Tag Archive for grow your own

Teaching Kids Where Their Food Comes From

A big draw for getting kids in the garden for me, is showing them where their food comes from. This year, we did a cool experiment with wheat to see how it’s grown and how it becomes bread. Click here to see how to grow it.

When I first began growing food with my kids and I asked them what they wanted to grow, I got answers like spaghetti and hamburgers. Kids today are so far removed from the process of growing and producing food, they have no idea where it comes from. I think that is a dangerous thing for our society.

Producing food is a skill people need for many reasons. It helps you relate to the process and how much work it takes to produce food. It also gives people a skill to use in case our food system fails. This is a very real possibility with our current food system. Another important reason is the food supply is very unhealthy and unsafe. People who can produce their own food can grow healthier food. Growing your own food is an important skill to have.


I make my own flour for my Little Sprouts by buying wheat berries from a local farm and grinding it in a wheat grinder. I have a Nutrimill like this:

I make the kids homemade bread in a bread maker like this:

Make your own food, so you know what’s in it. 

To insure they have the most nutritious food possible. I make pancakes, muffins, cookies, and most of their other bread products here as well. Most of these foods are 100% whole wheat from freshly ground flour. I do use some unbleached organic white flour in their pizza crust, some cookies, and I use it for pie crust and a few other things, but well over half of their bread products are made with flour I grind myself. I use store bought pasta, tortillas, crackers and some cereals. Click here to see my recipe for bread.

Why do I go to all the trouble to make their food from scratch? Our food supply is full of GMOs, pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, and other chemicals. So much that it is literally killing us. Click here to see why I don’t serve my kids store bought bread. Look into it and you will see how important the quality of food you feed your children really is. Click here to see a report about pesticides in our current food supply. Click here to see a report about chemicals added to our current food supply. 

Food looses nutrients quickly.

Freshly ground flour loses 70% of its nutrients within 72 hours of grinding. So the flour we purchase at the store, is rapidly becoming devoid of nutrients. I want my kids to have all the good health they can, so I strive to give them what it takes to do that. One way you can keep your flour nutritious longer is to freeze it immediately when you buy it and keep it in the freezer until you need it.

 

Growing our own wheat.

This year one of our experiments in the garden was to grow our own wheat. We planted some of the local wheat berries I buy for making flour and watched it grow. Wheat needs to be planted in Oklahoma by November 31st according to my cousin who farms wheat, so we made sure we did that. It grew all winter and was ready to harvest in early summer when the heads were golden brown and starting to bend down to the ground. I remember helping farm wheat as a kid, so I knew that part.

kids growing their own wheat. learning where food comes from

kids growing wheat in the gardenkids harvesting wheat

We cut our heads of wheat off with scissors and beat them on the inside of a bucket until the seeds came out. This is called threshing and it was a ton of fun. Then we had to winnow the wheat or clean it of all the hulls and things that were in the seeds. You can do this by laying your wheat out and blowing it or placing it front of a fan. The chaff blows out of the wheat and your berries are left.

wheelbarrow of harvested wheat, teaching kids where bread comes from, growing your own food.farming wheat with kidsgrowing food with kids

We got a few cups of berries from our little patch of wheat. The next thing we did was run them through the wheat grinder and make flour. The kids were fascinated with the texture of the flour. It was a fun sensory experience.

kids growing food, learning where flour comes fromkids winnowing wheat, learning how to grow flour

Making bread from wheat we grew. 

Next we tossed the flour and the other bread ingredients in the bread maker pan and let the bread maker do all the work. When it was done, we punched it down and put it in a bread pan. After the second rise, we baked it and had it as a side dish with meatballs and veggies for lunch. The kids thought it was delicious and ate the whole loaf.

home grown wheat berriesnutrimill with home grown wheatpunching down homemade bread dough, teaching kids where food comes from

homemade bread from flour we ground from home grown wheat

I loved how when we talked about the wheat berries and I asked the kids what we could do with them if we didn’t grind them into flour, they said, we could plant them. They knew they were seeds. I love all the things they are learning in the garden. It’s an amazing place to teach so many things to your kids. Click here to see more benefits of gardening with kids.

I’d love to hear what your kids are learning about the food supply; please comment with anything you are experimenting with.

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Teaching Kids Where Their Food Comes From

How to Grow Cabbage

I super love cabbage, it’s so delicious.

Growing up I only had it boiled and it was fairly off putting in flavor and texture. As an adult I learned to cook it in a way that I just LOVE. The recipe is coming next week, so stay tuned. My kids tear this cabbage up! It’s so funny to imagine what you think kids will like, but if you have a good attitude about it, they will surprise you. Click here to see how I get my kids to eat healthy food.

Growing and using cabbages

Cabbage is a cool season crop that can be grown in fall or spring.

It’s about time to be starting your plants indoors for this fall’s season in most places. So I want to talk about how to grow it. Cabbage is a Cole crop or cruciferous vegetable. It’s in the same family as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi and kale. The procedure for growing all of these plants is very similar so use these instructions for all of them.


Cole crops can be grown from seed or started indoors and planted as a seedling, but the times seeds need to be germinated can be tricky where I live.

Seeds should be started around February or August for the corresponding seasons but in February, it’s too cold for seeds to germinate here and in August it’s way too hot. Because of this, it’s best to start your seeds indoors if your climate is like mine. Cole crop seeds like soil temperatures around 80 degrees.

Cole crop seeds take 3-10 days to germinate and 4-6 weeks to grow into a healthy seedling. If you don’t have a greenhouse, you will need supplemental lighting for your cabbage seedlings such as a grow light. Once the seedlings are ready, plant your cabbage plants in the evening so they will have a chance to settle in before the harsh sun shines on them. Make sure to water them well to close up any air pockets that might be around the soil.

Cabbage, growing and using

Cabbage plants will form a big flower like leaf pattern and in the center, a head will begin to form. As the head gets bigger it will get fuller and firmer until it’s ready to eat. You can choose whenever you’d like to harvest the head, but the longer you leave it, the more cabbage you will get.

Cut the head out of the center of the flower shaped structure and leave the plant.

Many times you will get multiple smaller heads of cabbage on the second round of cabbage growth. It’s so fun to make your season last longer and get more from your harvest.

It takes several months for the plant to produce a head of cabbage. It’s one of the most beautiful plants in the garden to me. I look at the plants like big gorgeous flowers, meant to delight me. THEY really do!

harvesting cabbage with kids

Watch my next post for my Heavenly Cabbage recipe.

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How to Grow Cabbage