Thursday, March 31, 2011

HSV Garden Challenge

I’ve been following this really neat blog called Homeschool Creations since we decided to take the girls out of preschool. I really enjoy reading Jolanthe’s posts and decided to take the most recent HSV Garden Challenge. In order to play along I have to share the following bits of information: photos of the garden location, my gardening plans, any rescources and involvement of the kiddos. So here goes! I will post more photos of this unit study as we get to it.

First, I’ve had to do some maintenance on my little chinobilly garden because the Arizona weather has taken its toll. 
I'm so thankful that Matt is generally in charge of this kind of stuff or we would be in great big trouble. I did succeed though in staining the fence.
My strawberry bed was a disaster. I left it alone the past two years and now I see that was not the brightest gardening decision I’ve ever made ~ not that I've had to make all that many yet.

Thankfully, the weather has been good to us and I was able to get the bed all cleaned out. I added more soil and gave it a good soak.

(This photo was taken before the fresh soil was added)
Now it is ready for some fresh plants.
After spending many evenings reading up on all sorts of seeds and methods I ordered some fresh seeds and I splurged a bit too. I ordered some strawberry plants and onions. Both are varieties that intrigued me and I knew I wouldn’t find anything similar at our local Home Depot/Lowe’s.
My very favorite gardening book is the Garden Primer by Barbara Damrosch. My friend Audrey introduced me to this book and I've read it and marked it so much that I had to get it rebound. It's really a great book. Another book I reccomend is All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholamew. I learned a great deal about gardening from this book and have adapted a lot of his theories in my chinobilly garden.
I'm kinda addicted to tomato varieties now that I am learning the lost art of canning.
I read that seeds will last many years if stored properly and I’ve been working from seed packets that are going on 4 to 5 years old now. I store my unused seeds in canning jars and keep them in the refrigerator out in our garage.
Since I loosely follow the Square Foot Garden method I am able to get a lot of use out of my 10 x 10 garden. This year we are planting: Pole beans, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes, spinach, strawberries, yellow squash, tomatoes, watermelons and zucchinis.  
We started our tomato seeds on Monday with our friend EJ. She is such a doll!  It was so much fun to let my girls show EJ the ropes. They are old pros as this is their 3rd year in planting a garden you know…
Aubrey showing off our 16 hopeful tomato plants.
Abby expressing her love of gardening...and fashion....
It was neat being able to share our unit study with Ella and to see how much our girls have learned over the last two planting seasons.

We will be planting a bit more of our seeds indoors next week but the rest of the seeds are going right into the garden. Our plans are to top off the soil in the garden this weekend and get all the cool weather plants planted. I know I should have done this during the first part of March according to our zone. However life doesn’t particularly like to play by the rules of frost dates and climate zones so we are going to wing it and hope for the best.

I’m so excited to use the garden preschool pack with the kids! Hopefully this will be just the kick in the pants I need to get back on track!

Wish me luck…
The chinobilly garden wannabe

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I know.

I haven’t posted anything in a long time.

But if I’m being totally honest, which I am, I haven’t even felt like it. Or really even thought about it since I don’t have anything outstanding to post. Like I ever have in the past but that is beside the point. Although I did fiddle around with a new blog background the other night which felt like a step in the right direction until I began pushing pixels and thought WOW, THIS SEEMS LIKE A LOT OF WORK I THINK I'LL GO TO BED.

And now I’m ignoring all the partially completed backgrounds and the pictures that never made it to my blog porch.

In other words, my motivation is at an all-time low. We’ve been home for a majority of the past week. Only leaving the house on two occasions. Seriously. Two. Occasions. It was bliss I tell ya! One was a trip to buy milk, eggs, and tortillas to get us through the much anticipated “great snow storm of 2010”. (I swear it would be cheaper to buy the whole dang cow than to buy 2 gallons of milk at Safeway) Then yesterday Matt took us out to eat lunch at Arturo’s before two of our nieces came over. Suffice it to say this Monday is going to be a big slap of reality to us. A shock to our system that will require us to once again be out of our pajamas before noon and get back to our so called routine and quit considering three iced gingerbread cookies to be part of a balanced, healthy breakfast. In other words, January 3rd is going to be a major fun fungus full of organizing and cleaning and steamed broccoli and the 30-day shred.

I wish I had something profound to share with you. Some sort of deep reflections about 2010 and all the ways I grew as a person this year. But I’m not sure I do. I feel like it’s been one of the fastest years I can remember and, although it was filled with many blessings, it was also filled with some hard times and tough lessons and a general overall feeling of WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?

And so I think that’s what 2011 holds for me. I want to be more intentional about how I use my time and all the blessings God has given my family. I want to be a better mother, wife and friend. I want to listen more than I talk. I want to quit being so afraid of failure that I don’t even try. I want to listen for the voice of God and go where He leads even if I’m not sure what that looks like. I want to be the person He created me to be and realize that He knows all my flaws and frailties and there’s no sense to beat myself up about them on a daily basis.

I fell in love with a recent post over at Inspired to Action called 12 Words on Selecting Goals for the New Year. Stop right now and go read it. It will change your life.

So, in short, I have my work cut out for me in 2011.

I wish you all the happiest New Year. I hope it’s filled with everything you hope for and even better things that you didn’t even know you wanted.