This is our family garden blog, where we share our trials and errors as well as our successes with friends and family.
Yes, the picture of the lizard is one I took, see the butterfly wings sticking out of his mouth?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Getting Kids Involved

Inadvertent Farmer

Over at The Inadvertent Farmer are several really neat ideas and a contest for getting your kids invloved in gardening.

While for most of us, gardening right now is putting our gardens to bed, some of us can still garden for a few months.  We live in zone 8a and can garden without fear until November.  My kids are already a part of our garden, they each have their own box or bed of plants.

Here is my daughters, to date, I'll update again (fill in the empty boxes) when we get her first red tomato and then again when the season is done.

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Now, go check out The Inadvertent Farmer as well as Erin over at Garden Now Think Later, who is also participating. Happy Gardening, Valerie Don't know what to get the gardener in your life? Try my suggestions on the left or maybe one of these.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Garden Giveaway from I Love My Square Foot Garden

Emily over at I Love My Square Foot Garden is giving away her new Gardening Bundle of 2 e-books.

What is the Gardening Bundle?

The Gardening Bundle is a set of two e-books to help jump start your garden.
The first, Planting By Color, is a week by week guide of what to plant in your garden. It covers 18 weeks, and lets you know when to start seeds, transplant, and plant seeds outside, based on your location.
The second, Gardening for Beginners, is a step by step guide that walks you through planning, building, and planting your own garden. It includes irrigation options, a companion planting chart, and recipes.

Emily has some absolutely WONDERFUL tips on her web page about gardening and if you are just starting out in the garden, this is the PERFECT place to begin.
If you don't win, you can purchase her e-books Click here to view more details.

While you are there be sure to sign up for here newsletter and learn how to Garden By Color.

Happy Gardening,

Don't know what to get the gardener in your life?  Try my suggestions on the left or maybe one of these.


Growing Salad Year 'Round

How To Grow Salad Greens All Yearis a very informative article on extending your growing season.  Even a beginner can follow along and understand all the tips and techniques explained in this wonderful how to.

For even more information on extending your growing season try these.
Using Garden Fabric (Row Covers)
Season Extending Techniques
All of these, and more, can be found at Gardener's Supply Company.

Happy Gardening,

Don't know what to get the gardener in your life? Try my suggestions on the left or maybe one of these.


Rain Barrels

As I was checking my email this morning I came across some interesting twists on the old rain barrel. ;Some are painted and some are urns. Take a look.

If you'd like to see more of Tony's work please see his website here.
or you can call him 813-453-2749

Thank you Gardeners Reach & Gardener's Supply

Happy Gardening,

Don't know what to get the gardener in your life? Try my suggestions on the left or maybe one of these.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Vegetable Garden Poem

This was originally posted over at Gardeners Reach by DragonFly Lady.

For the Garden Of Your Living...

Plant three rows of Peas:

1. Peace of mind
2. Peace of heart
3. Peace of soul

Plant four rows of Squash:

1. Squash gossip
2. Squash indifference
3. Squash grumbling
4. Squash selfishness

Plant four rows of Lettuce:

1. Lettuce be faithful
2. Lettuce be kind
3. Lettuce be patient
4. Lettuce really love one another

No garden is without Turnips:

1. Turnip for meetings
2. Turnip for service
3. Turnip to help one another

To conclude our garden...

We must have Thyme:

1. Thyme for each other
2. Thyme for family
3. Thyme for friends

Water freely with patience and cultivate with love.

There is much fruit in your Garden because...

You Reap, What You Sow!

Author Unknown
Happy Gardening,
Don't know what to get the gardener in your life? Try my suggestions on the left or maybe one of these.


