Family Gardening #14: Summing it All Up!


P.L.A.Y. in Place Projects


Hoping you and your gardens thrived this year – weeds, bees, and all the oh my goodness that “grows” with it!

❤ ❤ ❤


On this last day of summer let’s wind down this series with a few more sunny snapshots.

Strawberries foraged in the meadows under the warm summer sun. Quality over quantity to tingle your tastebuds!

 

Apples in our old orchard with some for taking a bite and some just right for cider making.

Awesome cabbages grown to make homemade sauerkraut in a crock!


Yay for green thumbs!


Butterfly garden flowers that have been given as bouquets and to dress up our table. Beautiful – like bringing sunshine indoors!


❤ ❤ ❤

Time to put the gardens to bed and this series too. 🙂

Tidy up the plants and regain the overgrown walking paths while filling up the compost bin with all that great vegetation.

Time to enjoy the harvest and give your green thumb a well deserved rest.

See you back here in this family gardening thread when the seed catalogs start rolling in!

Look for fresh new posts by early Spring 2021!

❤ ❤ ❤


Notes:

  • This series will continue to follow the seasons and growing patterns according to living here in a Zone 5 northern New England climate and you’ll need to adjust accordingly.
  • The specific gardening needs you have can simply be answered using your favorite search engine online seeking DIY instructions as well as library eBooks and audiobooks (especially as we are all asked to continue to P.L.A.Y. in Place at the time of this posting).
  • P.L.A.Y. is here to encourage you and your family on your gardening journey simply by posting some of our experiences as inspiration and basic prompts to growing food and flowers.

More P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan Family Gardening HERE


This P.L.A.Y. series is for everyone! Pass it on!

  • If you are new to gardening this series is designed to encourage you and your family to take small steps towards growing foods and flowers of any kind and any amount.
  • If you’ve tinkered with gardening in the past and things didn’t always work out this series is here to encourage you to try again AND do it as a family focusing on each individuals strengths to help it all come together.
  • This series will offer up suggestions for basic leaping off points where you and your family can begin and choose to deep dive or keep it simple in the world of gardening.
  • Most of all this series will be a source of encouragement and hopefully an inspiration to simply get in the dirt (aka garden) and P.L.A.Y. and the rest will “bee what it will bee”.

Simply BEE!

Family Gardening #13: Foraging and Full on Harvesting!


P.L.A.Y. in Place Projects


Beautiful and plentiful blackberries foraged by the quart daily by my son out in the meadows and the warm summer sun.

Bonus berry pie, made by my son and me, with both blackberries and strawberries and a dollop of coconut cream. Yummy!


Yay for continued berry-licious abundance!



Yay for green thumbs!


The harvest is coming in and we have quite a variety: summer squash, zucchini, sweet peppers, hot peppers, cabbages, tomatoes, eggplant, green beans, fresh flowers, and oodles of CUCUMBERS!

What do you do with oodles of cucumbers?

  1. Daily Fresh Juicing
  2. Refrigerator Pickles
  3. Canning Pickles
  4. Freeze Slices for future juicing
  5. Eat them fresh by the fist full
  6. Experiment: Dehydrate after tossing in vinegar and salt for a fun “chip” treat.
  7. SHARE with your friends, neighbors, and community

How about YOU? How’s it growing?


Butterfly garden bonus blooms!


Hope your garden spaces are staying green and rainbow colors AND your family continues to stay engaged with harvesting the garden veggie goodies!


Notes:

  • This series will continue to follow the seasons and growing patterns according to living here in a Zone 5 northern New England climate and you’ll need to adjust accordingly.
  • The specific gardening needs you have can simply be answered using your favorite search engine online seeking DIY instructions as well as library eBooks and audiobooks (especially as we are all asked to continue to P.L.A.Y. in Place at the time of this posting).
  • P.L.A.Y. is here to encourage you and your family on your gardening journey simply by posting some of our experiences as inspiration and basic prompts to growing food and flowers.

More P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan Family Gardening HERE


This P.L.A.Y. series is for everyone! Pass it on!

