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 #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 #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!

Family Gardening #4: Keep Sowing Seeds to Make Seedlings!!


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



WHO?

This is all about you and your family. Time to P.L.A.Y. and Grow!

WHAT?

This week continue to sow seeds and magically make seedlings!

~ More Inspiration Below Next Photo! ~

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.

WHY?

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.

WHERE? WHEN? HOW?

The specific gardening needs you have, including how to specifically sow and tend to seedlings, 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).

Nothing fancy required simply some containers, soil, water, seeds and sunlight!



Sowing Seeds to Magically Make SEEDLINGS!

  1. Refer to posts #1, #2, and #3 in this Family Gardening series to get up to speed on making seedlings.
  2. Start to plan where the seedlings will be planted outdoors including how much space and most ideal conditions for the types of plants you chose. With foods consider having some fencing to keep critters out and how much space you need between plants. With flowers consider if they will go in the ground or in pots and how the colors will compliment each other.
  3. While you patiently wait for the seedlings to grow and for the ground outside to be ready to receive them also consider trying more of the following ideas to engage with your family and the plant process.


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

  • Suggest family members take photos or keep a garden journal to record the growing process including what seems to be working, what needs to be worked on, how things look – height, size, color, and the overall seedling process.
  • Write stories or poems or silly sentences about the seedlings and how they grew. I’ve always found it funny to call some of the seedlings “leggy” when they get too thin and tall.
  • If you have a family member that loves making calculations they can start charting how much food might be produced from a single seedling or the cost of the seeds and materials vs. the cost to purchase the food at the store. Loads of data sifting could begin now and in the future for those that are drawn to plotting and graphing things out (one of my own family members comes to mind!)
  • Start discussing recipes you might like to look up and try that make use of your garden foods as then it will be easier to jump right into the kitchen when the food ripens.


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


This P.L.A.Y. series is an offering to ALL:

  • 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 #3: Food + Flower Seedlings!


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



WHO?

This is all about you and your family. Time to P.L.A.Y. and Grow!

WHAT?

This week is all about making seedlings.

~ More Inspiration Below Next Photo! ~

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.

WHY?

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.

WHERE? WHEN? HOW?

The specific gardening needs you have, including how to specifically grow and tend to seedlings, 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).

Nothing fancy required – simply some containers, soil, water, and sunlight.



PLANT the SEEDS and like magic you create SEEDLINGS!

  1. Remember those seed packets you were going to purchase last week? Great – time to take them out and make some magic!
  2. Be sure to read on the packets the exact timing for creating seedlings as you want to time it so they will be ready to plant in the ground when the conditions are right, not too soon and not too late!
  3. Now gather together some small containers or specifically little six packs like seen in these photos to add soil and plant the seeds according to the packet instructions.
  4. Create an environment where you can keep them, warm, watered, and in sunlight.
  5. Check on them daily to see their progress and tend to their needs.

Creative Connection Suggestions:

Suggest family members take photos and make notes or sketch in a garden journal to record the growing process including how things look – height, size, color, what seems to be working, what needs to be worked on, weather conditions when things move outdoors, and the overall seed to plant process.



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


This P.L.A.Y. series is an offering to ALL:

  • 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 #2: Food + Flowers – Buy Seeds!


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


Curious Capkins checking out some seed varieties my family selected for this year’s garden.


WHO?

This is all about you and your family!

WHAT?

Each week P.L.A.Y. hopes to highlight some of the foods and flowers we are growing or are being grown locally with some special add-on features like how we and our community are making use of these garden goodies.

Note: This series will be following the seasons and growing patterns according to living here in a Zone 5 northern New England climate and so you’ll need to adjust some things accordingly.

WHY?

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.

WHERE? WHEN? HOW?

The specific gardening needs you have, including types of seeds this week, can 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).


My daughter is partial to buying flowers that attract butterflies as well as having fun with a few other varieties.


Begin – BUY SEEDS!

