Posts Tagged ‘worm wednesday’

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: Audrey & Mo’s Unusual Crop

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Today’s gardening tots are the adorable Audrey and Mo, ages 3.5 and nearly-2, of In the Kitchen with Audrey. The garden is a wonderful way to show kids where their food comes from. But where do lamps come from?

Audrey’s mom writes, “I had no idea when planning to have children with a witty, sarcastic certified genius that he would convince our children that light bulbs grow lamps. I think he decided to do it on a lark. We were finishing dinner when he announced his intentions to the girls. Our neighbor came to watch. It was during the time when we were putting in our real garden and I think he just wanted to be a part of something.”

planting lightbulbs

What else are they growing? lettuce, zucchini, celery, tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, and assorted herbs.

audrey and mo gardening

On gardening with kids: “Audrey loves to pick the leaf lettuce and serve it for dinner. I love that they are learning where food comes from.”

Be sure to visit In the Kitchen with Audrey to see what they’re cooking. (And thanks, Audrey’s Mom!)

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: Celebrating Strawberries

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

I’ve lived in Virginia for more than a decade (gulp), and yet I still have trouble thinking of May as strawberry season. Growing up, the grange down the road from our house hosted an enormous strawberry shortcake festival every Father’s Day weekend. On the bright side, Virginia’s accelerated berry season means I get to enjoy my favorite dessert for Mother’s Day — but I still feel a tightening in my chest as Memorial Day approaches and I realize it’s already time to think about preserving strawberries for winter. (My plans? More freezer jam — easy and so heavenly to open up a jar mid-winter and enjoy the scent of fresh berries again.)

strawberries from the garden

We’ve enjoyed a handful of fresh berries from our own garden — the first batch went directly into the boy’s mouth, the second time around there were enough to share one with the baby, too. We still are a long way off from meeting our strawberry consumption demand with entirely home-grown berries, though, so we’ll be back to market and perhaps a farm over the weekend to stock up.

home-grown strawberries

I loved the pictures Fun Mama shared of her adorable toddlers picking berries at Wegmeyer Farms in Loudoun County. (They helpfully advise parents to dress children in red or other stain-appropriate clothes for the outing.) Great Country Farms in Bluemont, Va., hosts their annual Strawberry Jubilee this weekend — but check their website first and get there EARLY as they sell out of berries. (Really!) You can find a pick-your-own farm near you at the PickYourOwn website. Have you gone berry picking with your kids yet this year?

We eat most of our berries straight out of hand before I can do much else with them, but here are some foodie tots-approved strawberry recipes we’ve enjoyed in years past:

(PS I do realize it’s not Wednesday, but yesterday just got away from me. You know how that goes, I’m sure. 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.)

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” !

Got Worms? Join Us for Worm Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

rainy day worm rescueEarlier this spring, I picked the boy up from school on a rainy evening. As we left the building, with a classmate and their teacher, we saw dozens of worms squiggling through puddles on the sidewalk. The kids quickly started scooping up the worms to move them to higher ground, cheered on by their teacher while the other mother and I cringed. Now admittedly their teacher’s reaction was better than mine — embracing their curiosity and seizing the opportunity to learn something.

Our adventure in organic gardening is forcing me to develop a more, uh, accepting response to bugs. Worms of course are one of the beneficial creatures to the garden, so they’re a little easier to love than some others.

When the boy and I set out to prep our garden plot for planting, we uncovered two big, healthy-looking earthworms. We let them scurry to safety before planting our pea seeds. A little later, the boy spotted the neighbor boy in his yard, and rushed to the fence calling out, “Guess what? My mommy and me found two worms in our garden! That means our soil is really healthy for the plants!”

worms in the garden

Worm Wednesday” is a new feature here to highlight the enthusiasm kids have for gardening. I’ve already asked a few other family gardeners to share — but 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!