  • If you are new to gardening this series is designed to encourage you and your family to take small steps towards growing foods and flowers of any kind and any amount.
  • If you’ve tinkered with gardening in the past and things didn’t always work out this series is here to encourage you to try again AND do it as a family focusing on each individuals strengths to help it all come together.
  • This series will offer up suggestions for basic leaping off points where you and your family can begin and choose to deep dive or keep it simple in the world of gardening.
  • Most of all this series will be a source of encouragement and hopefully an inspiration to simply get in the dirt (aka garden) and P.L.A.Y. and the rest will “bee what it will bee”.

Simply BEE!

Family Gardening #12: Beautiful Blooms + Berries


P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan


Beautiful blooms in the butterfly garden continue to share their colors, textures, and patterns and attract amazing winged wonders as summer unfolds.

Daily we have birds, butterflies, bees, and even bunnies entering this beautiful flower filled space that we get to watch from our bedroom windows as well as walk in while soaking up the sunshine.

All that work and dedication to getting the soil prepared, putting plants in the ground, and consistently watering and weeding is really paying off as the garden thrives.


Yay for berry-licious abundance!

Yay for green thumb generosity!


Our neighbor shared their raspberry bushes with our community as oodles of berries ripened all at once!

Wow did those raspberries make a difference in the strawberry rhubarb pie we shared over the holiday weekend. Yummy!

We are now freezing the rest and intend to share more of these treats by making another pie in the middle of winter to serve up with a nice hot cup of tea at one of our routine community meetings.

Oh how sweet it is to savor summer the whole year through!


How about YOU? How’s it growing?


Zucchini in progress!

Hope your garden spaces are staying green and your family continues to stay engaged as the best is yet to come as the harvesting of garden veggie goodies begins!


Notes:

  • This series will continue to follow the seasons and growing patterns according to living here in a Zone 5 northern New England climate and you’ll need to adjust accordingly.
  • The specific gardening needs you have can simply be answered using your favorite search engine online seeking DIY instructions as well as library eBooks and audiobooks (especially as we are all asked to continue to P.L.A.Y. in Place at the time of this posting).
  • P.L.A.Y. is here to encourage you and your family on your gardening journey simply by posting some of our experiences as inspiration and basic prompts to growing food and flowers.

More P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan Family Gardening HERE


This P.L.A.Y. series is for everyone! Pass it on!

  • If you are new to gardening this series is designed to encourage you and your family to take small steps towards growing foods and flowers of any kind and any amount.
  • If you’ve tinkered with gardening in the past and things didn’t always work out this series is here to encourage you to try again AND do it as a family focusing on each individuals strengths to help it all come together.
  • This series will offer up suggestions for basic leaping off points where you and your family can begin and choose to deep dive or keep it simple in the world of gardening.
  • Most of all this series will be a source of encouragement and hopefully an inspiration to simply get in the dirt (aka garden) and P.L.A.Y. and the rest will “bee what it will bee”.

Simply BEE!

Family Gardening #11: Weeds + Water


P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan


Although you may not see it in action all of today’s photos represent a great deal of weeding and watering in order to allow the gardens the best chance to thrive. This is a required set of tasks for the next few months that can be done by many or just a few family members and reaps great rewards for all.

Thankfully my husband put down some weed block and free wood chips to keep the weeds down in his rectangular veggie garden this year. It is amazing to still see how persistent the weeds can be as they poke through randomly and need to be plucked.

The wood chips around the plants as well as the original decaying logs beneath the plants and in the soil (hugelkulture beds) have both helped retain the moisture during this dry season.

And so the pattern now is every day two of my green thumb family members get up in the morning and check on their gardens to see if they need water, pluck any weeds that are beginning to take over, and to check on the progress of all their plants. Sometimes there is even harvesting which is mostly lettuce and dark greens at this time of year with a few strawberries and some beautiful blooms to place  front and center on the kitchen table too.

Here is a snapshot of how the gardens looked after the 1st official week of summer.

Tomatoes are on the way and

cabbages too!

Beautiful blooms in the butterfly garden!


How about YOU? How’s it growing?


Hope your family’s green thumbs are all in gear!

And remember there are plenty of parts we can all P.L.A.Y. in this process including those of us with brown thumbs (aka non-gardeners) too.

