2nd year garden pics

newhippie(6b)June 25, 2011

Still feeling like a 1st grader, but at least I am past kindergarten-(last year, our first year to try vegetable gardening.)

This is our evolving garden and the main reasons for even doing it: our girls. We don't go many places or do a lot of "fun" things. But there is one thing we do together as a family, and that is to go to the garden everyday. We pull weeds and make mud concoctions, take care of the chicks, take nature walks and swing on the hammock...we even harvest a few vegetables here and there.

This summer is short, and school will start. They will be in kindergarten and 1st grade. They will ride the bus. ( !!! ) I'm feeling a bit nostalgic...

So take a look if you'd like, it will be fun to see what happens in this corner of our acre over the next few years. You may even notice my bumper crop of cinder blocks, lol.

Jammie

Here is a link that might be useful: garden 2011 and spring fling

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newhippie(6b)

had to delete some really old pics from that album, so try this link if the one above doesn't work...

Jammie

Here is a link that might be useful: garden 2011 with spring fling pics plus a few oldies...

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 2:41AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Jammie,

It sure looks wonderful and to me it looks like you've moved far, far beyond first grade too.

I love the photos of the girls. Clearly they're loving the gardening/chicken-raising lifestyle. Most kids do love it if only they're given the chance to enjoy it.

Every child that comes to our house immediately has to visit the lily pond and check out the fish and frogs, then go to the chicken coops to visit the chickens and gather eggs and then go to the garden and harvest yummy things. I love that children can come here to our place and do something else other than playing video games and watching TV. Some of our friends who don't have gardens or chickens bring their grandkids here to experience 'the good life'. You're making memories with your girls and you're teaching them so much about life. What could be better than that?

Keep it up! You'll have more and more fun and more and more success every year. Even better, there's always new and wonderful things to plant, so it never gets old or dull.

Dawn

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 8:39AM
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miraje(7a)

I would have killed for a treehouse like that when I was their age! I grew up on a farm and had a sister that was a year younger than I was, so your girls remind me so much of my childhood. We were always playing around in the garden and climbing trees and making mudpies. They'll have some wonderful memories when they're as old as I am someday. :p

I also hope my new garden looks half as good as yours does in a few years. I love it!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 12:38PM
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newhippie(6b)

Thank you Dawn and Miraje (heather?) ! If you saw in the back of some of the pictures a wood pile and a burn pile in a large "ditch" that is where we will put the pond in the future. I have plans for a Japanese style pond. I wish I had photos of what the place looked like when we bought it. The back 1/5 of the acre was overgrown brush, and once we (my husband) cleared that out, we discovered the brush was concealing a ridiculous trash dump.

It took my husband two full years to clean that up, and we are still discovering things as the ground forces it up. But one day, when the whole area is done, we will know what we did to transform that into something beautiful.

I would have loved a clubhouse like that too!! My husband's job has tons of surplus pallets, so Chris brought them home and made that one Spring, I added the picket fence tops to make it look more like a castle.

And DAwn, I am so excited about trying out new vegetables to plant, I have some purple green beans growing now that aren't producing, so I will plant tons next year. What girl wouldn't love a purple green bean?

And Jo has given me lots of strawberry inspiration, we will be putting in some fall strawberries for a spring crop, then adding some permanent Spring strawberries.

It's funny that I took two years of Horticulture in high school, then waited almost 20 years to try growing vegetables, and love this hobby and lifestyle more than any other thing I have done.

Jammie

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 6:20PM
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biradarcm(7b)

Jammie,
Your garden, harvest, produce, kids... all are awesome! I think you are too much underestimating yourself as a kindergarten, but I guess folks here in the forum will upgrade you to graduate level! You are doing great. Have a great summer! -Chandra

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 1:37AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Jammie,

My purple podded beans have produced sporadically in little waves. Beans are affected by the extreme heat too, just like tomatoes. I tried extra hard to get my bush beans in the ground on time this past spring (I tend to focus too much on tomatoes and then everything else gets planted only after the tomatoes are in) and it paid off. I think last year I planted them a touch too late and it got hot before they produced too much. Then the grasshoppers showed up and ate them down to the ground.

For your girls, you need to plant Tanya's Pink Pod Bush Beans. The pods actually do turn pink, and the beans are tasty as well as pretty. (When you cook them, they do turn green just like the purple ones do.) Last year and this year, Tanya's Pink Pod have produced better in the heat than any other bush bean.

