Family Garden 101

 My normal gardening post is rather short this week due to health issues.- Unfortunately, I spent several days in the hospital with my 4 yo.  He's much better and is currently sword fighting with his 8 yo brother.

We did manage to pick up our flats of tomatoes and peppers from the local 4-H sale.  The sky opened and it rained and rained here.  I can't wait to get out and plant.  Hopefully the dust-bowl look will not return.

Blessings All!

Family Garden 101

April 19th

The theme of this gardening-week is No Rain.  As in none, nada, zilch.  It's been the driest April I can remember.

The week was not without false alarms though.  Saturday morning we were supposed to get thunderstorms so I drove over and spent an hour frantically planting Lavender, fennel, dill, swiss chard, chamomile, leeks, stock, and giant zinnia seeds.

Alas, the sky cleared; no rain.

 Hope's hoses to the community garden spot were damaged.  Let's just say 700 feet of neatly coiled hoses don't fare well when they are inadvertently run over by a tractor pulling mowing equipment.  So... bring out trusty teens and water buckets.

I love these girls!  I know that the watering was more fun because they got to ride in the back of the pickup from the water spigot to the garden.  I just hope we start getting spring showers before the novelty wears off.

Under the top layer of the dust-bowl look the earth is still a bit damp.  Surprisingly, in all that dust we have seedlings coming up especially the beets, and turnip greens.

Besides the watering we spent a bit of time weeding and planting bush beans.  I put in 2- 40 foot rows that were 2 plants wide.  I plan to plant 2 more rows in 2 weeks to stagger the harvest a bit.  I also started the sunflower house.  The seed packet didn't hold much; so far the house has 3 walls.

Our onions are doing well.  We have several patches of both purple and white.  I forgot to take a photo of the potatoes but they are up and pretty.

Totals for the week?

2 trips out to the garden and 3 hours time spent working/riding around in a pickup.  No $$ spent this week.


Back to Work

My family has been given the opportunity to participate in a community garden.  I'll be posting updates on our grand veggie-experiment.  Join me each week at Family Garden 101 with a link to your garden project and we'll have a virtual community garden to enjoy.  

After a week off, we were back to work this week.  We did everything outside, if it was at all possible.  

Spatial reasoning and pre-math.

Pre-reading and pre-spelling skills, i.e.- tree climbing.

Horticulture, ecology, design....

Nature study of Lilacs

Sketching Azalea blossoms

Literature, math, anything portable, which is almost everything.  Now if I just had an Ipad...

It was a lovely week.  The weather goes from mild to hot pretty quickly where we live.  Already my two youngest can't play outside after lunch- it's too stressful for their metabolism.  We are now spending the mornings outdoors, everyone working on their own projects and then starting "school" for the older kids right after lunch.  

It was a wonderful idea, in theory.  I'm loving the mornings.  I'm not loving the afternoons.  My brain simply does not want to explain math at 1:30 p.m..  I don't want to help with vocabulary words, or term paper questions at 3:30 p.m..  I'm not remembering to check german or copy work....   

Time to rethink, re-plan, re-motivate.  I don't want the school year to end in a whimper. 


Family Garden 101

Weeding and Waiting

Last week we didn't plant anything new.  We are still waiting for our last frost date- the 15th of April is the magic day.

We did go out and check for wild turkey damage- blessedly there was none!  We saw lots of deer tracks.  I'm sure they are blogging a thankfulness post about the buffet someone is kindly preparing for them.

 We also weeded for a little over an hour.  

With 7 active weeders, the weeding was actually pretty easy work.  It was mostly grass, but the ground was well tilled enough that the grass came up easily. You can see our onions in the foreground of this shot.  They are about 3 inches tall and doing great.  Our first visual sign of success.

Two not-so-active weeders got in a spot of trouble for running off to climb in the van in order to honk the horn.  They look like the day laborers that didn't get hired. 

With so many helpers I ran out of garden tools and decided to weed with a broken ruler.  See my hand wrapped in a dish towel?  That's so I could continue weeding after I gouged a hole in my hand. Very stupid of me.  My hand still hurts.  

On the home salad front:  We are enjoying more and more fresh lettuce. It freaks my toddlers out every time they watch me cut some and eat it.  We've had lots of discussions about how not all plants are edible but that all our food does actually come out of the dirt in some form or fashion.

We cleaned out some more containers for our home garden.  I'm planning on planting mostly herbs and spinach for now.

Time moves slowly when you are waiting to plant tomatoes and peppers!  

Family Garden 101

April 5th Edition

Last week, we didn't go out to our community garden a single time.  I thought about it a lot.  I pictured it completely grown over with weeds or drowning in rain puddles.  The only thing I didn't picture was wild turkeys.

Yes.  Wild turkeys.  I talked to my friend that owns the land- no weeds nor huge boggy puddles, but she did warn me that they've had a lot of wild turkeys this year.

Evidently wild turkeys love to ravage potatoes. You have to admit- that's just funny.

We are going out today to check our crops, to weed. and to plant another row of beets plus some mustard greens and fennel.  Hopefully, we won't have to replant potatoes. My family is going to do all of the above and then my children plan on having chatting/playing/chasing time with the other families that will be there working on their plots.  It's all good.

I'm also hoping to finish laying out, on paper, where the rest of my after-frost-date plantings will go.

On the home salad garden front, we ate lettuce from the garden for dinner yesterday.  Everyone got a tiny, pathetic little piece of green on their sandwich.  Everyone told me, with great sincerity, that it tasted great.

Have a great gardening week!



In Which I Reveal My Stunning Lack of Focus

My family has been given the opportunity to participate in a community garden.  Each Monday I'll be posting updates on our grand veggie-experiment.  Join me at The Flexible Homeschooler with a link to your garden project and we'll have a virtual community garden to enjoy.


It's been absolutely gorgeous this week.  We've spent every moment we could outside.  Thus the title to my post.  

My 10 yo is enjoying  a Spring  project.  A few mornings a week she finds something growing in our yard that she thinks looks interesting.  She then does a careful and detailed drawing of it in her nature notebook. Next, with my help, she looks up information about it.  She then labels her drawing and copies the information she found most interesting.  So far she's done entries on forsythia, violas, flowering quince and moss phlox.

Now if she would only let me photograph some of her project.  She's rather shy about her artwork.

I'm thrilled that my 13 yo finished her math curriculum early this year.  Wahooo!  As for my 8 yo's lost math notebook.  I think he ate it.  Someone must have.

My 8 yo has his first piano recital on the 12th.  He's starting to get excited and is practicing more and more on his own.  We are still working on reading the notes without fudging.  He keeps trying to count lines quickly thinking I won't notice.  It's the equivalent of skip-counting instead of knowing the multiplication tables.  

I posted my 18 yo son's Full Moon Film Festival entry on my other blog already- so apologies to those who are already fatigued by my exuberance but- They Won 3rd Place and Best Mockumentary!!!  

Hamilton vs. Burr from Luke Tipton on Vimeo.

Term papers are in full swing.  18 yo is writing on the formulation of a world view.  I have no idea how he is going to pull that off.  15 yo is writing on William Wilberforce.  One of her favorite movies is Amazing Grace, which was about Wilberforce's struggle to end the slave trade in England.

A bit of this, a bit of that, and peach cobbler for breakfast on the deck.  I love Spring.

To read what other home schoolers have been up to this week go to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.