Wednesday, February 8, 2012

BloominThyme: gardening / kids

REVIEWED BY: Marguerite Zelle




A mother of two young children in Central Florida, gardening is one of the LAST things I have time to do, but what started as a “victory garden” has become a favorite pastime. No longer working outside the home, I spend my days driving through school drop-off and pick-up lanes, running errands, washing clothes, volunteering in the community and managing a household – visits to the garden have become my personal reprieve!

Unless of course, it’s summertime. Heat and humidity don’t do any favors for the vegetables, let alone my appearance, but then again, summers are for vacations. Fall through late spring… Now these are wonderful times to be outdoors, and the harvest from a productive garden is simply a bonus. Not to mention it makes a great addition to the dinner plate. While my kids may change their appetites on a daily basis, the two agree: a bean never tasted so good as the one they grew themselves!

My other favorite pastime is writing novels, specifically women’s fiction, though I’d like it to become my next career. Not that I’ll ever give up my day job as mother and wife, but I would like a more creative outlet than cooking and cleaning. There’s only so many ways you can cook chicken before the family looks at you and asks, “Really? You expect me to eat that? I can’t hardly identify the thing, let alone rally an appetite!” Changing laundry detergents doesn’t impress the husband, either.

“My undershirt doesn’t smell clean.”

I smile. “I used a new brand.”

He grunts. “Something good for the planet?”

I nod my head cheerfully.

“Can we save it some other way? I really don’t care to walk around smelling like funk.”

“It’s lavender,” I corrected, but the point is made.

So rather than dwell on my family’s lack of appreciation, I throw myself into writing. A combination of romance and life lessons, my stories are meant to entertain and offer perspective on some of the most challenging issues facing women today.

While a fan of the old adage “it’s not what you say, but how you say it,” I’ve found many times it is what you say that counts. For that matter, what you do. Each and every day.

As a woman and mother of a daughter, I believe we women need to pull together, learn from each other, and brighten this path we call life by coloring it with our own beautiful, intricate, and individual blossoms of distinction.

MY REVIEW: This is a very fun blog, all about teaching kids the joys of gardening.

If you're a gardener, or someone with kids looking for ways to inspire them, check this blog out.
Sample post
Learn Something New

Did you know that basil can kill rosemary? I had no idea. Did you know that some plants don’t like to be near each others while others do?

This concept is called companion planting and very important when planning an organic garden. As you know, the kids and I are moving the garden, planting in a new spot this spring, but “planter beware” when it comes to what goes where…

Cucumbers love sunflowers, so we’ll plant them both along the fence. But potatoes? Not so much. Best to keep them away from each other. How about corn? It wants nothing to do with tomatoes and vice versa, but it enjoys the companionship of squash and peas. And bush beans? Can’t stand everything about the onion family or basil, but they like potatoes!

Are you confused yet? Don’t be. It’s just a matter of using your reference guide well. Here’s a good list from Absolute Astronomy to get you started, but there are a ton of others out there so don’t be shy—click your mouse away! The main thing is to keep a plant’s needs in mind. For instance, in our garden here’s what we’re planting by row: cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, corn, squash, bush beans, potatoes. Along the fence next to our cucumbers will be the sunflowers. (We LOVE sunflowers!) On the opposite side, we’ll plant a small herb garden. We’ll interplant some herbs with our vegetables (basil with tomato, etc.) but we wanted to keep this area separate, as our rosemary and lavender will continue to grow. No sense pulling them out! Wanna see? Take a peek at our excel file: School garden layout

We’ve planted potatoes already and today the kindergarteners planted corn. Very exciting. You’ll notice we keep track of our progress by recording the dates of each planting.

I like to color code according to rotation group as well (another key tenet of organic gardening) such as beans (blue), leaves (green), roots (orange) and fruits (pink). Have to keep it fun! Corn is part of the grass family so it has its own color. And while potatoes are technically in the same family (nightshades) as tomatoes, I treat them differently when it comes to crop rotation.

As we move forward, we’ll talk more about the “what” and the “why” of how we plant, but in the meantime, check out the Garden Elements section of this website. You’ll find tons of information to get you started!

Happy gardening!

--Cucumbers and Beans are IN
--Mandy’s Planting Olive Trees!
--Gardening Without Bending? No Weeds? No Way!
--Learn Something New

Reviews published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Check out my kindle BOOKS!:
Whose Body, by Dorothy Sayers (the Annotated Edition)
The Coldest Equations (science fiction)
Volcano Seven: Treasure and Treasure Hunters
The Lady and the Tiger...Moth

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