Help with Companion Planting

I read up this past winter (yuk is it still winter????) about Square Foot Gardening and Companion Planting. I took notes but since the books were Library books I don't have the book in front of me at this time. I ran across a WONDERFUL blog about SFG and Companion Gardening, and Emily had put together an AWESOME chart for those of us who get headaches thinking about this type of thing. Emily's blog is MySquareFootGarden and the page with her chart is HERE. Emily also has several posts on her adventures in her garden, please take a minute or two and stop by her blog.
Happy Gardening,

Don't know what to get the gardener in your life? Try my suggestions on the left or maybe one of these.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It's seed starting time here in NE Texas, however I am waiting another week or two, as The Farmer's Almanac is saying RAIN until March. However, if you cannot wait here are a few videos to get you started.

Do you or your Sweetheart want to start a Garden, but don't know where to start? How about here.  
Happy Gardening, 

 Don't know what to get the gardener in your life? Try my suggestions on the left or maybe one of these.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Follow Friday 1/29/2010

Friday Follow

Welcome to our Family Garden, if you are new here thank you for stopping by!!

Here are 3 things I wanted to share about our garden.
Where NOT to put salt in the Garden.
The Lizard Story
& What we are doing to ourselves (long post)

 Happy Gardening,
Don't know what to get the gardener in your life? Try my suggestions on the left or one of these.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sharpening Your Garden Tools

I am starting a series on Garden Tools, how long this takes depends on my allergies.

 Since turning to things natural, when ever I come across chemicals and perfumes (stinky chemicals) my allergies re-act in an ugly />
 Long story short, my daughter gets nosebleeds when the house gets dusty or I use chemicals to clean. I have been using Vinegar as my primary cleaner, and when in the kitchen and need extra disinfectant action I use Vinegar and Peroxide.   This time it was the body wash and lotion my daughter (same daughter) got for Christmas.  Going Natural has its benefits, but come on people let's stop killing each other with stinky stuff.....

To start off the series I am going to list some links to articles and videos about sharpening and caring for your tools.  I'll get more into care and repair later, but some of these are combined so if I double link, please forgive me.

NOTE: although I am passing these links on, know that I have scanned or watched these links quickly as I need to get back into bed  (OH how I wish it was the garden bed).  If there are problems or concerns, please leave me a comment.  I will get to it soon, but leaving a comment may just stop someone else from having the same problem so check comments before you go to the links.

Cleaning Your Garden Tools from Gardeners Reach.
How to Sharpen Tools and Daniel Boone's How to Sharpen Your Ax
How to Sharpen Garden Tools
A video for you. If you watch on YouTube you will see more how to videos.

Happy Gardening,

Don't know what to get for the gardener in your life? Check out my gift ideas to the left or try one of these. 


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gardener's Hands

The most important tool in your garden is YOU.  Just as sharpening your ax is important, so is taking care of yourself.

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.  Abraham Lincoln

Your hands are one of your most important tools.  Taking good care of your hands is just as important as sharpening, oiling, and repairing your garden tools.  I have ran across a few resources to help you prepare your hands for gardening season and wanted to share them with you.

Gardeners Hands 101
Gardeners Lotion Bar
Gardeners Hand Creme

I will be doing a post very soon on caring for your tools, stay tuned.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

School Gardens

Oh boy, I tried to be good, I tried to be quiet, but a couple of things are really just upsetting me this week to the point of eating Tums for a snack.  One of those things is this article HERE, take the time to read the whole thing, it's worth a read at least.  I'm thinking the "Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes" might be an option.  I mean really, blaming school gardens for the lack of academic achievement is like a fire fighter aiming his hose at the top of the flames, instead of the bottom.  Comparing a public school to a private school is, well in gardening terms, comparing apples and oranges.  

We cut P.E. (I loved P.E. in HS it was last period, I just wore my stinky clothes home), Music, Art, Home Ec, Drivers Ed, and we still can't add.  Do you want my 2 cents as to why?  You have cut the creativity and fun (yes, learning is SUPPOSED to be fun) out and why the heck would our children want to attend, let alone succeed and excel?  You want to know what the problem is?  Let's start looking in the mirror and start smarting up our standards instead of dumbing them down.

I told you I was upset, and BTW, MY SITE, MY RIGHT, just sayin'.

