March 31, 2011

How does your garden grow?

Our Spring unit won't start for a little bit, but our garden is already starting to grow!  The boys (especially Cash) are loving helping with the plants, digging in the dirt, and the excitement of growing something they can eat!

I've always planted flowers in my containers, so these pots are really nothing new... there are a few tomato plants tucked in there this year, mostly because I ran out of places to plant.

This pot is big and contains a lot of food... jalapeƱo peppers for daddy, romaine lettuce and a blackberry bush.  So fun!

We have an avocado seed sprouting as well.  I don't really know if this will work or not, but the boys have loved checking on it daily.  You can find directions to grow your own avocado tree here.

And the answer is yes, I totally staged the above photo to get my rocker in the background.  It's my favorite place in the whole house, why would I not make sure it was in a photograph?

Moving on...

We also have flowers on the front porch.

Flowers that stay really well watered!  We've measured these and have started a chart to track their growth.  We'll measure weekly until we start our unit.

Someday I'll live in the country, until then, I have neighbors.  Awesome neighbors who are willing to share their amazing garden with us.  I would have loved to have put a proper garden in this year, but the budget just didn't allow, so we'll mooch and grow in containers this year.

We've shared a compost bin with our neighbors for a few years now.  Heath and Daddy David (neighbor behind us) built it together and we throw our compostables in - another neighbor also adds his lawn waste, since we often need nitrogen in our food-heavy bin.

The bin is full of great bugs and insects to explore and we often check the level and talk about the pile getting bigger and smaller and what happens to the waste.  It's been a great learning tool and we'll incorporate it for sure in our spring unit.

We do have some plants in our yard (as opposed to in pots), most of them large bushes/trees, a big batch of Wandering Jew and variety of Mums. We've been watching them sprout lately and and have been looking for flowers on a daily basis.  Here's cash checking on our Rose of Sharon.

We planted a pot of herbs in the back yard.  Pretty soon we'll have a full bounty of fresh basil, pineapple mint and cilantro.  We have a gigantic (several year old) rosemary bush in the back yard as well!

Lastly, we have some hanging tomato vines.  I've never used these Topsy Turvy containers, but we do have lots of squirrels and bunnies, so I'm hoping it will help combat their nibbling problem.

I think it's so important that my kids know where their food comes from.  We don't have a huge garden, but at least they are getting a taste of gardening and they know what it takes for their food to get on the table!  Gardening also adds some responsibility to the boys' plates...always a good thing!

I haven't made our full lesson plan for the spring unit yet, but know we'll be using materials from Homeschool Creations as well as the letters U, R, and K (that focus on umbrellas, rainbows and kites respectively) from the Letter of the Week curriculum.

We're participating in the Home School Village Garden Challenge this year.  Click the button below to get more ideas on gardening with kids!


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