Tag Archive for harvest

What’s Growing on in the Children’s Garden in July?

So far our grand tally of pounds of produce grown has reached over 300 pounds. We grew 125 pounds of it so far in July. Wow, can you believe that? There is still a lot more garden season to come.

gardening with kids, haresting vegetables

We’ve had many failures, but we’ve been enjoying lots of delicious food as well. It’s so much fun to go out in the back yard and get something for your lunch or dinner. When you can make a meal with mostly home grown foods, it’s even more satisfying. Our produce purchases have gone way down. Last week we bought a bunch of bananas, a small watermelon, and two avocados. Everything else we ate, we grew! I am required to serve 4 servings of fruits or vegetables per day to my kids and there are 7 of them, so just that is a lot of produce!

Children's Garden in July

Cute little caterpillar we found on the fennel. We brought him in to watch him metamorphosis.


AMAZING! I love that, and my budget loves it too. I love turning a $1 packet of seeds into 30 pounds of produce. It’s like magic. If you want to read about how to get started, click here.

Check out what kinds of things we’ve been eating from our magical garden.

peppers and carrots from children's gardenkid's garden harvest

july harvest, children's garden

gardening with kids, harvest in july

harvesting onions and garlic with kids

children's garden july harvest

 

What are you growing?

 

What to do in the Garden in June

June Garden Chores, Little Sprouts Learning

June is heating up the garden for sure. I have to make sure to get any chores done early in the day so we don’t get too hot. Everything is growing and the chores are bustling right along. It’s so much fun to see the fruits of our labor.

Most of the seeds and plants are planted by June. There are a few things you can still plant such as beans, okra and melons. You could even plant pepper and tomato plants now. At Little Sprouts we do some succession planting so we will continue to have things to harvest as the plants such as bush beans get done producing. We usually try to plant beans and squashes every three weeks or so. This gives us a continuous harvest.

Most of the garden work right now is weeding. Everything has been built and filled and planted. Now we just have to keep the Johnson and Bermuda grass from taking over the beds and walkways. We try to pick weeds every day. I try to pick a few weeds in the morning when I have the kids out in the gardens and on the weekends we try to spend a couple of early morning hours picking them. The garden is never totally weed free, but we try to keep up with the bulk of it so our plants will have water, sunlight, and nutrients enough for themselves. Click here to see ways we keep weeds from becoming too overwhelming.


Another thing that’s important to remember in June is water. This year in Oklahoma, we’ve had a crazy wet May and June, but usually we need to water weekly. The garden needs an inch of water per week, so if you’re not seeing any rain, you need to water. Click here to see how we measure our water needs.

June is the time in Oklahoma when the bugs come out in full force. Keep an eye each day on predators that may be invading your garden. Look for signs of damage and hand pick anything that you can see eating your harvests. Squash bugs are appearing, so daily we need to be turning over every squash leaf and looking underneath for eggs. Squash bug eggs are a copper color and are laid in clusters on the undersides of leaves. If you see some, get rid of them.

Squash bug damage

Squash bug damage

bug damage in the garden

garden pest damage

bug damage on dill

bug chew holes

Chew holes in plants

We also hand pick squash bugs and harlequin beetles from our plants and throw them in a bucket of soapy water to kill them. We look for cabbage looper worms and tomato horn worms and do the same with them as well. It’s also time to think about slugs, grasshoppers, and other pests. We sprinkle a bit of diatomaceous earth around to help reduce the populations of slugs. Click here to see how. Since we don’t use sprays in our garden, we have to be vigilant about getting rid of the bag bugs that are crawling around out there. We hope that nature will lend us a helping hand by sending frogs, birds, lizards, spiders, and ladybugs that will eat as many of our bad bugs as they can find.

squash bug

squash bug 2

Squash bug

squash bug eggs

Squash bug eggs

It’s also a good idea to check often for signs of disease and decide what you want to do to treat it. June brought us a LOT of rain, so we already have some tomato fungus forming. I will need to take all of the effected leaves off and dispose of them to keep this from spreading.

tomato fungus

June is full of harvesting. There is plenty to pick in the garden including green beans, peas, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, kale, kohlrabi, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, and herbs. At the beginning of June we were still harvesting asparagus, but it’s pretty much done producing now.

June is hot for working in the garden but with the glut of delightful produce, it’s one of the most exciting times. So far this month we have harvested over 82 pounds of tasty goodness and are looking forward to harvesting more. We love our garden!

When I was a Little Girl and Little House on the Prairie®!

When I was a little girl Laura Ingalls Wilder’s writing in the “Little House” books enraptured me. I was never much of a reader then, but her writing took me to a place I loved to be. I wanted to have pumpkins in my attic like Laura. I imagined myself as little Laura, running through the fields in my long dress. My friend Amy and I used to want to dress like her for school. I was obsessed. I remember checking the books out from the library at school time and time again. My favorite book was Little House in the Big Woods.

My daughter was an avid reader from a very young age since she taught herself to read before she started school, and I made sure to get her the boxed set right away!  I love to talk to my daycare kids about Laura too.