For example:

Since we’ve had an unusual lack of water where we live in Western Massachusetts the crops that don’t receive irrigation by humans and rely on rainwater are suffering. This means there is a concern at this time about how much hay will be available for the farm animals, especially for storage for the long New England winter. Thankfully we still have more summer months to go to see if mother nature will bring a better mix of rainstorms and sunshine to help the hay grow before the final cutting and harvest.

So for now, to help do my small part and make use of my brown thumb, I’ve been cutting down our plentiful 3 foot tall weeds from the meadow daily and weaving them into the goat fencing so my daughter’s herd of 4 Nigerian Dwarf Goats may have extra snacking throughout the day and their hay intake can be rationed adjusting for the months ahead.


Hope your garden spaces are staying green!

BONUS!

Check out this video on Pinterest

“Hello Yellow – Bitty Bugs on Parade”!


Notes:

  • This series will continue to follow the seasons and growing patterns according to living here in a Zone 5 northern New England climate and you’ll need to adjust accordingly.
  • The specific gardening needs you have can simply be answered using your favorite search engine online seeking DIY instructions as well as library eBooks and audiobooks (especially as we are all asked to continue to P.L.A.Y. in Place at the time of this posting).
  • P.L.A.Y. is here to encourage you and your family on your gardening journey simply by posting some of our experiences as inspiration and basic prompts to growing food and flowers.

More P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan Family Gardening HERE


This P.L.A.Y. series is for everyone! Pass it on!

  • If you are new to gardening this series is designed to encourage you and your family to take small steps towards growing foods and flowers of any kind and any amount.
  • If you’ve tinkered with gardening in the past and things didn’t always work out this series is here to encourage you to try again AND do it as a family focusing on each individuals strengths to help it all come together.
  • This series will offer up suggestions for basic leaping off points where you and your family can begin and choose to deep dive or keep it simple in the world of gardening.
  • Most of all this series will be a source of encouragement and hopefully an inspiration to simply get in the dirt (aka garden) and P.L.A.Y. and the rest will “bee what it will bee”.

Simply BEE!

Family Gardening #10: Foraging + Farm Fun


P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan


YUMMY!!!

Pick-your-own strawberry season!


You’ve Got Options!


Your family has so many options in addition to trying to grow your own fruits, veggies, and flowers in your home spaces.

There are plenty of local farms that would love for your family to participate in purchasing veggies or pick-your-own berries as a great outdoor fresh air activity. My hubby just picked 10 lbs of strawberries this morning at a local farm and we treated ourselves to making homemade biscuits and coconut cream to pair with them. Yumalicious!

And even nearer to home there may be many options for you to safely forage for “free” foods simply by using reliable resources like the one above to identify what is OK and edible versus not OK. If in doubt don’t! Check and double check! Safety First!

These strawberries were fun to forage on a hot day in our meadow as the sunshine ripened berries, although tiny, were so full of flavor and very much treasured.

Recently my son found these chicken-of-the-woods mushrooms and easily gathered many pounds in just a few days from one source. He fried it up in our wok and most of the family has been enjoying it all week in sandwiches and stir-fry and the rest easily goes in the freezer (already cooked).


 P.L.A.Y. Check In – How Are Things Growing?


Do you have any foods or flowers that are attracting your attention or perhaps the attention of local bugs, birds, or 4-legged critters?

We are enjoying the challenge of trying to keep up with eating our lettuce greens and our dark kale greens that all are currently coming in abundance. Thankfully we can freeze the dark greens to use in soups and smoothies so we’ve placed an emphasis on the salad green eating.

My daughter’s butterfly garden is blooming quite nicely with a variety of flowers and colors and plenty of winged visitors!


Hope your garden spaces are greening up!


Notes:

  • This series will continue to follow the seasons and growing patterns according to living here in a Zone 5 northern New England climate and you’ll need to adjust accordingly.
  • The specific gardening needs you have can simply be answered using your favorite search engine online seeking DIY instructions as well as library eBooks and audiobooks (especially as we are all asked to continue to P.L.A.Y. in Place at the time of this posting).
  • P.L.A.Y. is here to encourage you and your family on your gardening journey simply by posting some of our experiences as inspiration and basic prompts to growing food and flowers.

