Thursday, 12 August 2010

Our Garden

This year I decided to try and do a garden, having heard the theory that if your children grow their own vegetables and take part in cooking of the food they will more likely eat it. Unfortunately my children have very different thoughts on that theory:( This year in Britain the BBC and the Scottish Potato Council (yes that really does exist) gave away free seeds to anyone who sent in a request. Never one to pass up anything free I requested the seeds:) The seeds sent to us were rocket potatoes, french beans, rocket salad, basil, courgette, and Royal Chantenay carrots. I had the children help plant the seeds and prepare our small garden. I quickly learned that the backyard is impossible to dig in and headed to the garden center to buy some raised beds to work with. While there the kids talked me into getting pumpkin and flower seeds. My husband requested we try growing onion and tomatoes. So my little project turned into a big project:). The children and I watered our seeds in their seed tray (which we kept indoors) every evening using only rain water from the rain barrels that surround our rental home. Once the seeds sprouted we carefully moved them into the raised garden beds outside. Now I must admit the kids helped initially but soon got tired of the process so I was on my own after a while. The kids and I tried to keep a journal on what sprouted first but that quickly became overwhelming as we travel a lot and things came up while we were away. But the kids did have fun checking the plants every day to see what had grew, what flowered and how tall the plants were getting. We did do a mini unit study on plants and talked a bit about photosynthesis. We also had a great debate as to what constitutes a fruit versus a vegetable.

Our first crop to harvest in late June was the potatoes. I was so surprised to see how many potatoes we had, 2 large bowls full. We have had several meals from these potatoes and they do taste better when you grow them yourself. My kids still refuse to eat them no matter how I cooked them:(. I found a great potato, green bean and feta cheese recipe that we love.

Next we harvested the rocket salad leaves and made a taco salad, but I must say they were a bit bitter tasting so I don't think they will make the cut for next year. Kids were not impressed and somehow manage to pick out every scrape of lettuce from their tacos.

Our next crop to harvest early August were the Royal Chatenay Red Carrots. Again we were surprised at the results. These are very small carrots and unfortunately the children and I were not good at separating the seedling and many grew twisted together.. I was able to save a few and add them to our stir fry. The ones that were too twisted to save went to the horses that my children ride for their lessons. I was able to get a couple of bites of carrots into the children but again they weren't impressed. Although my husband and I thought they were quite tasty.

We are still waiting for the results of the other vegetables, I must say the beans and onions are looking healthy and should be ready the end of September. We have only one pumpkin that has made it to date. Our cherry tomatoes are almost ready but the beef tomatoes are not doing a whole lot. I am not sure I am cutting them back enough. As for the courgettes they are flowering but then nothing else is happening so I am not holding out much hope.

And that is our garden for this year. I have already sent my request in for more seeds next year, looking forward to seeing what they send and what we can grow:) Maybe the kids will eat more next year...Isn't there another theory that says you have to offer the food to your child 10 times before they will eat it...:) yeah right, they haven't met my two strong willed angels:)


  1. I wish I had the room for a garden. It is a brilliant, educational experience for all of us. Of course I will follow your adventures. Thank you for visiting my blog, and following us.

  2. Hello and thanks for stopping by my blog too! I love your garden. Unfortunately, I do not have the gift of keeping any plants alive for more than a few days. I will keep trying.... Anyways, as far as workboxes go, have to thought of those little drawer carts available at IKEA or JoAnn Fabrics (here in the states)? I have seen some families use file folders and other things as well! Enjoy your homeschooling days! Thanks again for stopping off at my blog.

  3. Great pictures and I admire mommy gardeners since I don't have a green thumb and I'm just trying to work on keeping a butterfly garden alive! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! Thanks for following us! I'm following you back!
    Your blog posts look great! Keep up the good work!
    Happy homeschooling!

  4. Your garden experience looks great! We are big gardeners, and it really grows on you through the years. One trick with the lettuce ~wash it and refrigerate it overnight before you eat it. It's always sweeter the next day. Happy gardening and schooling!

  5. Thanks Brenna that is something I did not know. I have been reluctant to pick any more of the rocket leaves because it was so bitter. Will go out tonight to pick a few and give it a try. Thanks for the advice

  6. Good activity for you and for your children that gardening stuff. for sure it will keep them busy checking the veggies grow.