Saturday, June 21, 2014

From seeds and baby plants to... food for us to eat!

A Passion flower grows on our Bamboo Trellis
Gently twisting the tendrils
of the Passionflower
around the Bamboo
Jordan carefully water the

Our gardens are GROWING!!  

Clara waters the garden
Andrew waters the Marigolds
  In our gardens, the kids have been working hard and learning a lot.  So far we have learned to water the plants carefully, pouring the water in the dirt by the stem of the plant; how to pull weeds slowly from their base in order to get the roots; how to identify several different plants and different bugs we find in the garden and whether they are helpful to our garden or harmful.

Chef  Chris holds some harvested bounty
from our gardens!
After numerous weeks of 
watering, we are starting to see the "fruits" of our labor.
Green tomatoes are growing
and Summer Squash is ready 
for harvest.  At the Duke campus this past week, the kids helped pick the squash and bring it to Chef Chris who cooked it and served it in our lunch! 

The Tomatillos look intriguing  (like little lanterns) but not yet ready to pick.  But we pick a few anyway, to explore how they are growing and how they feel, smell and taste.

Madison and Collette taste
the Swiss Chard.  Mmmm!

Tasting our plants is a huge part of the experience.  As one class, The Fireflies, tasted the Swiss Chard leaves, Avi exclaimed, "It tastes like chocolate!"  Other kids didn't like the taste and spit the leaves out.  Exploring food is a part of growing up.  Likes and dislikes are a part of who we are.  Studies have shown that the more exposure kids have to fruits and vegetables when they are young, the more likely they are to like them and thus eat more of them. 

Testing the soil.  Is it wet or dry?

Touching the soil is another part of the experience.  We did this to see if it was wet or dry.  Noticing the difference between dry and wet soil is a learning process.  But it's fun to play is the dirt, too.  Just as long as we let the plants have most of it.

Getting wet is definitely part of the experience!!!  While caring for our gardens, we keep ourselves cool in this hot, hot weather.

We will keep watering and weeding and harvesting for the rest of June and July and then in August we will be planting our Fall gardens.  We will even be using some of the seeds we saved from our summer gardens, like Cilantro and Fennel.


And if you have any gardening advice, as most people who garden do, feel free to find me in the gardens or e-mail :

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