You cannot seriously believe that an hour and a half is the reason why the kids in this school are not performing as well as kids in a private school who are not gardening.  

Check out this voice of reason HERE.  At least she acknowledged a problem but did not blame it on one simple 1 1/2 hour project.  Yes, the kids do use the experiences of gardening in Math, Science, and other subjects, but at least the schools are trying to stimulate all 5 senses, which has been proven to be a BIG help in RETAINING knowledge vs REGURGITATING.  Most of what I learned in school I was just regurgitating instead of learning.  I was blessed, I had a few GREAT teachers that were passionate about teaching, AND what they were teaching, AND who they were teaching.  They created in me a passion for learning, and I continue to learn today.

I was quiet until I read Garden Now, Think Later's post on this.  Please stop by, follow FNTL and mention that I sent you.  Hearing the passion in GNTL's post re-fired my dumbfounded reaction to this.  I mean come on even First Lady Michelle Obama don's a pair of jeans, rolls up her sleeves and digs in the dirt, taking a stance on child hood obesity.  I'll take it a notch further, we are a FAT & LAZY (yes, me included) nation, raising a generation that is for the first time a generation that has a life expectancy shorter than the previous one.  Sounds to me like Algebra won't to any good at 30 if you drop dead at 28 due to weight related health problems.  This brings to mind the old saying "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".  

As for stereotyping our Hispanic brothers and sisters, when I do shop at in the produce section, who do you think I stalk follow around and take note of what looks good and what doesn't.  My husband and I have even started patronizing local Hispanic stores, we pay more, but we get good quality product and WONDERFUL service.  I wish I could find an older more experience former CA picker to show me how improve my garden, I would set them up in a chair with an umbrella and a never ending glass of lemon aide (or iced tea) and let them bark out orders to me.  I could not afford to pay them, but I would send them home with bushels of stuff.  One of the reasons I want to learn to speak Spanish is so I can eavesdrop overhear the discussions about roma's vs regular (tomato) and how the limes are looking, not to mention the avacados....

Oh, I could go on but I will simply sum it up with one statement....


Update, School Adds Weeding to Reading and Writing There is HOPE!!!


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Luffa Gourds

This last year we tried growing a few gourds, some with success and some not so much. I'll try to post some of our adventures with them here soon. NOTE:Another great tip on Loffa Gourds, or Home Grown dish cloths, is HERE.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hearty Hot or Cold Roasted Tomato Soup

Not an original, but sounded good. I grabbed this from Spark People.

Hearty Hot or Cold Roasted Tomato Soup

2 lbs Roma (plum) tomatoes (quartered)
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 quart chicken stock
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar cloves
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

Place the tomato halves 'cut side up' on a baking tray with the garlic. Drizzle with the oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 375F for one hour. Snip the ends off of the garlic and squeeze into bowl or food processor along with contents of baking tray. Add stock, basil, and vinegar. Blend and enjoy! (serve hot or cold)

Happy Gardening, 



Friday, January 8, 2010

Plan your Garden Before You Plant Your Garden

With January being planning time, I thought I would share this great site to help you plan your garden.  

Plan Garden is an online planner for your garden. 

You can track your seeds, plantings, harvest, garden chores, the weather and so much more there. 

There is a 45 day free trial and then a small fee for continued membership. I say small fee because it is worth it to track what I have done and not have to worry about the fact that my husband someone carried my note pad off again. 

I can also use the online planner to space out my beds and move things around BEFORE I head outside. 

Give it a try, I mean with the 45 day free trial what have you got to loose? No card # required for trial membership.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Make Your own Easy Garden Lanterns

This idea comes from Fine Gardening.  Click here for the link to the video instructions.


Monday, January 4, 2010

It's January!!!

Yep, it's January again, and believe it or not it is time to start gardening, or at least preparing to garden. To get you started.....

From Patti Moreno of GardenGirlTV and Mel Barthalomew of Square Foot Gardening, here are a few tips to get you started.

Happy Gardening,

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