garden Feed

the garden, the blues and the bees

June Garden - 3
June Garden - 3
June Garden - 3

 

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6:27 3After several days of cool weather and rain (Sunday we fired up our wood stove it was so cold), we finally had a beautiful day to enjoy the outdoors.  We filled it up with a morning outing to a nearby beach then more time outdoors at home, whereas this mama tended to the garden and bees then hiked up our back ridge with the kids in search of ripe berries.  I usually find a few blues before the 4th of July, last year at this time we found a few more than we did today, but we did find some!   It has been a great day to experience the sunshine.


Around Here...

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These last weeks of school are a whirlwind.  With my own responsiblities and happenings as well as those of our family (our four children are getting busier and moving in all of their own directions with there interests and activities) I have not found that much time for updating this space.

However, I am taking a few minutes today to share a snapshot of my garden that I just planted.  You may notice I went all out with weed covering this year.

I also am sharing some pictures from my hive investigation this morning, I was happy to see things moving along with the bees.  They are doing what they are suppose to do - and it is a privilege for me to watch, nurture and help them out in my own little way.

Signing off for now -

Happy Weekending Friends!


Interview with Deanna F. Cook (plus a giveaway for Farmers Market Create and Play Activity Book)

I am happy to share in the excitement of the debut of a delightful new book for children: 

Farmers Market Create and Play Activity Book 

It is my pleasure and privilege to share a recent conversation that I had with the award winning author Deanna F. Cook.

Meet Deanna:

Deanna

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself - where you live, your family, and your interests?

I’m the mother of two teenage girls (Ella and Maisie) who have inspired many of my books. I live in Northampton, Massachusetts where I love to cook, garden, and write. I’m from a big family—I’m one of six kids and I have lots of nieces and nephews. 

Please tell us how your writing career developed and has grown.

When I was a teenager, I loved to write and cook, and I wrote my first cookbook when I graduated from college. I travelled around the world and collected recipes for the Kid’s Multicultural Cookbook. After that, I worked for many years as a magazine editor, first at Scholastic then at FamilyFun magazine. I was the editor of all the FamilyFun books and often went on TV to share recipes and crafts including the Today Show and GMA and Food Network. I left FamilyFun in 2012 to spend more time with my girls and to write my own books. So far, I’ve written 4 new kids books, including Cooking Class, Teddy Bear Doctor, Horse Play, and now Farmer’s Market Create and Play Activity Book. I like to write books that encourage kids to be creative and imaginative. 

Tell us about your new book Farmer's Market Activity Book. Did you have any particular inspiration?

When my girls were little, they used to love to play store with pretend money. This book is all about how to play green grocer with the book’s pop out fruits and veggies, signs, price tags, play money, shopping lists, and more. My girls also loved gardening and going to the farmers market, and the book teaches kids all about the whole farm to table process through fun games and activities. 

What’s next for you?

I’m writing a kids baking book and I also started a part time job as an editor at Storey publishing, acquiring kids books and cookbooks. It’s fun to work on both sides of the desk as a writer and an editor. 

Anything else?

My website DeannaFCook.com shows some of the many fun projects I’ve been involved with over my career, from my kids’ books to my writing for Highlights, Kidstir.com, FamilyFun, and more. Take a peek!

Farmers Market Cover

I had an opportunity to review Deanna's new book and found it to be filled with engaging illustrations and fun hands-on activities for children and adults to create together to encourage open-ended play with a farmer's market theme.  IMG_5064

"Nana" working on the tractor with our 5 year old.

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IMG_5077Deanna has generously offered Kids and Eggs readers a chance to win a copy of her new book:

 Farmers Market Create-and-Play Activity Book features more than 100 stickers and nearly 150 punch-out paper pieces. Kids will have everything they need to set up a pretend farm — including gardening tools, plant markers, and a toy tractor — and then peddle their wares with signs, price tags, and a cute shoebox cash register. Fruit and veggie punch-outs do double duty as props and templates to make adorable felt versions to fill up their baskets. Games and activities sprinkled throughout help kids learn while they play, meaning that parents, too, will love this bounty of fun!

 

To enter to win, simply leave a comment on this post.   If your comment is selected by the random number generator, you'll win!  Giveaway ends Dec. 1, 2016 7:00 a.m. CST

*Want even more chances? Earn bonus entries by:

  • Subscribing to Kids and Eggs via email (enter your email on sidebar)
  • Liking Kids and Eggs on Facebook
  • Sharing a link to this giveaway on your social media
  • Following Deanna on Twitter
  • Following  Deanna on Instagram.

Just make sure, whatever you do, that you come back here and leave a comment letting me know how you shared.  Good luck!

 

comments closed - the winner is # 9 - Tiffany!

Congratulations and thanks for reading!


pumpkining in kindergarten

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Here are a few snapshots from short, busy and fun week in kindergarten.  

In the lesson plans were:  pumpkin investigations!

Monday:  Pumpkin seeds (My garden was generous this year I grew 16 pie pumpkins - and I had a couple donations - so each student was able to investigate their own pumpkin.  I brought home one 5 gallon bucket of pumpkin "guts" for the chickens - and two 5 gallon buckets of cut and seeded pumpkins.

Monday night:  The kindergarten teacher (and husband) roasted pumpkin seeds, the kindergarten teacher also bandaged the blisters that she got from slicing and cutting the tops off of 18 pumpkins.

Tuesday:  Roasting pumpkins.   In class we roasted a crockpot full of sliced and seeded pumpkins throughout the day, sharing with the kiddos one way pumpkins can be cooked.