More P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan Family Gardening HERE


This P.L.A.Y. series is for everyone! Pass it on!

  • If you are new to gardening this series is designed to encourage you and your family to take small steps towards growing foods and flowers of any kind and any amount.
  • If you’ve tinkered with gardening in the past and things didn’t always work out this series is here to encourage you to try again AND do it as a family focusing on each individuals strengths to help it all come together.
  • This series will offer up suggestions for basic leaping off points where you and your family can begin and choose to deep dive or keep it simple in the world of gardening.
  • Most of all this series will be a source of encouragement and hopefully an inspiration to simply get in the dirt (aka garden) and P.L.A.Y. and the rest will “bee what it will bee”.

Simply BEE!

Family Gardening #9: “Bed Time”- Plants In


P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan – Time to Get Growing!



WHO?

Some of your plants are going in the ground into those wonderful beds you have now dug, composted, and mulched while some other plants are still waiting in the wings.



WHAT?

It is that season where the temperatures can still dip unexpectedly low at night up here in the hilltowns and some plants need to be covered or “tucked in” overnight.



WHERE? WHEN? HOW?

And as your garden and plantings multiply you need to provide more covers for the night time chill and also at times to keep critters at bay. The “making of the beds” or tucking in and uncovering of plants becomes a morning + evening routine.



WHY?

My husband is seen here tending to this task and although the wind and elements can make it a challenge at times it is absolutely worth the results when the garden flourishes under your tender loving care.

Pinterest VIDEO HERE for a late spring sunshine smile amongst the merry little breezes as he “fluffs the sheets” for his new garden beds.


 P.L.A.Y. Connection Opportunities


How are your gardening adventures coming?

Does it feel like P.L.A.Y. in progress?

Or rather it feels more like frustration frenzy which is no fun?

This is an opportunity to pause and assess your family’s strengths and interests to see what is manageable for all of you at this time.

How many plants you grow and how many garden spaces you have each year are all things to consider as you address the following:

  • Who likes to identify and pull or “wack” weeds?
  • Who likes to water once maybe even twice a day?
  • Who likes to tuck and untuck the garden beds?
  • Who likes to maintain the mulch or fencing or other tidy up tasks?

Communicating needs is key to growing a healthy garden and making lasting connections for you and your family.



Notes:

  • This series will continue to follow the seasons and growing patterns according to living here in a Zone 5 northern New England climate and you’ll need to adjust accordingly.
  • The specific gardening needs you have can simply be answered using your favorite search engine online seeking DIY instructions as well as library eBooks and audiobooks (especially as we are all asked to continue to P.L.A.Y. in Place at the time of this posting).
  • P.L.A.Y. is here to encourage you and your family on your gardening journey simply by posting some of our experiences as inspiration and basic prompts to growing food and flowers.

More P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan Family Gardening HERE


This P.L.A.Y. series is for everyone! Pass it on!

  • If you are new to gardening this series is designed to encourage you and your family to take small steps towards growing foods and flowers of any kind and any amount.
  • If you’ve tinkered with gardening in the past and things didn’t always work out this series is here to encourage you to try again AND do it as a family focusing on each individuals strengths to help it all come together.
  • This series will offer up suggestions for basic leaping off points where you and your family can begin and choose to deep dive or keep it simple in the world of gardening.
  • Most of all this series will be a source of encouragement and hopefully an inspiration to simply get in the dirt (aka garden) and P.L.A.Y. and the rest will “bee what it will bee”.

Simply BEE!

Family Gardening #8: Tractor or Trowel Time to Dig In!


P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan – Time to Get Growing!


Everything comes “alive” in the spring – the tractor gets back to work tilling the lower gardens, seedlings are placed in the raised beds, and the compost bins overflow in the far corner continuing to make “garden gold”.


WHO?

Whether it is a trowel or a tractor it is time for family members to dig in especially with the last of the late frosts behind us.


Last frost melting (far left) on the newly made butterfly garden beds.


WHAT?

My daughter has made use of butterfly attractor plants that were already growing in our yard and transplanted them into some of her new garden beds. And through her research she has determined what plants to forage for beyond our yard. Also, with assistance from fellow community members, she has added beneficial plants to her beds even before she puts in the seedlings she has been nurturing indoors.

