Sunday, March 22, 2009

Excited about Gardening!

I love to work out in the dirt and sunshine. Pulling weeds makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something. I love plants and nature.

But I don't have a green thumb nor do I know much about gardening or planting flowers. So when dh built me a little (and I do mean 'little') box garden in which I can grow vegetables for us this year, I was both excited and nervous.

Every year I feel like I have time to get my planting/seeds figured out and then - BOOM! - it's May and I've got nothing planted once again. So this year I prayed specifically that God would give me the guidance and time that I needed to fill our new vegetable boxes since March is halfway over and I hadn't even planned anything.

And I'm excited to say that He very specifically answered me! Last week my good friend, Joyful Mama, gave me a call and told me to get in touch with our farming friend who would be willing to help us both with our gardens this year. And when I called her, she was gracious enough to talk me through planning and timing for my boxes. But the most wonderful part is that she went with me to the nursery to get the seeds and supplies I would need AS WELL AS coming over to my house to plant it ALL with me (in the cold drizzly rain while her husband watched her 6 kids)!! I don't know if she realized what kind of gift this was to me. I never learned anything about gardening growing up and tend to be slow at learning from books. So to have her SHOW me was worth far much more than anything else she could have done!

What a blessing and answer to prayer! I couldn't believe how much I learned and got done in just one day!
(Don't know the name of this, just that it is the same as lime for the soil)

The other exciting part about our garden is turning it into a fun unit for the kids. Jefferson and Reagan went to the store with us and helps with the soil prep. Jefferson has requested strawberries and got to plant his own planter box with them. He helped me sow the peas, lettuce, carrots, and spinach while Rae helped with the onions and carrots and watering.

(Jefferson with his two strawberry plants)

(Jefferson's garden diagram with labels)

It was exciting for them to be doing something different than their lessons and reminded me that I need to throw interesting unit studies into our curriculum more often than I do. Jefferson soaked up all the info on the back of the seed packets and is now continually reminding me of when each item should be appearing while Reagan is already thinking about the food our efforts will produce (hopefully - lol!). This was all accomplished on Thurs instead of heading to our homeschool co-op (after all, she knew the right timing for the season and weather and I would give up anything in our schedule for her help!).

(Reagan's coloring sheet)

On Friday, instead of our history, Spanish, or astronomy lessons, we spent the afternoon starting a gardening notebook for each of us (myself included so that I can keep track of what works for us, what materials I need to have on hand, which veggies I like, etc., etc.). They both drew out a plan of the boxes with the veggies we planted labeled and worked on a cover sheet for their books. Through this I have discovered that Reagan is ready for short copywork and was excited to put her own title on. Jefferson kept reminding me of how much fun they were having (thus also reminding me again that we need a break from our regular studies).

(2 boxes of sweet peas, 1 box of lettuce, onion, and carrots)

(Edging my tiger lily bed so the grass doesn't grow into it)

And looking at the forecast for the week, I'm glad we skipped our planned break (2 weeks ago) so we can use this week for some great outdoors time and garden note booking! We are all just so glad for the arrival of spring!


Auntie Roo said...

I love that you are sharing this with your kids and using it as a kind of science observation! I love the idea of community gardens at schools, and am thrilled you're using it at homeschool! When you get your fruits, a lot of schools will cook a meal with their stuff from their garden...clearly you're intending to use them, not just watch them grow :) awesome!

Mrs. Taft said...

Wow! thanks for all of the inspiration and awesomeness.

Mary@notbefore7 said...

This is so fabulous. What a great experience for all of you to join in together. I wish I was "into" gardening. My hubby does all of the planting around here!

argsmommy said...

I'm so jealous! I want a garden so much, but we just cannot find the time to get it done (we live on a hill in the woods, so it will take some doing just to do a simple raised bed). But your post makes me want to give it a try.

Btw, you won my give-away! Email me so I can send it off to you.


Angela said...

Wow I hadn't dropped by for a while and I am glad I did- Your gardens are so organized and going to be great. We are just starting for the season- So I am going to check back for the progress! Thanks