Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Good News

Almost as cute as human babies

I'm so happy! First, I've got some Blue Lake green bean seedlings up, basically overnight, after about a week in the ground. Second, I picked the first blackberry of the season (about a zillion more are on their way) and got to eat it all by myself. It may be the last one I get, but it was tasty.

Third, today is the first day of my preferred local crop swap. Even if I don't make it tonight, I finally have an outlet for my excess cilantro and green onions. Phew.

When the kids get home from school, I'll share all this good news with them. Or maybe I won't - give the bean seedlings a few more days before subjecting them to the likelihood of getting trampled by enthusiastic viewers.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Weather Worries

Happy squash blossom
Weather issues here in our foggy microclimate - this morning it was wintry, foggy, and blustery. By 11:30 that had cleared away, and we have full sun with a light breeze.  I am worried about our tomatoes, although right now they all look fine, and the yellow squash is not a happy camper.

I got sidewalk chalk out for the kids to keep them busy while I weeded and now I will be cleaning chalk off every surface inside and outside the house until I die.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Getting Kids Excited About Gardening (or at least the Garden)

For my older child in particular, garden projects work best if they tie into an existing interest. For example, he remembers eating cherry tomatoes right off the plant last summer, so he was totally jazzed to plant a cherry tomato in "his area". Another example is art activities - he can't get enough of them, so when we were invited over to Left Brain Craft Brain to make seed bombs and decorate containers, we accepted with alacrity!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hot weather is scalding us this week. I'm trying to live in the moment because I know when it's Fog-ust, I'm gonna want to bring out this memory like a cherished jewel. In the meantime, I'm giving my new plantings a good watering each morning and tamping down my drought-related guilt. The tomatoes and pumpkin seedlings are LOVING life. Lettuce, not so much.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Me v. the Slugs

We harvested five strawberries today! The three of us ate them too quickly to obtain photographic evidence, but they were yummy. While we were outside assessing things, my son accidentally kicked over two of my pots, so another round of cilantro seeds were planted. The other pot held basil seedlings and they seemed fine. (Got to be rugged to survive in my yard.) Also in Exciting News, the three year old was the first to observe that we have two pumpkin sprouts in my son's garden nook! That took about 10 days. Now to protect and defend.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Just Get Outside!

That's really Step #1 to connect kids with gardening. Just get outside.
... And water shooters can be the lure.

Monday, May 5, 2014

In Which I Earn a Day of Rest

Small child attempting to defend his lettuce against slugs.
Wow! My five-year-old is excited and so am I - "his" tomato has noticeably grown after only 7 days in the ground. This is what it's all about! Over the weekend I bought my final tomato plants at Westbrae Nursery. I like Westbrae a lot - it is not fancy like my other local nursery, and it has a wide selection. It also has a bathroom - anytime you're out and about with a small child, this is important information to have at your fingertips. It is also soon to have a beer garden so, yay.

Huffing and puffing, I got every last little loose end in the ground, except for green beans due to space considerations. I'm giving my sugar snap peas a week to impress me, then they've got to make room for beans. With one out of the five of my tomatoes, I did the whole black plastic thing - this time around, it was due to time pressure. Last year, I did all my intentional tomatoes with it and my volunteer was the most productive. Ergo, I wasn't too set on it this year.

It's a really pleasant sense of accomplishment to have almost everything in, in a timely manner and with the kids participating in their modest way!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Seed Libraries

Long have I been intrigued by the seed bank I've driven past in Petaluma, last year I kept thinking I'd make it to the one down the road in Richmond - now finally a seed library has basically come to me. I could ride my bike to this new one here in my adopted hometown (theoretically... it's actually kind of uphill the whole way... my husband can do it, though). Looking forward to checking it out soon!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Small Yards for Families

This Nurture Store post is inspirational - makes me realize anew what a mistake it was when my husband and I put in grass in our backyard. We thought... oh never mind. Here it is! I'm fired up to make some changes!