Seedtime and Harvest

zucchini

Ready to take a quick spin around our garden?  I’ve posted about building the garden and planting it and the challenges associated with growing ANYTHING along Colorado’s Front Range.  This month I’m posting about our harvest!

Our garden is completely walled for wind and rabbits.  Unfortunately the birds are left as the sole garden predators, and they are decimating our strawberries.  The good news is, the strawberries are growing like crazy.  The bad news is, all the ripening ones have bites out of them.  My chicken wire cover does have some gaps and as I get some time I will get the gaps closed off.  I’m amazed at the tenacity of the birds, low-crawling under the low hanging chicken wire.  Strawberries are a BIG hit with them. 

The persistence of the birds with the strawberries makes me wonder how our raspberries will fare when they eventually start to produce.  I haven’t even looked it up to see if these healthy bushes will produce this year or next, but when they do, we will have to cover them.

The tomato plants went from hanging in there to growing like mad.  I have not measured them as I intended to do as a science project with the kids, but next year, we will definitely be measuring and charting the growth.

Most of the tomato plants are now bearing, and they’re all still green.  Again, I have no idea when these guys will turn ripe, so every day is a surprise to go see what is happening in the garden.  Are they red yet?  no?  maybe tomorrow..

Bell peppers are doing great, little tiny fruit is showing on the plants.

Tomatillo peppers, likewise.

Zucchini squash are growing huge, which I am very interested in.  My favorite vegetable is going to be in abundance very soon!

Look at these little guys in there!

Little jalapeno plants planted at the end of May have started slow after some initial cold weather, but they appear to be doing great now.  I actually have two tiny seedlings that survived the post-Mothers’ Day cold rain deluge.  They are clinging to life and may not bear at all through frost, tough to say.  I’m not betting on it.

And my cilantro bed.  Lovely to look at.  The birds like it too, since I have been planting more seeds every four weeks since the beginning of May.  Hopefully they’ll miss some of the seeds so I can have a continuous supply of cilantro all summer.

 

Here is our first harvest.  Fresh cilantro for tacos.  Yum!

My kids have been learning along with me out in the garden.  They know that plants need sun, water, room to grow, protection from pests and the elements, and good soil.  They know which of our garden is fruit and which is vegetable.  They know the parts of the plants.  They know that birds like to eat seeds and berries.  Lots of good science to learn out in the garden!

For more great garden photos and stories, check out the rest of the Homeschool Village Garden Challenge linkup below!

HSV

And if you have any bird deterrence hints, please leave a comment and share them with me!

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Our Curriculum for Next Year!

Books

This past year we have been using Alpha Omega’s Horizons preschool in our homeschool.  For Kindergarten in the fall, we have selected Memoria Press’ Kindergarten classical curriculum.

Memoria Press’ curriculum appealed to me with its introductions of amazing art and music throughout the school weeks.  There is focus on Bible teaching using the Golden Books Children Bible which I remember from childhood.  Copybooks emphasize phonics lessons with seatwork and copying of Scripture as the kids advance in their handwriting.  There is a recitation period to start each school day, where the kids get to formally recite what they have learned.

Memoria Press starts the kids on Latin around the 1-3 grades and I, at least, am looking forward to that, having been taught Latin when I was homeschooled! The dividends on that are paid in vocabulary and in general language learning.

I am a big fan of the classical approach to learning.  I should add that we intentionally went looking for a curriculum with structured lesson plans so my husband and I can hand off school throughout the week depending on our schedules.

For my visual learner, I knew we needed something with manipulatives and visual emphasis of math lessons.  I didn’t see that in the Rod and Staff math that comes with the Memoria Press curriculum, so we wanted to substitute something else in its place.  I saw Right Start Mathematics and instantly liked the fact that the concepts were not watered down from the very beginning.  We do the same thing with our science instruction at Homeschool Science Press, so it seemed like a natural carryover.  Right Start Math uses tools such as a Math Balance, abacus, clock games, and manipulatives.  Having already introduced some basic math and counting this past year with the Horizons curriculum, Right Start recommended we begin with Level B.

There is no dedicated science book with the Memoria Press Kindergarten curriculum, so as science is covered, we will supplement with pages from My First Science Notebook by Homeschool Science Press.  This will help us learn science as we encounter it in the real world, but still drive home the skills of science: observation, measuring, drawing, and recording.  I expect to continue this approach for this next year at least and then we’ll be looking for a dedicated textbook.  I might use vintage science books, who knows?  My most important goal with science for now is to make sure they are asking questions, guessing the answer, and observing outcomes.

What are you using in your homeschool this fall?  Leave a comment and let us know!

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New Reviews of Hands-On Science!

Photo courtesy of Cheerios Underfoot

 

I recently provided three blog readers the opportunity to receive a copy of Hands-On Science: Particles in Motion.  They agreed to review the book and have written some excellent information for you!

Hands-On Science is a K-6 experiment and activity book.  It provides discussion and thought-provoking questions along with practical application.  The experiments can be completed with an entire homeschool, that is to say, a wide range of ages, at differing levels of difficulty simultaneously.  The best part is, you probably already own every item required to complete the experiments!

But I’ll let you read what these ladies have to say about it.

Here are the Reviews!

If you’re looking to grab a copy of this book for 20% off, be sure to head over to the Homeschool Science Press Facebook page, (like us), and find the discount code!  If you are already a Facebook Liker, head to the special offers tab.

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