Thursday, April 29, 2010

The peas are sprouting!

First off, I cannot believe how early everything is blooming and greening up. The forsythia has been finished for a good week at least. Normally it's blooming now. Lilacs are in bloom. Those aren't usually out for another two or three weeks. The fruit trees are in their full glory. Last year we were a week past Mother's Day at least before they bloomed. And it's still only April. Remarkable.

So we've planted some things. Pak choi, radishes, rainbow chard in the garden, and a lettuce mix and some peas in pots. The garden plants may not do well. I didn't loosen the soil first. Me and my lack of patience. We've added a lot of compost to the garden, but it's still pretty heavy clay. We'll see how things do. The lettuce is coming up and just waiting for a bit more warmth. But the peas. Oh the peas! Four inch shoots, straining for the sky. I've never grown peas from seed before, so I am excited. The kids are thrilled too. They're in favour of anything that brings them "yard snacks." I'll be planting green beans for that purpose too. And cherry tomatoes. We love to just sit out in the yard and pick whatever and nibble. I like to wrap the tomatoes with a fresh leaf of Basil, or a little Oregano.

We're going to give Square Foot Gardening a try this year. We're not going to go so far as to source 5 types of compost or whatnot. But we are going to build some raised beds and structures to grow tomatoes and cucumbers on. Oh yeah, I have a cucumber sprout in my windowsill, too. I've never grown them from seed before either (I've always been more of a "buy the plant" gal). I hope this experiment works out well, because I love the idea of it. Space saving, high yield, low maintenance... And if we hook it up to the rain barrel through a drip irrigation system, it will practically take care of itself. We're looking into that.

It is very satisfying to grow some of our own veggies. But more than that, I love knowing that the kids will grow up with this being the norm. Tomatoes aren't always pale and mealy and can come in all sorts of colours. Things taste best when just picked. And I love that we can bring it inside and do things like preserve the raspberries in jam, or turn the tomatoes into sauce. As homeschoolers it's nice to have science and nutrition lessons in our back yard.

Between the garden and the local farm stands and farmers markets, we're blessed with an abundance of fresh produce throughout the growing season. I still have blueberry jam from last year, made with fresh berries from the downtown market. This year I want to do peach. I put some down in the freezer in light syrup last year. I should fish some of those out soon and make something with them. Peach ice cream, maybe?

I'm editing to add a link to a blog I've found that is really speaking to me. It's Goodlife (Eats) and it's very much where I am at (or at least getting to) with regards to kids and gardening and eating healthy foods. Teaching children where food comes from, teaching them to grow and care for it and then enjoy eating it are dear to my heart, and this blog is spot on. GrowEatCook I love it.

1 comment:

  1. Found your blog on Goodlife Eats. I planted our garden last weekend and blogged about it. I hope to give regular updates on it, so perhaps we could check on on each others gardens throughout the summer. Happy Gardening!