Posts Tagged ‘children gardening’

Last fall, I bought good size starts at the Tilth fall sale. I planted them late Sept I think and I knew it should have been sooner. They pretty dormant and by early April I had doubts I would get anything. Well, amazingly I have! Since this bed gets shaded by the big tree leaves that just came out, I was not rushed to dig anything up.

Tonight I harvested enough kale and chard for at least 2 dinners for the 5 of us. And spinach and flowering broccoli for one dinner. And the lettuce starts from PCC gave enough for a little salad for each of us.

While we certainly are not getting tons from the garden each week, I have been getting enough greens for one maybe two dinners a week. Not bad!

The garden is taking off and I really need to document with photos. And document on this blog. Mainly I have been documenting planting dates and names on a paper grid I drew of the garden.

I have planted a good variety of peas and all are coming up. Very interesting that the tallest ones are the ones blown on by the dryer vent. Not surprising really! Zucchini is just popping through. Beets are getting ever so bigger. I had to reseed carrots and still not much. Chard and collard starts are looking strong. Spinach starts from PCC look good, spinach starts from me are okay. Seeding spinach in the ground not so much.

My succession lettuce planting is going well. I have lettuce starts in 3 stages. I hope this keeps us eating tons of lettuce! Even with the slugs who chopped down one full size lettuce and 4 half way grown we should still have plenty.

Speaking of slugs – read that spreading coffee grounds is an excellent deterent as they hate caffiene. Added that to the broken egg shells. Here is hoping. Also read that slugs do not like red leaf lettuce. Seems true since they only ate the green ones.

The tomato starts inside are growing fast. I am trying to put them outside in the sun 2 or 3 days a week for at least a few hours. The peppers as well. I did not finish transplanting the peppers into their own 4 in pots until this past weekend.

Still to do – reseed more basil as I lost most to the chemical dirt. Plant purple carrot seeds and cilantro seeds and more lettuce seeds.

The Seattle Tilth has a leftover plant sale ($2 or less) this Friday – I will be going. My tomatillos did not make it through the chemical dirt disaster and I need cukes and squash and maybe some other things!

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I watched Food Inc tonight. I knew a lot of it but quite powerful anyway. Got to it from this article which led me to these TED videos.

And then a friend sent me this cool site to look at.

I continue to think about food more and more. I was blessed to grow up going to my great aunt and uncle’s farm. I realize what an impact it had on me. I remember picking beans and blueberries and watermelons. I remember shelling butter beans on the back steps of our house. My  mom froze an awful lot of butter beans. And they were always good. My mom froze lots of food. It seemed normal to me. I remember roaming this farm with my brother and the fun we had going off and exploring. The broken rusty farm equipment, the horses, the geese. The barn, the chickens. Getting the eggs. Simple things but oh so fun and unusual for us. Food had value in our house. And I still value food.

The interesting part of having to become gluten and dairy free and then soy free and reducing many other foods because of my children’s reflux is that I rarely if ever eat fast food, we do not eat out a lot and we make most meals from scratch. Our children see that we value food because my husband spends a lot of time preparing really good food and I spend a lot of time growing food from seed. I have taught our children that foods are powerful, that they are “grow” foods. We need a balance of grow foods to grow. They understand treats are not a “grow” food and so therefore, we do not need them. Since we do not need them, we only have them on special occasions (birthdays and some holidays). And they understand it. A woman in the grocery store stopped me yesterday when I was talking to my five year old about which chard to buy. She wanted to know how on earth I got my children to eat chard and how do I cook it, what do I do to it? I said I chopped it up and lightly sauteed it with some water and a bit of coconut oil and sometimes added pepper. I told her my children have to eat three bites of everything on their plate and I do not put large servings. If they want seconds of their favorite food, they have to eat three bites of everything else first. I think one or two of my kids wanted to be picky eaters but our rules are firm and there is no drama about them. They know I would let them go hungry if they do not at least try it. And they have tried things so many times they have come to love them. My five year old? She wanted rainbow chard because she liked the pink color and all the other brights. She chose it and then gladly ate it for dinner. My kids do not have the option of eating lots of processed foods or foods with sugar because I do not buy it. So they eat what I do have and generally and for the most part they are really happy about it. And they are rarely sick and they have lots of energy. I am motivated to grow even more this year and move towards year round growing. I hate having to go to the store right now to buy greens because mine are not big enough. It is a good goal to move forward to.