Perhaps it is time for you and your family to take a little “field trip” in your own yard to see what might work well to transplant and create new groupings. See if any neighbors have things growing that they’d like to share and could help fill in your new spaces.

Also put the word out in the various social circles your family has (school, church, town, etc.) that you are looking for specific plants or just plants in general to liven up your yard with garden beds. You’ll be surprised how eager folks are to share many of the plants they have in abundance and were actually looking to thin out.

Often local CSA’s or other avid gardeners have extra seedlings of food plants that they end up not planting and are willing to pass along to folks too.

There is an abundance of ways to get your garden started or to keep it expanding!


New butterfly gardens as seen from below with transplanted violets from the “lawn”.


WHERE? WHEN? HOW?

Remember, now is the most optimal time to communicate your needs to friends and family in regards to plant sharing as they are beginning to look at their own yards and gardens with fresh spring eyes and perhaps seeking some changes that you could benefit from as they pull things out and rearrange.


A trowel is a tried and true tool for flower gardens.


WHY?

In the years to come as you and your family continue to dig in and P.L.A.Y. in your garden and yard spaces you’ll see ways to make changes as well as pass forward some of what you’ve learned or grown to the benefit of others.

 P.L.A.Y. Connection Opportunities:

  • Take a few moments to look up the origins of a trowel vs. spade. What are they used for? Are there other basic tools of the trade that will make your gardening easier without getting into expensive purchases?
  • As seen in the photo above my husband has opted to use a tractor for tilling his garden bed at this time. There have been many conversations in our farming community about the merits of both tilling vs. no-tilling. If you or your family are so inclined I encourage you to look up the difference and see what works best for you.
  • At the end of the day if garden beds seem too challenging for some of your family members encourage them to try growing something, anything, and P.L.A.Y. indoors. Below I cut off the bottoms of celery stalks and placed them in a dish of water and put them in the center of our kitchen table. Over the past few weeks we’ve had fun watching what “grows” up through the center!

Celery stalks “starters”!


Notes:

  • This series will continue to follow the seasons and growing patterns according to living here in a Zone 5 northern New England climate and you’ll need to adjust accordingly.
  • The specific gardening needs you have can simply be answered using your favorite search engine online seeking DIY instructions as well as library eBooks and audiobooks (especially as we are all asked to continue to P.L.A.Y. in Place at the time of this posting).
  • P.L.A.Y. is here to encourage you and your family on your gardening journey simply by posting some of our experiences as inspiration and basic prompts to growing food and flowers.

More P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan Family Gardening HERE


This P.L.A.Y. series is for everyone! Pass it on!

  • If you are new to gardening this series is designed to encourage you and your family to take small steps towards growing foods and flowers of any kind and any amount.
  • If you’ve tinkered with gardening in the past and things didn’t always work out this series is here to encourage you to try again AND do it as a family focusing on each individuals strengths to help it all come together.
  • This series will offer up suggestions for basic leaping off points where you and your family can begin and choose to deep dive or keep it simple in the world of gardening.
  • Most of all this series will be a source of encouragement and hopefully an inspiration to simply get in the dirt (aka garden) and P.L.A.Y. and the rest will “bee what it will bee”.

Simply BEE!

Family Gardening #7: The Garden Begins to Take Shape!


P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan – Time to Get Growing!


Here is a portion of my daughter’s latest P.L.A.Y. project: a creatively curvy butterfly garden that spans 30ft x 80ft. While the seedlings are doing their work growing and preparing to be planted she continues her work by using a pick axe daily to carve out this A-mazing creation.


WHO?

This is all about you and your family.

Time to P.L.A.Y. and dig in the dirt as your garden takes shape!


These are raised beds that have been created and tended to by my husband for 5 years. Typically greens for our green smoothies and tasty cherry tomatoes that you can pop in your mouth right off the vine live in these spaces. Yummalicious!


WHAT?

Whether you use a windowbox or wide rows in your backyard there are plenty of options for getting your garden space carved out and prepared for your seeds, seedlings, or purchased starter plants.


