Well Phooey

For some reason I had it in my head that the link up for the Garden Challenge was this Saturday. I am so glad that I decided to start writing my post tonight since the link up was actually YESTERDAY! So a recap, The Homeschool Village is hosting a Garden Challenge and last month I posted about our planned spring planting.

We finally did get some non-rainy days (not many!) and we were able to get our strawberries and mint plants started in our Earthboxes.

Strawberries and mint plants (garlic in the next box).

MBS didn’t actually help with the planting, he played with rocks and empty planters in the background while I got the planters set up. On another non-rainy day MBS helped Ryan dig up last years garden bed. He had lots of fun playing in the dirt. He especially liked finding an earthworm.

Digging in the garden.
The chickens wanted to find some worms too!

The next week we had another dry day and it was actually pretty warm! We got some seeds planted in the garden. We planted lettuce, radishes, and leeks.

I found a rock Daddy! (I just love his boots!)

Nothing has sprouted in the large garden bed yet but we’ve checked on our strawberry and mint plants and they’re doing fine.

He really likes pulling out the planter tags.

While checking on our plants we also look at bugs and frogs. Little frogs love to live in the Earthboxes watering tubes and we’ve found that our dandelions are quite popular with bees!

Checking on the frogs in the tubes.
Hi froggy!
Happy honeybees!
Our little froggy friends. We have LOTS of tiny frogs on our property.

The weather hasn’t really been cooperating with our gardening this spring. It has been extremely rainy and cold— we even got some snow! Not our normal April weather, hopefully May will be warmer.

Since we planted strawberries in our planter I picked out 3 strawberry books for MBS.

The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Bear by Don and Audrey Wood & illustrated by Don Wood is about a little mouse who finds a big strawberry but must find a way to keep it from the big bear. This story had cute illustrations but I just didn’t care for it. The narrator trying to trick the mouse of the strawberry just bothered me when I guess most people find it charming, oh well.

Sweet Strawberries by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor & illustrated by Rosalind Charney Kaye is a folktale about a couple where the husband is grumpy and thinks everyone else is always the problem but by changing his actions he changes how other people react. I usually love Naylor’s books but I could not stand this one. There is a lesson in the tale but the husband never realizes that it is his own actions that change things and that really bothered me.

Thankfully Good Job, Oliver! by Laurel Molk was a winner! Oliver is a small bunny who wants to grow the biggest and best strawberries ever but the bigger bunnies tease him that little bunnies can only grow little berries. Oliver has to face lots of obstacles in growing his berries and uses his brain to solve the problems. I loved this story and the illustrations are great, sadly it is out of print.

Since we have lots of little ribbity guys in our garden I thought we should also study them.

Tadpole to Frog by Camilla de la Bédoyère is a great lift and flap book about a frogs life cycle. I really wish I could find some tadpoles for MBS to study.

Frogs, Toads, and Turtles by Diane L. Burns & illustrated by Linda Garrow is a neat little field guide but it didn’t really interest MBS at this time.

To say that Little Quack’s New Friend by Lauren Thompson & illustrated by Derek Anderson was a hit would be a major understatement. As soon as MBS saw Ryan take it out of the library bag he asked for it to be read, then read again, and again! He absolutely loved this story of Little Quack and his duckling siblings meeting their new froggy friend! We own another Little Quack book so he already knew the characters but his reaction to this book completely surprised us— he’s never asked for a book to be read over and over in a row, not even Thomas the Train books!

We’ve had fun working on our garden and can’t wait for the weather to warm up so we can spend more time outside. I’m linking up to both the Garden Challenge and the Picture Book Challenge. Thanks for stopping by.

 

Nature Walk

We had a beautiful sunny day yesterday so we took a walk on our property.

Carrying his pail for rock collecting.
We watched bees gather pollen on our many dandelions!
We checken on our planters to see how things were growing.
And said "hi!" to the frog that lives in the watering tube.
Stomped through tall grass.
Posed for Mommy (who should have washed chocolate cake off his face!).
Found lots of rocks and put them in the bucket.
Conquering the log obstacle course.
"I did it!"
Rubbed the big mossy tree.
Kids go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah!
Climbed a really BIG log.
Headed for home with a much heavier pail!

It was a wonderful walk.

Spring Planting…

with no actual planting due to rain, rain, and more rain!

We are planning a garden in our yard and while I know that Mr. Blue Sky will love to help out with it I thought he’d also enjoy having his own little planter boxes. So two of our Earthboxes, leftover from our apartment years, are going to be his own little garden area. In one we will be planting some seeds, (lettuce, kale, radishes) but I also wanted him to have some instant gratification so we bought 4 strawberry plants (two different varieties) and 2 mint plants. The plan was to get everything planted so I’d have photos for this post but it has been pouring down rain for days so the little plants are just sitting  outside waiting for sunshine (or if not sunshine at least no rain).

rain, rain go away

We’ll be putting the planters on our side patio. I don’t have any recent photos because of the rain but it looks pretty much the same as this, though MBS is older now (nearly 27 months!) and there is a fence along the end to keep the dogs and chickens off the patio.

So wobbly on his feet back then!

MBS had fun walking around the garden department choosing plants. Okay, so actually he had fun racing around playing chase while I did the actual plant picking, he is only 2. I chose strawberries because he just LOVES them so I knew they would be something he’d enjoy growing and harvesting.

To celebrate spring and start our garden project we read a few books.

garden books

It’s Spring by Samantha Berger and Pamela Chanko & illustrated by Melissa Sweet is one of my favorite books. It has lyrical text and charming illustrations. It isn’t a non-fiction book teaching you anything about the change in seasons but a cheerful poem welcoming the spring.

My First Garden by Wendy Lewison & illustrated by Miki Sakamoto is a cute little book about a young girl and her mother planting a garden and then harvesting the vegetables. The book is shaped like a basket and as they harvest the different plants the basket gets filled up. They harvest a “big GREEN cabbage!” and “pretty PURPLE turnips” etc… making this a nice book to talk about colors. Plus my toddler just likes carrying it around by the basket handle!

Ten Seeds by Ruth Brown is sadly out of print. This wonderful counting book is about a little boy planting 10 sunflower seeds. One by one the seeds get eaten, some make it to seedlings, and to plants, but in the end all that is left is one sunflower and the boy harvests 10 seeds. The illustrations are fantastic, showing the seeds sprouting and sending their roots into the ground, becoming a beautiful sunflower, but being from the Pacific Northwest my favorite illustration is the slug eating the seedling.

To go along with our garden project we are making some flowers out of an egg carton. So far we’ve only gotten the painting done but I’m hoping to finish them this weekend. MBS loves painting and had a blast with this craft.

Painting is serious work

Linking up with the Garden Challenge and  the Picture Book Challenge, follow the links to see what other families are doing. Thanks for stopping by.

Garden Challenge

The Homeschool Village is going to be hosting a Garden Challenge starting March 31st and going until June 30th.

For the challenge you must post 4 times (on March 31st, April 28st, May 26th, and June 30th) sharing a photo of your garden (or potted plants), how it’s going, what lessons and resources you are using, and how your homeschooler is participating.

I’m not sure how much Mr. Blue Sky will be involved in our garden or what resources I’d use, and I’m terrible about posting on a schedule, but the idea interests me so I’ve decided to sign up.

To learn more visit about the challenge visit The Homeschool Village Garden Challenge.