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Well, what a crazy day. Unexpectedly I had a child free morning and there was glorious sunshine and it was fairly warm. Instead of working the entire morning, I got in the garden and transplanted my Japanese Soyu Cucumbers to larger pots and transplanted some of the basil to larger containers.

I have been putting my spinach starts out to harden them off and I decided to leave my Jap cukes out for awhile to start hardening off. All eight were so beautiful when I left.

Off to pick up the kids, go to class and run a few errands – we got home later than planned – went to check on my cukes and all were completely wilted and sunburned. Cooked if you will. Maybe two will survive. Sigh. I hate it when I lose a plant. But to lose two sets of cukes. Darn. That is the challenge of gardening.

On a better front, the beet starts in the ground are coming up, the sugar snaps are about an inch and the carrots are just making their way. I thought for sure the leeks were not going to come up but they have and wow – tons  – need to thin soon. My winter bed is still going – the dino kale is growing fast and the two spinach plants that survived are getting big. The purple broccoli seems close to harvesting. It is all very late and past due but as long as it tastes good – I am not complaining.

After some googling, found out Jap cukes do not like a lot of heat. Well I learned that! I need some major time to garden this weekend to get all the tomato transplanted to 4″ containers. I have way way way too many of course. Maybe a wee bit less than last year. And the broccoli and broccolini need to be transplanted to larger container and hardened off. And squash needs to be started. Always too much to do in spring!

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So my daughter was out with me in the garden. She was bored and I told her to dig and find worms. She loves loves loves worms so she happily collected a pile on top of an empty milk jug. They (of course) kept sliding off – she was so frustrated as she was digging them the best hole! she said. I told her to cover them with dirt till she was ready for them. She then decided to carefully smooth out all the dirt. Then she created “beds” for each of them, laid them on their “beds”, covered them up with dirt. She was so proud. She loves worms and I love that there seem to be so many in my dirt this year!

Lots of seeds planted outside in the last few days which is great because tomorrow is supposed to be 67 and sunny. I am covering most things with two layers of row cover. List of things planted soon.

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Updated on 3/29

So while reading another garden blog today I was impressed by her organization of the seeds she planted – Urban Hennery. So I realized it would be easy to list what I planted and when the seeds are from. I am later than I wanted to start seeds but two weeks earlier than last year! So that is a start. I am using a lot of seed packets from last year. They say you get less starts from seeds that are older but I have had a few gardeners tell me I will still get plenty. That way I did not have to buy too many more seeds. Wish I could find serrano pepper seeds but will just have to buy them as starts. I had wanted to order my seeds from catalogs so I would have more choice but again – another year! I am happy I have gotten this much done with how hectic our life has been. The kid shelped me seed all the lettuce and kale. This week I will fill clear plastic cups with dirt and let them seed whatever they want and put them in the window of their playroom so they can watch the seeds grow. Always their favorite thing. My daughter was especially excited about planting beets again – she says they are her favorite vegetable. My oldest son says lettuce is his fav. The youngest loves our carrots.

I planted all my seeds on 3/10 and 3/11 – I have a few more peppers and my basil to start. They are all in black flats with lids.