These pots are just waiting for plants outside our daughter’s goat barn. As her second year approaches with these in this location she has decided to swap out morning glories that didn’t grow well and surprise us with new flowering plants this year.


WHERE? WHEN? HOW?

Time to re-emphasize the way to get a family to participate in gardening (or any) project is to focus on each individual’s strengths, interests, and temperament.

Folks temperament for working and P.L.A.Y.ing in regards to gardening would include: hot vs. cool days, sunshine vs. rain showers, seasonal bugs that are attracted to some humans more than others, etc. We all experience the outdoors in different ways and gravitate to certain conditions.

Lately at our household we seem to cover many of the bases between the four of us in regards to all things garden related and the willingness to participate goes up exponentially when we each step forward with our own strengths.

For me, and my brown thumb, this would be in the form of offering to help my daughter by clearing out a new 20ft x 40ft patch of brush to make way for her expansion of her new butterfly garden. Or hauling bucket after bucket, yard after yard, of free woodchips from a local pile that workers left behind to be used as mulch or on garden pathways.

My son also assists by helping clear spaces, haul logs for hugelkultur, and consistently tending to the compost throughout the year by bringing bucket after bucket from our kitchen to our compost bin. Three out of four of our household members identify as vegan and over 85% of our household meals are plant based so we generate quite a bit of organic veggie scraps to feed the compost that eventually turns into “gold” to spread on our gardens. His attention to tending to the compost, and paying attention to what goes into the compost from our daily meals, matters in the whole cycle of growing.

Both my husband and daughter continue to share their strengths in tending daily to seedlings, carving out the actual gardens, and preparing to plant after the last frost. They seek out information on how best to grow the plants that interest them most whether they are for food (veggie plants) or to attract butterflies (flowering plants).

We all benefit from the contributions of each family members strengths and willingness to step in where they feel they can best be of service.

And yes, there are those times when challenges arise in the gardening department and it feels as if no one in the family wants to tend to the situation at hand. It isn’t always a “bed of roses” to be sure.

However, this provides the opportunity for us humans to grow, make connections, work on our communication, and learn from these experiences together, and then get back to the work at hand which is ultimately to P.L.A.Y. throughout our days.


Linear garden being expanded to include some hugelkultur beds in the backyard with compost bins in the distance for easy access. Truly P.L.A.Y. in action!


WHY?

Quite simply family gardening is a great P.L.A.Y. in Place Plan at this time AND for all time.

 P.L.A.Y. Connection Opportunity:

Have your family members look into various garden designs or options for DIY garden planters. Have fun with it and know that you can always adjust things next year (and the next year, and next!)

We just recently bumped into a concept we’d heard about a few years back from fellow community members and just hadn’t gotten around to trying: Hugelkultur. We’ve gathered our logs, selected locations in the new linear garden beds, and plan to put this into action in the weeks ahead. Look it up and stay tuned!


Seedlings patiently waiting for their new garden beds to be prepared and for the last frost to pass.


Notes:

  • This series will continue to follow the seasons and growing patterns according to living here in a Zone 5 northern New England climate and you’ll need to adjust accordingly.
  • The specific gardening needs you have can simply be answered using your favorite search engine online seeking DIY instructions as well as library eBooks and audiobooks (especially as we are all asked to continue to P.L.A.Y. in Place at the time of this posting).
  • P.L.A.Y. is here to encourage you and your family on your gardening journey simply by posting some of our experiences as inspiration and basic prompts to growing food and flowers.

More P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan Family Gardening HERE


This P.L.A.Y. series is for everyone! Pass it on!

  • If you are new to gardening this series is designed to encourage you and your family to take small steps towards growing foods and flowers of any kind and any amount.
  • If you’ve tinkered with gardening in the past and things didn’t always work out this series is here to encourage you to try again AND do it as a family focusing on each individuals strengths to help it all come together.
  • This series will offer up suggestions for basic leaping off points where you and your family can begin and choose to deep dive or keep it simple in the world of gardening.
  • Most of all this series will be a source of encouragement and hopefully an inspiration to simply get in the dirt (aka garden) and P.L.A.Y. and the rest will “bee what it will bee”.