Growing up in a farming family, I loved the stories of their crops, struggles, and triumphs as I could relate with my own grandparent’s experiences. My family has been farming wheat in Oklahoma for generations and some still do today. When I read Laura’s stories about the sights, sounds, and smells of the crops, I would imagine being at my Grandparent’s farm at harvest time helping to bring in the wheat and riding over to the grain elevator to sell it. Her stories took me to a beautiful place that connected with another great love in my life, the farm.


Little House on the Prairie was one of my all-time favorite shows. Melissa Gilbert and the rest of the cast stole my heart every week! I remember the episode where Laura liked a boy at school so she jumped in the pond when she was supposed to be fetching some water for Ma, just so she could get her old school dress wet and have to wear her Sunday church dress to school. She was always doing things I could relate to as I was about her age when the show was on.

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Little House on the Prairie® has a beautiful new website that launches today. I am SO EXCITED to get to share an amazing giveaway to celebrate it! The winner will receive the entire first four seasons of the show, but also Pioneer Girl, a recently released autobiography of Laura with details never shared in the “Little House” books, a Pioneer Girl tote bag, and a new documentary about Laura Ingalls Wilder. Two people are going to win this AMAZING prize! You can enter on the rafflecopter at the end of this post through Kids Bloggers Network, and you have an additional chance to win on the Little House on the Prairie website. Go check it out here, it’s gorgeous! (But enter here first so you’ll have two chances to win!)

The new website is so much fun and all kinds of Little House things! You can even read about how the Ingalls grew heirloom lettuces!  It’s there with a tutorial about how to grow lettuce. To check it out, click here.

You can also follow Little House on the Prairie® on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, too, I do and I know you’ll love it too if you love Laura the way I do! Enter Below on the Rafflecopter And Good Luck! I hope YOU win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is coordinated by Little House on the Prairie through Kids Bloggers Network      

CELEBRATING a Social Media Milestone.

Thanks to all who entered.  The contest is now over.  🙂

celebrate

Today is a celebration of YOU, our readers!  We appreciate you taking your time to stop by Little Sprouts Learning and see what we’re up to and for all of your encouragement.  My Little Sprouts and I have harvested over 800 POUNDS of chemical free, healthy food from our little garden this year and we are so excited!  This month I posted my 100th post to the blog AND yesterday we reached our 2014 goal of 1,000 likes on facebook!  We couldn’t be more excited!  We want to celebrate by giving 4 of YOU, our readers, something special.  Keep reading to find out what you can win and how.  Enter by Wednesday, November 19th!

If you are new to the blog and you want to see what we’ve grown this year, you can check in the archives for the garden glory posts.  Each one tells what we harvested that week.  If you want to see how we got started, or why we’re growing our own food, click on one of these links:

Why Garden with Kids?


How We Got Started

What We’re Growing

If you’re interested in what we’ve been up to, take a look around.  And please leave comments on anything you have thoughts about.  We love to hear from you!

This week’s garden glory is all about broccoli.  We had 20 degree temps in the forecast, so we harvested the broccoli we had growing in case the plants don’t survive the cold snap.  It’s been 20’s and 30’s for the past four days, so I’m glad we did that. 

We harvested 2 pounds of food this week including some swiss chard, 1/2 pound of dried beans and 1 1/2 pounds of the most beautiful broccoli I’ve ever seen.  I mean, isn’t it gorgeous?  We’re so proud!

celebrating

These boys think so.

These boys think so.

november harvest

Here’s our harvest, looking all tasty and healthy!

 

 

Garden Glory-Green Tomatoes

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Today is Halloween and tonight we are supposed to get our first frost.  That will kill all our tomatoes, okra, peppers, and most of our herbs.   I’m super sad to see this part of the garden go.  But there are still fall veggies to grow and there’s always next year.  We have learned so much and I can’t wait to start planning for that! 

picking tomatoes with kids

This week my Little Sprouts and I picked over 75 pounds of produce.  We have 24 pounds of little green tomatoes to use, so if you have any suggestions, let us know! 

gardening harvest with kids

We picked 40 pounds of watermelon.  The squash bugs finally got our watermelon vines and I wasn’t sure if the tendrils turned brown because of that or if they were ripe.  Nonetheless, the frost was coming anyway, so we picked our five watermelons.  Sadly, the kids busted three of them on the way in the house…   I cut those three up and one of the was ready and really yummy. 

watermelong gardening with kids


We picked 27 pounds of tomatoes, some green beans, tomatillos, okra, and a ton of peppers and HERBS!  Over three POUNDS of herbs!  Wow!

herbs gardening with kids

harvest day with kids

green beans gardening with kids

We also harvested two ten gallon buckets of drying beans, but I’m not sure how much weight is in the vines, so I’m going to weigh them after we shell them.  We have to wait for them to dry to do that.

drying beans, gardening with kids

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Has frost hit your area yet?

