Monthly Archives: April 2012

Day 163- The Earth box is winning- no contest

Do you remember a few weeks ago when I posted about my gardening woes and how I’m trying an Earth Box for the first time? Well, hardly any time has passed, and I intended to post the plants’ progress in mid-summer, but really…there is no contest.

Plants in the ground, and…

plants in the Earth Box.

The ones in the Earth Box look like I’m giving them steroids or something. It is truly amazing to me to go outside each day and it’s like I can physically SEE them growing. The leaves are huge. The stems are huge and flowers are abundant.

Now my father warned me not to get too happy too fast. He said that sometimes the plants have trouble setting fruit. He says they’ll get to a certain size and still be green and just fall off. Like maybe it’s possible for the plant to grow TOO fast. I’ll update as to how the veggies actually grow/taste when the time comes.

As for my other sorry plants, the lack of adequate sun exposure is obvious. They appear to be dormant and I’ve seen very little growth since they were planted over a month ago. Of course I don’t know how much of the Earth Box’s glory is due to the Earth Box itself or due to the better sun location. I suspect it is both because what makes the Earth Box special is the way the roots are able to pull constant moisture from the soil due to the design of the box and the special watering tube.

Have a wonderful day!

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Day 162- Public school children are creative too

I wore this dress on Easter Sunday. Glad I've already gotten a chance to wear it again!

I should probably be a homeschooler really. Most of my friends homeschool their children. Most of the blogs I read end up belonging to a homeschooling family. I do feel quite like-minded with homeschoolers and believe in many of the philosophies and support it fully. Even though I’m not one of them, they’re still my peeps.

And yet, have you ever had the experience of believing in and supporting something, and still for one reason or another, it’s not the choice you end up making? The only example I can think of is a mother who fully supports natural childbirth and homebirth and yet because of her particular health circumstances, will always birth in the hospital and maybe even with assistance from drugs etc. Perhaps she has a lot of natural birthy friends (especially homebirthy friends) and occasionally feels the need to say “Hey, you know my hospital experience was really good for me!” Well, that’s me here, standing up and waving my arms a bit and saying “Hey, you know my public schooled child is a great kid! She’s friendly! Creative! She really works well with other children! And I’m happy with her progress in school!”

I think the biggest misconception I run across is that public schooled children don’t have time for creativity. They don’t have time to just explore their world.

In my opinion, the biggest obstacle to creativity is not school. It’s too much screen time. The second biggest obstacle is too many scheduled activities.

Mama and baby dolls and furniture she made out of paper plates. And the house is scrapbook paper.

Here she is working on some random craft with paper and noodles.

I help with nothing.

It’s not that we are a no tv family around here. I think it’s more that television  is treated more as a snack rather than a whole meal. After school the kids play together and they are GOOD at playing together. They come up with lots of interesting things to do!

On a rainy day, all three are under there with books and drawings.

Reading Brother his favorite story.

These are the kinds of pictures I always see on homeschool blogs. Public school kids DO have an interesting life outside of school! (And inside of school!) Like all things, it’s what you make of it.

Have a wonderful day!

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Day 161- Dandelion Flower Tea

No matter where you live, it can be like an Easter egg hunt every day when kids start hunting for dandelions. This becomes especially fun when they have a specific reason from Mom to collect them- Dandelion Flower Tea.

It was from Robert Fulgam’s book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things that I learned of the vast benefits of the humble dandelion. Fulgam writes:

Now I happen to like dandelions a lot. They cover my yard each spring with fine yellow flowers, with no help from me at all. They mind their business and I mind mine. The young leaves make a spicy salad. The flowers add fine flavor and elegant color to a classic light wine. Toast the roots, grind and brew, and you have a palatable coffee. The tenderest shoots make a tonic tea. The dried manure leaves are high in iron, vitamins A and C, and make a good laxative….If dandelions were rare and fragile, people would knock themselves out to pay $14.95 a plant, raise them by hand in greenhouses and form dandelion societies and all that. But they are everywhere and don’t need us and kind of do what they please. So we call them “weeds”  and murder them at every opportunity. Well I say they are flowers, by God, and pretty damn fine flowers at that.

I was quite taken aback by his heartfelt tribute to a flower I’d associated with weeds and wishes. I didn’t know dandelions are actually healthy when consumed. A little bit of internet research uncovered several articles that do attest to their numerous benefits, and so since then I’ve been making my own version of Dandelion Flower Tea.

Step 1– This is the best part! Send your kids to collect dandelions!

The kids collected all of these on the walk home from school

Step 2– Rinse thoroughly to make sure there are no little buggies hiding.

Step 3– Put the rinsed flowers into a coffee filter and put into your coffee maker.

Step 4– Add about 6 cups of water to your coffee maker and brew it up!

It makes a lovely yellow tea that tastes very nice with a touch of honey. Your children will enjoy drinking this special tea too! This has become an exciting spring activity for them on our humble suburban streets.

Have a wonderful day!

Like Mother, Like Daughter

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