Posts Tagged ‘kids in the garden’

Worm Wednesday: Peas! Or, a Pea!

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

After the disappointing pea harvest last year — when my peas wilted in the summer heat as soon as they began to bear pods — I found a variety described as “heat tolerant” this time around. And it paid off, as we left for a 10-day vacation in the midst of a upper-90s heat wave, and returned to … peas! The boy was so excited to pluck the first pod and asked if he could eat it right away. Of course I said yes, and was rewarded with, “These are THE BEST PEAS I’ve ever eaten!” (A ha! Finally the frozen-peas-only decree has been lifted. At least for a day.)

first pea from the foodietots garden

baby max and ruby counting peas booksOver In the Kitchen with Audrey, little superstar Audrey (leader of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Group of the Week — congrats!) had her own pea epiphany this week.

The foodie bebe is already showing signs of being a pea enthusiast like her brother, but just to be safe we make sure to read this cute book as often as possible: Baby Max and Ruby Counting Peas —>

If you’ve harvested (more than one) pea(s) from your garden, try this chilled asparagus and pea soup with mint.

Your turn! If you’d like to share a photo of your kids in the garden for a future “Worm Wednesday” post, please e-mail it to foodietots@gmail.com, &/or leave a link to a recent gardening post in the comments and show us what your kids are growing!

Worm Wednesday: Egglings from Mossy

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

If you’re still on the fence about planting a garden this spring, here’s a super fun idea: seeds planted in empty eggshells. Even if you’ve already started a garden, this is a quick project to do with kids on a rainy day (if you don’t mind a little mess indoors) — or file it away for next spring.

Marcie of the delightful blog Mossy shares today’s “egglings.” Marcie gardens in Irvington, NY, with her 8- and 10-year-old daughters. She’s been gardening for 8 years and helped establish a vegetable garden at their local grade school. (Read about that project, too.)

mossy eggshell seedlings

You’ve probably seen or tried starting seeds in an empty egg carton. Using the eggshells themselves is über eco-friendly and good for the plants — and the best part is you can plant the whole thing when the sprouts are ready. Click on over to Mossy for the how-to, complete with a science lesson on seed germination.

Marcie’s words of wisdom:

“When you grow vegetables, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to know everything there is to know about gardening right this very minute.  Just become familiar with one or two plants you plan to grow this year, and then next year, etc.  Harvesting family-grown vegetables can be empowering stuff.  Involve the kids in the research, the soil preparation, the planting, the watering.  Make wide garden pathways for the kids to walk on, look for butterfly eggs, dig for worms and grubs, prepare yourself for messy kids.  Anyway, little people live close to the ground.  They should be getting dirty.”

Love that philosophy! Thanks, Marcie, for sharing your egglings with us!

Your turn! Show us something you and your kids have done in your garden — just send a picture and description or story of your garden to foodietots@gmail.com, and you could see your garden here on a future installment of “Worm Wednesday” !

Worm Wednesday: How to Start an Herb Garden

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Perhaps you don’t have enough room, or time, for a full-size garden. An herb garden is an easy way to dabble in gardening and can be done on a window sill, porch or anywhere where you can stick a pot. Planting an herb garden is a good project for young kids, as it can be done in about 10 minutes — just find a container, pour in the potting soil, dig a little hole for each plant, and gently plop it in. Voila! And unlike seeds, there’s no wait time before you can use the plants.

I have a rectangular planter on my deck rail, for easy dinner-time access from the kitchen. A larger pot on the deck holds extra rosemary (purportedly a natural mosquito-repellant) and several varieties of mint for those refreshing summer cocktails, er, beverages.

virginia grown herb plants

If you want to make sure you’re getting organic herb plants, take a look at the farmers market. Many farmers are offering herbs this spring as they wait for their other crops to come in. We picked out sage, thyme and rosemary (above) from Medina & Sons this past weekend at the West End Alexandria market — the Falls Church farmers market has several plant vendors, including our ecoganic CSA Potomac Vegetable Farms.

Check out this Middle Eastern Stuffed Pita recipe from Aviva at PBS Kitchen Explorers for a tasty way to use your home-grown mint.

What herbs are your kids growing? Do they eat them?

Worm Wednesday” is a new feature here to highlight the enthusiasm kids have for gardening.  If you’d like to contribute, send me a picture and description or story of your garden to foodietots@gmail.com, and you could see your garden here on Foodie Tots!

Foodie Tots in the Garden: Planning & Planting

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Our first year kitchen garden experiment didn’t yield a whole lot in terms of edibles, but the pride in the four-year-old’s face as he told people (family, neighbors, total strangers in the garden store…) about his garden made it all worthwhile. He may not have liked the sungold cherry tomatoes, but he loved to pick them whenever we had company and pass them around.

This year we’ve got a head start with strawberries already flowering! A rhubarb plant I was sure I had killed — let’s just say it never quite made it out of its plastic pot on the deck last summer… — grew back this spring and is more than ready for a permanent home. I tasked the boy with choosing his four plants for this year, and here’s what he drew:

foodie tots kitchen garden

In case you’re wondering, that’s a hot dog plant between the sunflowers and strawberries. The fourth plant is peas.

We’ll plant the sunflowers elsewhere around the yard, and together we’ve come up with the following list for our garden bed:

  • strawberries
  • multi-colored carrots
  • peas (a warm-weather variety this year)
  • French breakfast radishes (my choice)
  • cherry tomatoes
  • basil
  • peppers

I have a pot on the deck to replant with mint and rosemary, plus my window sill box for the rest of our herbs. I’d also like to put a few berry plants in but we’re still figuring out what to do about our rolling hillside gently-sloping backyard. Also, I’m pretty sure we have a resident groundhog (??) about, as something got through my bunny fence last fall and made of with the carrots while we were out of town.

Have you planted seeds yet this spring? What are you growing? (And don’t forget, there’s just about 24 hours left to enter to win your own copy of The Whole Family Cookbook.)

In the Garden: Sprouts and Critters

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Our seeds began to sprout within a week, and I’m not sure whether the Foodie Tot or I was more surprised. Now that we’ve moved in to the new house, we’re able to check on the garden daily. The boy is always so excited to go see how much things have grown.

We’ll have some thinning to do, as my seed planting assistant had a heavy hand in scattering the seeds.

Of more pressing concern, however, is putting up some chicken wire around the garden. Something has nibbled our first two ripening strawberries, and been pawing around in the beets and peas.

The prime suspect? A healthy looking rabbit we spotted hopping through the backyard one evening. Hopefully the chicken wire will solve that problem!

Shared with Grow Cook Eat at goodLife {eats} — visit Katie’s post to learn about extension services for home gardeners.