Simply BEE!

Family Gardening #6: Strengthen Your Seedlings


P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan – Time to Get Growing!


Seedlings just about ready to see their new outdoor home!


WHO?

This is all about you and your family.

Time to P.L.A.Y. and dig in the dirt and get things growing!

WHAT?

Plan A: Your seedlings are just about ready to head outdoors.

Plan B: If your seeds never really took, no worries, head out to your local garden center with a short list of plants you’d like to try and be sure to thank these folks for all their expertise in getting those seeds to grow and providing you with the option of starter plants!



WHERE? WHEN? HOW?

Backyard Bliss!

Plan ahead by checking your local weather conditions as both the plants and your family members will appreciate being outdoors and digging in the new garden when it is “warmer and not wetter”!

In this month of May my family members continue to take their seedling trays of veggie + flower plants in and out of the house as a daily practice.

By placing the seedlings out in mid-morning on the south side of the house they are receiving warmth, sunshine, and getting more sturdy with the gentle breezes.

They bring them back in at night as the temperatures still fall into the 30’s up here in New England.



WHY?

Family Gardening continues to be a perfect P.L.A.Y. in Place Plan as it has been since before Victory Gardens in the early 1900’s with bonus benefits of being in nature throughout the seasons, growing foods and beneficial flowers, and being able to be right in your own backyard!

 P.L.A.Y. Connection Opportunities:

Have your family members look up Victory Gardens and discover their origins and purpose. If you have a multi-generational family living situation you may have the benefit of asking an elder family member what they remember of those times or if their parents had told them stories of that era.

Also, as a side note, be sure to put planting bulbs on your autumn “to do” list so that when spring rolls around next year there will be instant beauty and gardening inspiration popping-up right outside your door! Family members could begin looking up which type of bulbs they would like best and the locations that suit them.

Early blooms from bulbs appear at our home as a Curious Capkin takes in the gorgeous sight and spring scent!


Notes:

  • This series will continue to follow the seasons and growing patterns according to living here in a Zone 5 northern New England climate and you’ll need to adjust accordingly.
  • The specific gardening needs you have can simply be answered using your favorite search engine online seeking DIY instructions as well as library eBooks and audiobooks (especially as we are all asked to continue to P.L.A.Y. in Place at the time of this posting).
  • P.L.A.Y. is here to encourage you and your family on your gardening journey simply by posting some of our experiences as inspiration and basic prompts to growing food and flowers.

More P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan Family Gardening HERE


This P.L.A.Y. series is for everyone! Pass it on!

  • If you are new to gardening this series is designed to encourage you and your family to take small steps towards growing foods and flowers of any kind and any amount.
  • If you’ve tinkered with gardening in the past and things didn’t always work out this series is here to encourage you to try again AND do it as a family focusing on each individuals strengths to help it all come together.
  • This series will offer up suggestions for basic leaping off points where you and your family can begin and choose to deep dive or keep it simple in the world of gardening.
  • Most of all this series will be a source of encouragement and hopefully an inspiration to simply get in the dirt (aka garden) and P.L.A.Y. and the rest will “bee what it will bee”.

Simply BEE!

Family Gardening #5: Why Growing Food Matters


P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan – Time to Get Growing!

Warning – Taking a Sneak Peek Ahead – What’s for dinner???!!!


Butternut Squash, grown right here, turned into delicious soup to take off the winter chill.


WHO?

This is all about you and your family. Time to P.L.A.Y. and Grow a Garden one small seed at a time and reap the rewards the whole year through!

WHAT?

As you continue to follow this Family Gardening series HERE and your seedlings continue to grow and are nearly ready to plant outdoors I wanted to encourage your efforts with a sneak peek of the gifts you are about to receive for your efforts.


WHERE? WHEN? HOW?

The beautiful butternut squash soup in the photo above was the result of a generous gift of x4 squash bestowed upon us back in February as our fellow community members prepared to leave for a trip and wanted to make sure their root cellar didn’t have things spoil while they were away.

The squash was lovingly grown right here, as local as you can get, which meant that my family was receiving the best nutrition possible and the squash traveled the least amount of miles possible  with only a few hundred feet from their garden to our table!

