With the weather warming up, more sunshine and longer days, the Brundage Homestead is coming to life with activity. The first weekend of the month took us to the Young Roots program at the Evergreen State Collage organic farm in Olympia. Young Roots is a student led activity group which creates a fun safe and education space for kids to interact with nature and the garden. Our first Sunday at Young Roots was pretty low key, we checked out the lambs, prepped some garden beds, planted snap peas and radishes, and played Fire in the Forest. Fire in the Forest is a super fun tag game we are happy to have added to our repertoire – we even have since taught it to the kids at Avery’s school. Speaking of school….I volunteered in the classroom at Sweetwater Montessori to help the kids plant pea seeds in egg cartons. It was really a treat to be helping in her class AND sharing our love of growing food with all the kids. I am pretty sure they just put those starts in the ground last week and if all goes well they should be getting edible pods just before school is out for the year.
Anyways, back to our adventure in Olympia! Only Avery and I went to Young Roots because Sawyer wasn’t feeling too well. Afterwards we went on a little mom and daughter hike through the forest down to the beach. This is my attempt at a selfie – good enough! The following week we went to Young Roots again, this time we all four were able to make it. I definitely attribute that to boosting the kids’ immune systems with my homemade elderberry syrup. Learn how to make your own here – it is easy and inexpensive, not to mention all natural! So, at our second Young Roots program they set up an Easter Egg hunt for the kids, but with the perfect garden twist. Inside the eggs were homemade seed bombs. After they found them all we wandered around campus throwing them wherever the ground could use a little flower love.
At home, our garden is slowly filling in with the seeds and starts we planted last month, and the few things we started indoors with a grow light are coming along. I am actually quite happy with how our tomatoes are looking and think they should be ready to put in the garden in a couple weeks. I try not to put my tomatoes in until the end of May just because I have had trouble in the past, but I am going to put some cloches on these little plants for warmth and protection. Nothing fancy, just clear plastic vinegar bottles with the bottom cut off and the top popped open.
It has been pretty stressful around our household to be honest, while we are dealing with some pretty major changes. Sometimes it is hard to remember to just be in the moment. One day the sun came out and I grabbed Avery for a little last minute craft project outdoors. We painted some rocks that were lying around from a beach trip last summer to use as plant markers. It was a simple but rewarding project on many levels. The colorful rocks surely do brighten up the garden and connecting with my family certainly brightened my spirits. I love the rainbow painted rocks the best, and they remind me of that saying: you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain. This is so applicable for us right now, and I am keeping that rainbow at the front of my mind through the rain.
We interplanted some radishes around the broccoli starts and the little red balls are starting to form. The broccoli is doing well too, although we had a close call with some hungry slugs. I heard about a trick to put coffee grounds around the base of plants slugs like – they won’t crawl over the grounds. As long as this keeps working we won’t have to buy any Sluggo, which is our usual safe and organic method.
I think the first planting of spinach will be ready to start harvesting this week. Besides the kale which overwintered, this will be the first thing we eat from this year’s garden. I just love walking out the backdoor and collecting something fresh for our family meals.
We also had a ton of fun making natural dyed Easter eggs this year, but I will save that for a separate blog post later. Thanks for joining me again this month for an update on our life and adventures around the Brundage Homestead. You can also catch up on what has been happening the past few months here.
Do you take your kids to any garden or outdoor education programs? I would love to hear what experiences you have had, please share in the comments.