Garden Glory-WATERMELON!

growing watermelon with kids, Step by Step Guide to When to Harvest Vegetables in the Garden (And Fruit)

This week my Little Sprouts and I harvested over 24 pounds of produce including WATERMELON! We have been trying all summer to grow some watermelons.  We had to replant them three times, and now, in OCTOBER, we have FINALLY harvested our first one!  We have 5-6 more on the vines and they are looking great. 

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This first watermelon is a moon and stars.  It was absolutely delicious!  It weighed 9 1/2 pounds. This is our third year attempting to grow watermelons and our first one with success. Gardening is full of useful lessons and we are learning them together here at Little Sprouts. 

You can tell that cantaloupes are ripe when they slip from the vine on their own, but watermelons do not do that.  How can you tell they are ready?  The little tendril or curly cue that is just above the stem will turn brown when the melons are ready.  See the tendril here:

DSCN8227


We also harvested cantaloupe, tomatoes, okra, green beans and 2 1/2 POUNDS of various hot peppers such as jalapeno, cayenne, ancho and others.

Monday's Harvest

Monday’s Harvest

Thursday's harvest.

Thursday’s harvest

What’s growing near you?

 

 

Garden Glory-Figs

fig

My Little Sprouts and I are still getting harvests each week even though they are getting smaller and smaller.  This week we harvested over 17 pounds of food.  Included in that was our very first fig from our fig tree! 

This is Monday’s harvest:

gardening harvesting with kids

I forgot to take a picture of the harvest today, but I did get shots of the kids picking it.

harvesting tomatoes with kids

harvesting peppers with kids


We picked a total of 10 pounds of tomatoes, 2 1/2 pounds of okra, 3 1/2 pounds of cantaloupe, and a pound of green beans as well as some tomatillos, hot peppers, and other assorted goodies including one beautiful little fig.  🙂 

Is anything still growing in your garden?

 

 

Garden Glory-Green Beans

The Little Sprouts Learning Garden is starting to rebound from the super hot part of the summer.  As the weather has remained cool, the tomatoes, peppers, green beans and other plants have started to flower and set fruit again.  Also, the things we did a second planting of are starting to produce.  We replanted during an unseasonably cool week in august when it had cooled off enough for some things to germinate.  We planted carrots, radishes, corn, peas, and green beans.  We also planted seedlings for broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.  The green beans have started producing now and the corn is making ears.  We harvested 18 pounds of produce this week.

garden harvest day

September harvest

This is Monday’s harvest.

It’s really nice that picking, weeding, and trimming have become bearable again.  Our temperatures lows are in the 60’s and highs in the 80’s this week and it is lovely. 

kids harvesting tomatoes

harvesting cantaloupe

gardening with kids harvesting

september harvest with cantaloupe

This is today’s harvest.

This week my Little Sprouts and I picked a pound of green beans, 2 pounds of okra, 7 pounds of cantaloupe, 8 pounds of tomatoes and a few other odds and ends. 

gerber daisy


Walking around the garden today, we discovered this perfect little gerber daisy hiding in the swiss chard.  She was just peeking out to say hello.  🙂

What’s growing in your garden?

Garden Glory-Hot Peppers

This week’s harvest has gone way down.  We had a really hot spell and then a lot of days without much sun, so some things may pick back up after these few sunny days we’ve had, but who knows?  We picked 15 pounds of produce from the garden this week including a bunch of hot peppers.

september harvest gardening with kids, hot peppers

Monday we picked 5 pounds of tomatoes and a few other odds and ends.  We picked two cantaloupes, but I forgot to get pictures of them.  I’m having some technical difficulties with the camera. 


gardening with kids harvest

And today we picked another two pounds of tomatoes, a pound of okra and a half pound of hot peppers.  I’m making some salsas for my family reunion this weekend so those will come in handy for that.

I hope you have a great weekend.  Comment and share what you’ve been picking from your garden!

Garden Glory-Okra

Gardening with kids, picking okra

My Little Sprouts and I harvested over 24 pounds of vegetables this week, including plenty of okra. Today is a beautiful, cloudy, breezy, cool day.  It’s so much nicer than the near 100 degree temps we’ve been having. Fall is in the air and it’s wonderful to be enjoying harvests from the garden still.

harvesting with kids

Okra is so yummy, but the pods are spiney and poke your fingers…

The picture above is Monday’s picks.

canteloupes gardening with kids

And we also found these four ripe cantaloupes on Wednesday.

Cantaloupe is ready when it slips off the vine, so you find it laying on the ground when you harvest it.

harvest gardening with kids

And today we picked all of this tasty stuff.

We have been having lots of insect damage in the garden this late in the season, but we are also losing a lot of produce to raccoons and even more to squirrels. Grrr…  I know they have to eat, but we worked hard for this food! It’s so frustrating to find your stuff half eaten or just a hole in it and it’s rotting.

We picked 3 pounds of okra this week, 11 pounds of tomatoes, 9 pounds of cantaloupe, and peppers, tomatillos, hot peppers and one tiny potato and one tiny onion.

What’s growing in your garden?

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