~Many thanks E + E!!!

All of their efforts matter and yours do too. For every seed or plant you can put into the soil and grow local foods you and your family will benefit ten fold. Start small if it is overwhelming and ask for assistance from family members if you are not a member of the “green thumb club” (just like me and my brown thumb). Simply finding a way together to grow a few veggie or fruit plants where you live will actually go a long way in terms of sustainability and nutritional benefits. Truly a win-win.

And as you slowly expand from one potted plant to two and then a 2×2 garden to 10×10 always remember you can also be purchasing locally grown delights at your farmer’s market or local CSA to support their work, especially as you gain appreciation for how much time and tending to is required to grow quantities of food!


Local strawberries + rhubarb come together in a delicious pie! Yum!


WHY?

Honestly the YUM factor is not to be missed!!!

Just look at this strawberry rhubarb pie created from our frozen stash of locally grown berries and stalks. Buying in season and preserving by freezing, dehydrating, or canning are all tried and true ways to enjoy your garden and local produce the whole year through.


It is well worth putting time and effort into this P.L.A.Y. practice of Family Gardening, a perfect P.L.A.Y. in Place Plan, with bonus benefits of being in nature throughout the seasons and being able to see amazing changes right in your own backyard!


Reminder:

  • This series will continue to follow the seasons and growing patterns according to living here in a Zone 5 northern New England climate and you’ll need to adjust accordingly.
  • The specific gardening needs you have can simply be answered using your favorite search engine online seeking DIY instructions as well as library eBooks and audiobooks (especially as we are all asked to continue to P.L.A.Y. in Place at the time of this posting).
  • P.L.A.Y. is here to encourage you and your family on your gardening journey simply by posting some of our experiences as inspiration and basic prompts to growing food and flowers.


Creative P.L.A.Y.-filled Connection Opportunities:

  • Suggest family members make list of foods they’d most like to grow or purchase locally as they think with their taste-buds of recipes they’d like to make. Strawberry rhubarb pie anyone?
  • OR – Another way to go about this is to cover the kitchen table with your cookbooks and have family members bookmark their top 3 recipe preferences. Then determine if you can grow any of the foods on the ingredients list. A veggie soup perhaps? Create a tangible, and eatable, goal!
  • Research as a family what foods grow in your area and in which months do they arrive. Most local CSA’s will have a chart online that you could reference so that you start to know in addition to the small garden you are creating you’ll also know when to purchase and freeze bulk produce for your family meals (ex. blueberries arrive in July in our area).
  • READ for Inspiration + Information + Conversation – Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver has a wealth of gardening inspiration, a great deal of information on why local foods are important, and many leaping off points for conversations where your family may or may not all agree (example – omnivore vs. vegetarian vs. vegan). My husband and I read this book back in 2008 and requested my two homeschooling tweens (at the time) do the same. This was a catalyst and very much a part of the change of the trajectory of our family’s eating, growing, and way of being. We did not all necessarily agree with all the points Barbara made however it did get us all thinking about our actions in this world and openly discussing them. Just this month I decided to revisit and read it again. Wow! It is amazing how over a decade later I can see the changes we’ve made AND so many more possibilities for change to go and how everything she has shared in this volume is still so very relevant. The part I like best about this book is how Barbara takes you month-by-month through the growing cycle and highlights the how and why for gardening and local foods.


Pass it on!!!

More P.L.A.Y. in Place with a Plan – Family Gardening HERE


This P.L.A.Y. series is offering encouragement for all. Sharing is caring so please pass it forward!

  • If you are new to gardening this series is designed to encourage you and your family to take small steps towards growing foods and flowers of any kind and any amount.
  • If you’ve tinkered with gardening in the past and things didn’t always work out this series is here to encourage you to try again AND do it as a family focusing on each individuals strengths to help it all come together.
  • This series will offer up suggestions for basic leaping off points where you and your family can begin and choose to deep dive or keep it simple in the world of gardening.
  • Most of all this series will be a source of encouragement and hopefully an inspiration to simply get in the dirt (aka garden) and P.L.A.Y. and the rest will “bee what it will bee” (Yay! The bees are back = spring special!).

Simply BEE!