you get to your picnicking destination. You can go as basic or lavish as you like; whether you're packing some Busch beer for cliff-jumping or wine and cheese for a romantic getaway.

Our favorite picnic basket we found was the picnic cooler; which dazzled us by coming with all the components of a gourmet picnic basket without the frills. We like that very much (this is sort of a no-frills kind of crowd). As we wait for the weather to warm up, don't be surprised if we report live from an indoor picnic held in none other than Better Farm's library. Actually, that's not such a bad idea. Check eHow.com for some tips on having your own indoor picnic, ants and all.

(Is it completely obvious that this strangely balmy January weather has us chomping at the bit for spring? Thought so.)

Please remember to pack your biodegradable disposable place settings, to respect your surroundings, and to carry out what you carry in. Happy picnicking!

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Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.