  1. I’ve overheard my green-thumb-go-to-folks talk about buying seeds from a few favorite companies online usually beginning in March on through until April. They also buy seeds at the local farmer’s co-op in addition to buying some harder to grow plants later on in the season to put straight into the ground. Purchase what you can, where you can, with organic being a priority.
  2. Also it is key to start with what you and your family love to eat most. Cucumbers for example are great for growing and munching straight out of the garden. No cooking or prep time required!
  3. Read the seed packet to find out how to create seedlings and when the correct timing would be. For example in our Zone 5 area cucumber seeds are put in containers at the beginning of April and the seedling is ready by about 6 weeks later at the end of May to go in the ground.
  4. If you are catching this post later in the spring season no worries either buy a few plants at your local garden nursery or even cut up some potatoes to plant directly in the ground!

Loads of dark greens for our green smoothies and fun to pick tomatoes are top on our list!


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


More about what this P.L.A.Y. series is offering:

  • If you are new to gardening this series is designed to encourage you and your family to take small steps towards growing foods 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 #1: Food + Flowers


A P.L.A.Y. Project with a Special Purpose:

Grow Foods

Grow Flowers

Grow a Healthy Family that P.L.A.Y.’s Together



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

If you are simply ready to jump in on this P.L.A.Y. Project tune in every Sunday to see the P.L.A.Y. plan unfold HERE.

If you’d like to know more about the motivation behind this P.L.A.Y. project READ ON!



In these unexpectedly challenging times we are all asked to do what we can where we can to make a difference in our own lives and in each others lives.

Growing foods, any kind and any amount, together as a family is certainly one way to have a positive impact on your health, budget, well-being, and has a ripple effect out into your communities.

Growing flowers also has beneficial effects for both attracting pollinators and for human sensory pleasure and so much more.



A P.L.A.Y. Short Story – Three Green Thumbs


My husband has a green thumb when it comes to growing foods and although he’d say he has a lot to learn I’ve seen proof arrive in my kitchen that the guy I call “Mr. Science” seems to know a thing or two about starting with a seed and ending up with a meal on our plate.

My daughter has a green thumb too when it comes to growing flowers and has been especially motivated to grow ones that attract butterflies (of which she has become well versed over the years) and she also lends a hand in the food gardens as needed.

My son has been a willing helper in harvesting our garden foods, putting food by in the kitchen freezer, and making our daily green smoothies. He can help keep plants alive both indoors and outdoors and has learned a great deal about wild edibles. I consider him in the green thumb club too.

I on the other hand have always felt I had the brown thumb of the family never being able to keep plants alive in the house or outdoors. I am also hard pressed to be able to identify any plant when it is simply all green without fruit on it or the names of most flowers. Weeds vs. garden plants, forget about it I have no clue. I sneeze and get watery eyes the minute we turn over the dirt in the garden or enter our community greenhouse. A green thumb I am not.

And yet the irony is I am vegan and plants tend to be a key ingredient to my diet as well as my 80% plant based diet family. I am also a nature lover immersing in flower gardens, food gardens, as well as the forest and meadows of where I live bringing along my Capkin for creative P.L.A.Y. moments.

And so over the years I’ve learned  to do what I can both outdoors and in the kitchen without a green thumb: by making green smoothies + juices and recipes using harvested ingredients, seeking local CSA’s for grains and farmer’s markets for extra veggies, berry picking in bulk at local farms, gathering wild berries, prepping and preserving foods by washing + cutting + freezing or dehydrating, and the list goes on.

I have come to value very much that as a family of four we are able to use both our time and talents to cover many of the bases when it comes to gardening and having healthy fresh foods in our meal planning. And by making the conscious choice to live in an intentional farming community over the past five+ years we continue to learn from our gardening and farming neighbors and fill in many food (and flower) gaps together.

This year my family seems to be kicking it up a notch with a few new goals in the growing department. Seems like a perfect time to take a few photos and share our P.L.A.Y. Plan!


Sneak Peak at the Next few Weeks!

Curious Capkin Sees Seedlings!


Stay tuned for more of this Family Gardening series story – including green thumb photos along the way – and all unfolding in real time throughout the spring, summer, and fall!


Next up Post #2 following this series through the seasons:

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

HERE


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