Fall Gardening

So we went to the gardening center at our local hardware store and let my 5 year old daughter pick out 2 different spring bulbs. My husband is so proud she picked Husky colors.

After I dug a line of holes for the bulbs, my kids helped me plant the bulbs. American Meadow’s website includes instruction on how to plant bulbs in the fall as well as a beautiful picture index of spring bulbs available. Check it out

Both my kids were so excited to help so I gave each of them a different bag. My oldest planted daffodils and my youngest planted tulips. Longfield Gardens has some great hints on planting spring bulbs for maximum curb appeal. Check out their website here. One tip I liked the most was to planted bulbs with different bloom times. Another reason I’m happy my daughter picked two different types, daffodils and tulips. Daffodils will come up in early spring followed by tulips.

Lastly, we spread out some mulch with weed prevention. One thing I have not been very good at in the past is fall yard care. Fertilizing and adding weed prevention to my lawn and flowering beds. First time for everything.

Agriculture – Mason Jar Garden

Review

Today’s 4H challenge is plant spices in Mason Jars then try recipes that include these spices. Click here to check out the full list.

The Activity

As many of these activities go, I modified it slight to demonstrate that my kids can regrow some types of vegetables by just placing it’s base in water. We are trying to regrow celery.

The website, wakeup-world.com, has a great article about different vegetables that you can regrow in your kitchen. These vegetables include but not limited to:

  • Bok Choy
  • Leeks
  • Scallions
  • Onions
  • Fennel
  • Lemon grass
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Ginger
  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Mushroom
  • Pineapple

Step 1. Cut the celery about 2 inches from the bottom of the stock.

Step 2. Place celery base in about 1 inch of water.

Step 3. Place in window (not direct light) and watch grow.

How easy was that. We’ll update you on the progress of the celery over the week.

As for the second part of today’s challenge, ‘explore recipes that include celery’. We make chicken stock from celery, carrot, onion, garlic, salt/pepper and chicken bones. Plus water of course.

Did you know? Chicken stock is made mostly of chicken bones where chicken broth is made mostly of chicken meat.

Sheknows.com has 5 great broth/stock recipes that include my favorite chicken stock recipe. I simple add a little oil to a large pot followed by the garlic, celery, carrots and onions then brown the vegetables until golden. This step really add color and more flavor to the stock. Last I add a whole chicken’s bones and enough water so the chicken is totally covered. Bring the pot to a boil then place on low for 6-8 hours.

My oldest daughter has made the stock with me before. I just have to make sure she doesn’t touch the pot. Once the stock is done, we strain out the chunks and can use the stock as a base for many soups. Recently, I let my daughter add any fruit or vegetables to the new soup she was inventing. The soup was the sweetest apple and onion soup I’ve ever tasted. She would not try to when it was done but I did. Next time she will need to taste it too.

Updates:

Day 1 – It incredible to see how fast that celery regrow.

Day 2 – The middle is about a centimeter taller today.

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Agriculture- Home Mini Garden

Day 2 – 4H Gardening

Review

So we are on day 2 of the 30 day challenge. Today we are lucky it is a beautiful summer day and able to spend the day outdoors doing this gardening challenge. Check out the whole challenge in my earlier post, 4H 30 day challenge and learn more about the $10,000 scholarship at 4h.org/inspirekidstodo.

The Activity

Day 2 challenge is ‘grow vegetables in an egg carton.’ Well we don’t have an egg carton available to use but lucky have something better I picked up this spring during a preschool Scholastic book event. The ‘Build Your Own Vegetable Garden’ kit. The kit includes: a clear box to plant your seeds, 2 different seeds (carrots and green beans), instructions and growth chart.

We tried the carrots earlier this summer and it didn’t go very well. Nothing to harvest. Probably our fault due to lack of watering. But we will try to again.

Thus, another great reason to brake out this kit again and try sowing green beans.

I love this kit because it includes a grow chart for both the seeds they include in the box; carrots and beans. Through I wish them included faster germinating beans/seeds.

Did you know? Mung beans and lentils are the fastest and easiest to germinate. Germination means the development of a seed or spore after dormancy.

Both kids loved this activity. Well I mean they loved playing in the dirt. My 5 year old daughter was able to understand the instructions and follow them but the 22 month old played in the dirt like it was her sandbox.

We sowed the green beans. (I love the word sowed and when do I even get to use it.)

Sow is defined as plant by scattering it on or in the earth.

The instructions states the green beans germinate in about two weeks. We will update you with progress on the soil. Guess this will determine if we or I have a green thumb. Wish me luck.

Update:

Day 10 – the bean sprouted. As you can see my daughter is so excited.

Kit:

So I have to apologize I looked on Scholastic Website and wasn’t able to find to exact gardening kit that we used but I found a better one which I wish I knew about during the spring book sale. I would have purchased it instead.

Science on a Gardening Adventure by Magic School Bus

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