Tuesday night:  Roasting pumpkins - I had two crock pots going at home roasting pumpkins overnight and during the daytime to make the most of our harvest.

Wednesday: Pumpkin puree and pumpkin smoothies.  In class I showed the kids what part of the pumpkin that we make into pumpkin puree and we celebrated our efforts by making (and enjoying) pumpkin smoothies.

Wednesday night:  Before we went out and celebrated our anniversary, I finished up making pumpkin puree from all of the baked pumpkins.  I was able to put up over 26 cups of fresh pumpkin.  (I freeze it in 2 cup servings in quart freezer bags.)

Another successful year of pumpkining at home and school - done!

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Now I just need to make it through a Halloween on a Monday night.

If you are looking for some pumpkin inspired ideas, check out my recent post on mothering.com:

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In the Garden & In the Kitchen - Mid August

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Oh August, a month of abundance!  

This month is delivering an abundance of garden (work and harvest), preserving, gatherings with friends and family -and lots of lake time.   We have been so busy, but in a full, rich and wonderful way.   August, has its moments, but overall it is a wonderful time to be.


::garden notes - late July

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This is such a fun , yet busy time of the gardening season as progress can be noted every day!  

Notes from my north-woods garden:

  • I am continuing to harvest herbs, which I enjoy using fresh in our summer meals.  I have been continuing to dry herbs in our dehydrator to use in the kitchen and for use in my soap making escapades.  I am also making some herb infused vinegars.
  • We are starting to find - and enjoy - ripe cherry tomatoes.  I am finding other larger green tomatoes in the garden too.
  • The pickling cucumber and pie pumpkin vines are spreading, flowering and starting to bear fruit.
  • I am finding pea pods, which are getting eaten as quick as they grow.
  • I'm continuing to harvest bunches of kale, which I am either using, dehydrating or blanching and freezing.
  • And the raspberries!   This is our third year of these berry plants and it is the first year we are harvesting a significant amount of fruit.  We are picking every day - eating, freezing and I just made my second (and last) batch of raspberry jam.  

How is your garden growing?

 


::garden notes -mid-July

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My north-woods garden is making progress!  

  • We are starting to get raspberries!  I am looking forward to a bountiful crop this year.  Hopefully we get some in the freezer.
  • I am continuing to harvest herbs, which I have been using and also drying.  
  • We are seeing blossoms on our peas and beans as well as in our corner flower garden.
  • I noticed a couple of apples on one of the trees we planted last fall.
  • I am up to my ears in kale!  I planted enough to feed a small army. I have been using a lot, but the surplus I have started to blanch and freeze into kale ice cubes to use in smoothies.  I also have been dehydrating some kale and sharing some with our bunny.
  • We have also been very busy with our backwoods harvest of wild blueberries.  We have been going out almost everyday.  The kids are becoming good pickers.  We are working on our fourth dozen in the freezer - in hopes for more to enjoy over the winter.

herbs, ketchup, peppers and pizza

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I had a productive afternoon in the garden, kitchen and pantry.   I harvested some herbs to use and to dry.   When I was tidying up and taking inventory in our pantry I found some hiding pickles, salsa and canned tomatoes from last season.   I decided to use up our canned tomatoes to make some ketchup - a family favorite, especially in the summer when we do a little more grilling.   I also ground up the peppers I dried last fall so they are a little easier to use.

 The season of harvesting, preserving - and enjoying the garden's bounty has officially began!

 

 

I spent a good part of a rainy day yesterday in the kitchen and pantry drying herbs, making ketchup from the last of our canned tomatoesI gathered my big first harvest of herbs.  I collected some basil, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano and chives.  After those were washed and drying I decided to go through the pantry, where found our last jars of pickles and four jars of home canned salsa that were overlooked in all


 


In the Garden:: the season begins!

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IMG_2855We have a new garden space this summer!  James designed and created a 28'x32' raised bed garden, complete with doors, deer netting - and aesthetic appeal.   We have been working hard over the last few weeks getting this ready for the gardening season.  The garden is now planted, mulched and ready to go!

This year I planted:

Vegetables

  • tomatoes
  • pickling cucumbers
  • sugar pumpkins
  • purple beans
  • sugar snap peas
  • kale
  • rainbow chard
  • asparagus
  • onions
  • carrots
  • beets
  • radishes
  • broccoli

Fruits

  • rasberries (established)
  • grape vine
  • apple trees (3 planted in the fall)

Herbs

  • oregano
  • rosemary
  • lavender
  • mint
  • thyme
  • sage
  • cilantro
  • dill
  • chives
  • lemongrass

Flowers

  • mammoth sunflowers
  • jolly joker sunflowers
  • poppies
  • dahlia
  • cosmos
  • candy corn vine

It is sure to be a lovely season of gardening!  I will be posting photos weekly


Making Bug Stay Away

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When spending some time in our expanding garden earlier this evening,  I was visited by some pesty insects.   

Although I am happy to see dandelions blooming (our first nectar flow for honeybees), I am not all that fond of the bugs that eat away at my hairline or that fly in my mouth or up my nose while I am digging in the dirt.

I was happy to find that I had had all the ingredients and containers on hand to make a few batches of "Bug Stay Away" in my dogeared, bookmarked copy of Rhythm of the Family, which I frequent every spring to make natural bug repellant.  A little Eucalyptus Oil, Citronella Oil and Lemongrass Oil diluted by some Witch Hazel can help ward off the bugs this time of year.

I also now have a nice addition to the gift bags I am creating for the dedicated volunteers I have had this year helping to support the learning of my kindergarten students!