I know we all live in different climates but here in Maine, March signifies something wonderful. It is the time of the year we begin to turn our minds towards spring. Usually, in late February, stores begin to put out some seed packets. Seed catalogs begin to arrive in our mailboxes and our minds turn to gardening. We don’t pay attention to the below zero temperatures and the feet of snow outside covering our garden spot. The growing season is short and we have to prepare early, by starting seedlings, growing kitchen scraps, and enjoying the plants of the land.
When To Start Planning Your Garden
Should we really even start thinking or planning our garden this early? Last year, we had a day that it snowed in May!! Talk about a damper on the spring garden plans! But regardless of the weather, there is plenty of planning that should take place before you start your garden. I am a firm believer that if you want your children to appreciate something you have to involve them in the activity. I believe this so firmly with gardening, that I bring my children into our garden area often–even before anything is planted.
While we are outside we talk about the different types of plants they would like to grow. Both of my kids love cherry tomatoes, green beans, and cucumbers. So even if we choose to have only a small garden (this is what I say every year and then we end up with ten varieties of tomatoes), we will be sure to plant those favorites.
When the snow starts to melt, the fun starts. We have fenced in areas that we use for our gardening area. We begin by cleaning up the area from the leaves and any leftover crop debris from the previous season. My kids love to help with this process and I enjoy having them a part of the process.
Starting Your Own Seedlings
We have a very short growing season here in Maine, so it is crucial to get seedlings started early. While there are many greenhouses around that we can purchase seedlings from, there is a great learning opportunity in starting your own. We have two small indoor greenhouses, this allows us to start a number of seedlings.
I use old milk jugs as planters, along with the plastic berry containers. They create the perfect greenhouse for small seedlings.
Growing Kitchen Scraps
An easy way to start growing vegetables is from kitchen scraps! This is great even in the winter months. I needed green onions for a recipe and the only ones available in the store were $2.99 organic green onions. So I bought them, when I used the tops I placed the bottoms in water and they began to grow. I am not able to reuse these organic green onions for other meals. I’ve also regrown romaine lettuce and red onions. For the romaine lettuce, you just place the lettuce bottom in a dish of water and the leaves will continue to regrow. With the red onions, I just placed the part of the onion that contained the root bottom in a small container with soil. It didn’t take long before it began to grow.
Enjoying The Plants Of The Land
We are very blessed to have many fruit bearing plants and perennial plants on our property. Each year our yield increases, this is great since the demand of our family has increased. Currently, we have fiddleheads, apple trees, rhubarb, blackberries, raspberries, and black raspberries.
Occasionally, we have mystery plants that grow in our compost or that get left in the garden from the previous year. Most of the time we get squash plants, such as zucchini or pumpkin
Have Fun and Enjoy The Harvest
My kids and I love spending time outside working in the garden. While it is a lot of hard work, it is so worth the reward. Much of the time I don’t get to bring much into the house because the kids eat a fair amount in the garden. But each year we are so thankful for the harvest we are rewarded with from our hard work.
Thank you to Yvonne @ The Life We Build for writing this Crew Article.
Featured from week two in March
- What to pack for a field trip by Annette at A Net in Time.
- A Perfect Picnic: Vission versus Reality by Dawn over at The Schoolin’ Swag Blog
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