Sweet Peas Spencer Supreme entire packet ( Valley Greene 2009)

Organic Siskiyou Sweet Onion Heirloom entire packet (Seeds of Change 2009)

Organic Garden Sage Heirloom half packet (Seeds of Change 2009)

Organic Broccoli Raab half packet (Seeds of Change 2009)

Organic Di Cicco Broccoli Heirloom half packet (Seeds of Change 2009)

Wild Garden Kales quarter packet (Territorial Seed 2009)

Marketmore Cucumber quarter packet (Botanical Interests 2009)

Japanese Soyu Burpless Cucumber (Botanical Interests 2010) Planted on 3/14

Organic Ruby Orach Mountain Spinach heirloom third packet (Seeds of Change 2010) Planted on 3/14

Organic Samish Hybrid Spinach third packet – outside direct seed (Abundant Life 2010) Planted on 3/16

Organic Samish Hybrid Spinach third packet – outside direct seed (Abundant Life 2010) Planted on 3/16

Organic Swiss Chard 5 colored silver beet third packet – outside direct seed (Abundant Life 2010) Planted on 3/16

Organic Vates Collards third packet – outside direct seed (Seeds of Change 2009) Planted on 3/16

Super Sugar Snap Peas half packet – outside direct seed in two rows, soaked for two hours then covered in Bioscience Inoculant – (Territorial Seed 2010) Planted on 3/16

Organic Falltime Leek half packet – one row direct seed outside (Seeds of Change 2009)

Basils – Planted on 3/14

Organic Sweet Basil third packet (Territorial Seed 2009)

Mammoth Sweet Basil third packet (Territorial Seed 2009)

Profuno di Genova Basil third packet (Renee’s Garden 2009)

Organic Sacred Basil third packet (Irish Eyes Garden 2010)


Organic Emerald Oak Lettuce quarter packet (Seeds of Change 2009)

London Springs Lettuce Mix quarter packet (Territorial Seed 2009)

Baby Mesclun Lettuce quarter packet (Renee’s Garden 2009)

Deer Tongue Lettuce quarter packet (Territorial Seed 2009)

Lettuce Mix Starts from PCC planted outside on 3/25


Organic Black Cherry Tomato third of a packet (Abundant Life 2010)

Organic Gill’s All Purpose Tomato third of a packet (Abundant Life 2010)

Organic Purple Calabash Tomato half a packet (Territorial Seed 2009) * one of my favs from 09

Orange Oxheart Heirloom Tomato half a packet (Territorial Seed 2009)* one of my favs from 09

Northern Delight 2in Tomato half a packet (Territorial Seed 2009)

Gold Nugget Cherry Tomato half a packet (Territorial Seed 2009)

Organic Chadwick Cherry Tomato half a packet (Seeds of Change 2009)* one of my favs from 09

Organic Thessaloniki Tomato half a packet (Seeds of Change 2009)

Organic Tomatillo Verde half a packet (Seeds of Change 2009) my husband’s favorite by far in 09

Black Krim Pole Tomato half a packet (Botanical Interests 2009)

Peppers so far –

Ancho Magnifico Hybrid Pepper third of a packet (Territorial Seed 2010)

Sierra Fuego Jalapeno Pepper a few seeds left (Renee’s Garden 2009) this and the next two came in a mixed packet last year – I planted without knowing what was what. This year I know!

San Luis Ancho Pepper a few seeds left (Renee’s Garden 2009)

Joe Parker New Mex Pepper a third (Renee’s Garden 2009)

Orange Fogo Thai Chili Pepper a few seeds left (Renee’s Garden 2009)

Red Demon Chili Pepper a few seeds left (Renee’s Garden 2009)

Spanish Padron Tapas Pepper whole packet(Renee’s Garden 2010)

Mini Snack Baby Belle Pepper whole packet(Renee’s Garden 2010)

Organic Early Jalapeno half packet (Abundant Life 2010) Planted on 3/14

Organic Anaheim Pepper third packet (Irish Eyes Garden 2010) planted on 3/26


Organic Bull’s Blood Beets half packet outside direct seed (Territorial Seed 2009) planted 3/16

Gourmet Golden Beets half packet outside direct seed (Renee’s Garden 2010) planted 3/16

Chiogga Beets half packet outside direct seed (Ed Hume 2010) planted 3/16


Yellow and Orange Sunshine Mix Carrots  half packet outside direct seed (Renee’s Garden 2009) planted 3/16

French Baby Babette Carrots  half packet outside direct seed (Renee’s Garden 2009) planted 3/16

Organic Scarlet Nantes Carrots  half packet outside direct seed (from WS edible garden fair 2009) planted 3/16

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