March 23, 2010

Rainbow Gardening

The sun is higher, the ground is warming up, and the Earth is preparing for it's re-awakening.  The garden tools are beginning to call out for notice and occassionally we see a lone honey bee. It's apparent that gardening season is upon us and it is time to start our seeds, get our garden plot plowed and plant direct in the ground what needs to be after our last frost. Play Time!! 

If you don't have room for a traditional garden, please, don't sigh in disappointment and move on. There are alternatives.
A favorite planting guide in our house has always been  
Blue Potatoes, Orange Tomatoes by Rosalind Creasy.
 


This is a family friendly, child inspiring, fun gardening book, offering directions for planting, growing, finding seeds, and cooking a variety of vegetables in different colors, such as purple beans that turn green when cooked, Yellow Zucchini, Red Chard (I grew Rainbow colored Swiss Chard with my family) and many more.
 The possibilites are endless.  You can grow potatoes in the ground or grow Potatoes in straw on the ground, or in a straw bin. I have grown them in circular straw bins made of hexigonal wire fencing fastened in place with re-bar, and in planters using potting soil.  Just keep adding more straw or soil as the stems and greenery grow.

We like to grow different things in our garden, finding the unusual, fun, child thrilling things, at, for example, Baker Seed Company, such as:
A few more seed company options are
  • Burpee Seeds, ever heard of a Tye-Dye Tomato?
  • Territorial Seed Company --have you ever grown a purple carrot?  I have.  It's called Purple Haze (or Purple Dragon, depending on where you buy your seed), and they're yummy.  You can grow these in containers, also.  Mix a good quality potting soil with some sand to grow in.
  • I have heard very good things about the quality of germination at Johnny's Seed, with the Juliet tomato being a great producer and perfect canner.
And, of course, you can check your local Nursery for plants and seeds.

Child Garden tools are available in all styles and types. My ganglings are older, so I bought adult-sized garden tools and spray painted them all PINK!!  I know which shovels on the property  belong  to me. 
*;-.)

We also like to keep a journal of what we have planted and where, to help plan from year to year what grows well in my area and what does not.  We may just need to move a particilar crop to the other side of the garden. 

My family has always enjoyed gardening together, often using it as a lesson of some sort. Make it interesting, fun, using it as a homeschool project, or a FHE lesson, such as:

  • Adam and Eve tilling the earth after being driven out of the Garden of Eden.
  • Self Reliance lesson
  • The parable of the Sower can be told at planting time.
  • We reap what we sow. Learning the value of work.
  • The Law of the Harvest
  • We need to dig around the roots, tend, fertilize, the garden for it to grow. (the parable of the vinyard)
  • When we find weeds growing amongst the plants, we gently remove them, rather than burn the field, or yank everything in the area.
  • The field is white, ready to harvest. Missionary work- the Lord has people ready, prepared for the Gospel. Send the kids, in pairs if possible, into the garden to find "someone ready."
  • If you wish, try leaving one small section of the garden untended, so the children can see the results of an untended garden. Or they might find "someone ready" amongst the weeds, where they least expected it.
One last thing I found before I close-- no one hates weeding more than I do.  UGH!!  I hate it!!  I have found my ultimate weeding tool.  It's a flame thrower sold as a "garden tool." It's called a Weed Dragon from Territorial Seed Company. *;-.)  I found it on Amazon also. I have always wanted a flame thrower.  A pink one at that (I am looking for pink heat proof paint. Really).  Imagine the Family Home Evening Lesson you could have in the garden with this one.

We have been counseled by the prophets to grow gardens, big or small, according to our circumstances and teach our children about self-reliance"We encourage you to grow all the food that you feasibly can on your own property. Berry bushes, grapevines, fruit trees--plant them if your climate is right for their growth. Grow vegetables and eat them from your own yard. Even those residing in apartments or condominiums can generally grow a little food in pots and planters. Study the best methods of providing your own foods. Make your garden ... neat and attractive as well as productive. If there are children in your home, involve them in the process with assigned responsibilities ...." (Essentials of Home Production and Storage, lds.org.) 

~~Teresa is a widow, with 4 children at home, 2 of whom are on the Autism Spectrum. She expects them to be home with her for, at least, the next 50 years, and is preparing for all eternity. You can find them at Wockenflock Daze

8 comments - Add a comment below -:

Tristan said...

We love Square Foot Gardening. Ours is 16 ft long by 4 ft wide and all the kids have fun with it.

Dana ♥ said...

I've had the lemon cucumber and they are really good! It's fun to grow unusual things in the garden along with the staples isn't it? I can hardly wait!

teresa said...

Our Square foot garden didn't fare well our first planting. Would anyone share their tips on making it more productive?
My sugar snap peas are sprouting, in the square foot garden now and I'm growing romaine lettuce.
My dragon's egg cucumbers (small and white and tasty)are sprouting in their pots, as are the french cantaloupes, poona keeras (indian cucumbers-russet colored skins), armenian cucumbers, black cherry tomaotes and others are sprouting....yippie!! I love watching this happen...sigh....

JRoberts said...

We always have something fun and unusual in our garden. I am totally all about gardening. SOme of my favorite companies are:
Stokes seeds (they have purple asparagus this year!)
T&T seeds (they have $2 shipping)
and
Seed Savers (they are all heritage seeds if you save your seeds...also a wonderful teaching opportuinity for your family!)

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

Gardening is definitely a great family endeavor. We just planned our garden last night for FHE!

We also love to grow unusual veggies. We grew Royal Burgundy Beans last year. They are a deep purple but turn green when cooked! We also grew giant pumpkins which was very fun for the kids.

legendswife said...

hey thanks for the post! We are currently reading The Carrot Seed and The Little Red Hen. Revving them up for spring..lol:)

elaine said...

We are trying a flower garden ths year, I don't have a very green thumb so we thought we would try something fun and easy. We also live in a zone 7 and I've heard that the soil here is pretty rotten. So we will see how it goes.

Mrs. M said...

I dont have very much room for a garden but I do have planted: a rose brush (hopefully it grows, it looked pretty bad when I bought it), a small plant my 3 year old picked out to take care of (I have no idea what it is though, oops) and a strawberry bush. I love the smell of fresh soil and getting my hands dirty.