You know, for the girls, y'all could put in a pink bed or a purple bed. Think of all the veggies that come in those colors: eggplant comes in both pinkish-violet and purple, there's pink tomatoes (including a pink bite-sized one called Sweet Treats) and purple tomatoes, pink podded bush beans, purple podded bush beans, purple podded pole beans, purplehull pinkeye southern peas, purple carrots, purple broccoli, purple cauliflower. I bet there's more pinks, but now that I'm trying to think of one, I can't. Oh, I am pretty sure there's pink popcorn and there is a pink kale, but it is ornamental and not edible. There's a pink swiss chard and, of course, pink-fleshed watermelons. I think y'all could have a whole bed or row of pink or purple plants or plants that produce either pink or purple foliage, flowers, fruit or veggies.

Another fun thing with kids is to dye easter eggs using plants for natural dyes.

For a couple of years I planted a "rainbow garden" in my veggie bed, where every raised bed was one color, and I had a bed in every color of the rainbow, in the same order as the colors in the rainbow. It was a lot of fun, even though it was quite a challenge to find fine some things in some colors. Every bed had a mix of veggies, herbs and flowers in that bed's designated color.

Another fun thing we did when our son and nieces and nephews were younger was to plant them sunflower houses and also big teepees covered in a mix of pole beans, ornamental gourds and mini pumpkins. The kids could play in the sunflower house or teepees like they were playhouses or forts. For a sunflower house, you plant your sunflowers in a square box shape so the flowers form the 4 walls. After your 'walls' are 3 or 4' tall, you plant morning glories or black-eyed-susan vines or any other annual vine to climb the sunflowers' stalks. By the time the sunflowers are 5 or 6' tall, you can run twine back and forth from sunflower to sunflower like roof rafters, and then your vines creep along the twine and form a room over the house. It is the cutest thing. Just be sure to leave a 'doorway' area so the kids can go in and out.

Gardening with kids is tons of fun!

I grew up in a gardening family, so always have been a gardener. When I went to college, I majored in business....and even laughed about the fact that our local community college had a horticulture program. I remember joking about "who would want to major in horticulture?". lol To me, horticulture was just something "everyone" did, and I couldn't imagine anyone would want to make a living at it. I shake my head now and imagine that studying horticulture would have been right up my alley.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: Tanya's Pink Pod Bean at SESE

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 11:34AM
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owiebrain(5 MO)

What a beautiful garden!! And kids... and birds! LOL I am so completely in awe of it all!

(Why is this page so red?? Am I the only one seeing this? I think I'm losing my mind...)

Diane

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 12:34PM
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newhippie(6b)

That sounds like a great idea, to do a color theme with them, I think I will order some things and let them each have a bed next year to pick and plan what they want to do, I am sure they will choose pink and purple. I just watched Oklahoma Gardening and they showcased a program called global gardens in Tulsa where kids get to direct the planting, they were pretty creative. They had a different theme for each bed, like health and beauty, space, and fairytales where they chose plants with names like "sleeping beauty rose" etc.

Even though a season can be very frustrating, and I feel like it flies by and I get little production sometimes, it is still exciting to know I can try so many different varieties of things and come up with creative ways to garden each season.

Thanks everyone! Jammie and girls. (and the muscles--Chris)

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 1:50PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Diane,

Take your choice of the following two replies:

(a) It is another way they can cram more advertising down own throats. Doesn't that red page make you want to run right out and buy some paint and paint a room red? Be sure to buy your red paint from iVillage's advertiser who brings you this page free of charge.

Or, (b) I have no idea what you're talking about and think you really are losing your mind. What red page?

Jammie,

There are so many wonderful ideas expressed in children's gardens all over the country. I'm always amazed at what the children, their teachers and the volunteers who help them come up with for their gardens. I love the little pizza gardens. What kid wouldn't like to grow as many of their own pizza ingredients as possible and then make a pizza from them?

In our climate, there's always so many weather/climate challenges and it can be frustrating. Even though I grow a lot of our veggies, I always think to myself that some years, or at least during parts of them, we'd be really slim and trim if we were eating only the produce that comes from our garden! In fact, there are times we'd be starving. Every now and then, though, you have a really good year with tons of delicious stuff and that makes it all worthwhile. Last year was a huge fruit year for us., but this year the fruit is producing poorly. However the tomatoes, onions, potatoes, corn and beans have made up for the lack of fruit production. Over the years, it averages out pretty good, but I never have a year in which everything produces a huge crop. There's always something that's exceptionally productive and something that produces nothing or next to nothing.

Still, it is fun and I'd do it anyway. I am a better cook when I'm cooking food from our garden, I think, because I know just how much work it took to get that produce and I don't want to waste any of it or take it for granted. I also have had to learn more ways to cook the stuff that produces really well....like tomatoes or squash or beans. Growing your own in that way is good because it forces you to broaden your horizons and try new recipes.

Dawn

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 2:35PM
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miraje(7a)

It's an advertisement that is messing up the page. It's really annoying to try to read the page when it's there, so I usually refresh.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 2:43PM
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chickencoupe

Nice, Jammie! Good work.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 2:46PM
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