April 2010


One of 3 squares in our garden.

Anna and I have a new hobby….well, mostly it is my new hobby but she enjoys helping. We are trying to eat healthier but with the cost of produce it is difficult so we decided to do some gardening. Anna and I have had fun planning what we would plant and planting the seeds. We have built our garden based on the book “All New Square Foot Gardening” by Mel Bartholomew. It is a raised bed with Mel’s mix for the soil. So far we have planted: peas, beans, pumpkins, butternut squash, onions, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, strawberries, spinach, carrots and herbs. This year is more of trial and error to see what we can get to grow. 

Anna looking for cabbage worms to destroy.

Jack made us 3 four-foot by four-foot boxes. Then Anna and I put Mel’s mix into the boxes. Mel’s mix is a combination of vermiculite, peat moss and compost. Anna had great fun mixing the soil and thought it fun to mix the cow and chicken manure. Then we made a grid out of string that each make a square foot so I have 16 squares in each box. Then Jack made vertical supports for the vine vegetables such as peas, squash, beans and tomatoes. 

So far the garden has grown beautifully except for the dreaded cabbage butterfly. They keep laying eggs on the cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli plants. We have managed to keep the damage minimal but Anna likes to use her magnify glass to look for Cabbage Worms. 

We had our first harvest today….lettuce. It was yummy! Anna really enjoyed eating a salad made with the lettuce she picked. She goes out to the garden everyday to see if the corn is ready. I keep reminding her it has a long way to go but she still checks.

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Anna and Gracie at the butterfly exhibit.

Every other year the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens has a butterfly exhibit. In the conservatory they release several differnt species of butterflies. Anna loves butterflies especially after we studied them last year.  Tubby and the kids came for a visit in March and we decided to go to the butterfly exhibit.  We had such great fun at the exhibit. The butterflies were everywhere! Anna and I even had a butterfly land on each of us.  

It was a great to review what we learned last year while studying the butterflies. I was very surprised at how much she remembered about butterfly behaviors, body parts, and life cycle.

We went with a group of friends to Homeschool Day at the Zoo. Anna and I love going twice a year to this special day at the zoo dedicated to homeschoolers. They always have special zoo keeper chats, educational program and other activities. This time we got to see them feed the alligator and hippos. I think it is the first time we actually got to see the hippos out of the water. We also got to visit the new Museum of Living Art before it was open to the public.

Anna and her friend Zoe worked on a scavenger hunt looking for specific animals living in different habitats. They had a great time trying to locate the animals and helping each other.