garden Feed

Around Here...


Summer! - 4

Summer! - 4
I tested a recipe for Peach Caprese from Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines that I will be putting together for a recipe feature in an upcoming issue of Minnesota Parent Magazine.  This is a wonderful cookbook with lots of great recipes and beautiful photography.   The recipe was a hit in our family.

Summer! - 5The boys beat the summer heat today on a slip and slide in the back yard.   They had a lot of fun and it was fun for me to just watch them!

Summer! - 11
Summer! - 10
Our garden is coming along!  The rain, heat and humidity is doing wonders!    The weather has been great for wild blueberries as well.  




Easy Veggies and Fruits You Can Have Your Kids Grow - a Guest Post by Kylie editor of Green & Growing

Today I am happy to share a guest post by Kylie, editor at Green & Growing.

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Although growing plants require some time and work, there are several types that are great for children to grow with the help of their parents. Not only does growing garden plants teach children responsibility, but they get to enjoy and eat their crop after all of their dedication and hard work! 

Tomato plant


Tomato plants are a great starter plant for kids. They are hearty and grow just about everywhere. While it may be tempting to buy seeds for tomato plants, if you're just starting out with a garden and are new to gardening, purchasing a small, but healthy tomato plant from a nursery might be the way to go. These are great for kids because tomato plants grow quickly, and the wait time for vegetable production is very short. If you get a plant with small tomatoes already on the wine, within weeks, you child will have ripe tomatoes. Be sure to plant your tomato plant during the warm season (above 75 degree F), plant in full sun, and keep your tomato plant watered daily for best results. Your children can grow most tomato plants in pots as well, as long as the pots are big enough to accommodate your growing plant. 



If your child is interested in growing plants from seeds, cucumbers are relatively easy to plant and if properly cared for, they will grow very quickly -- within a week. Children love to watch their seeds pop out of the ground, and the quick turnaround time keeps them interested. Cucumber seeds can be purchased from any nursery or home improvement store and you'll want to pick up a small planter and some potting soil to start your seeds. Have your child lay the seeds on top of potting soil in the planter, and put a very light layer of soil on top of the seeds. Partial shade is best for growing seedlings like cucumbers, and the seedlings need to be lightly watered daily. Soon you'll have plants that your children can transplant to your garden. For best results, your child should transplant the cucumbers when they're 3" tall in full sun and space the plants at least 6" apart. These plants are vines that need room to grow on the ground, so keep that in mind when helping your child prepare the garden. 


Strawberry plants are easy to grow and fun for kids because of their small size and the ability to grow these fruits in pots, unlike some fruit trees that take years to produce and require a large yard or farm. If your child is eager for strawberries this year, it's best to buy plants from a nursery instead of planting seeds, since strawberry seeds take several seasons to grow into mature plants. These plants prefer full sun, lots of water, and should be spaced at least 18" apart if you're planting them in a garden. These sweet little fruits are not only fun for kids to grow, but are also delicious and have so many uses -- smoothies, cobblers, strawberry shortcake, juice, and more. Your child will enjoy making delicious recipes all summer long! 


While watermelon plants are a little more advanced, they're still a fun choice for kids to grow fruit. These plants love fertilizer, so making your own compost or buying fruit plant fertilizer is a essential. These plants cannot grow to maturity in a planters or bucket, and transplanting will be necessary. You'll want to grow this plant in full sun, keep it fertilized, keep it watered daily, and make sure there is enough space in between each plant since they are vines and grow on the ground. One good tip is to tell your child to cover the vines with soil, as this will encourage extra growth. Watermelon plants take a bit longer to produce a mature fruit than some other fast-growing fruits and vegetables -- approximately 80-90 days if you buy a small plant. These are good plants to teach your child patience and develop skills to care for higher maintenance plants. Starting a compost with your child for your watermelon plants is an added bonus. 

Happy growing!

Kylie is the editor at Green & Growing. She enjoy the outdoors, especially when she can go on a fun hike or adventure. She likes to focus on the perks green living. She feels it is so important to take care of our earth and hope to spread more awareness as she edits and writes.

In my Garden - June

June in my garden - 1
June in my garden - 1
June in my garden - 1
June in my garden - 1
June in my garden - 1
June in my garden - 1
June in my garden - 1

It's June in my zone 3 garden!

Here's what I have growing this year:

Herbs:  chives, oregano, parsley, dill, cilantro.

Salsa fixings:  tomatoes & peppers

Fruits:  grapes and raspberries

Root Veggies:  beets and carrots

Gourds:  pie pumpkins and pickling cucumbers

I am keeping things pretty simple.  I am planting and maintaining only what we eat and use.  Some things, like beans, I find best to pick up at our local farmers market when I am ready to put up some dilly beans.   I have found black plastic fabric has been a great solution to weed control as well.

If you are gardening I hope you are off to a good start as well!  Swing by tomorrow for a garden themed guest post by Kylie the editor at Green & Growing.


Around Here...

Fall collage
The colors are reflecting the change in the seasons from summer to fall.  Our weather has been rather extreme, hot and humid one day, then cold and rainy another.  



The garden is producing.  We have had a stretch of warm and humid days which has helped to ripen tomatoes.  I have never has so many ripe tomatoes in the fall!  I have been busy canning tomatoes and making and canning salsa to line our pantry shelves for our family to enjoy.

IMG_0328The bees are hanging in there.  The nectar flow has pretty much ceased in our neck of the woods.  The warm weather has kept the bees active, but hungry.  I made a sloppy candy board with a pollen patty and consolidated the bees into one super recently as I start to prepare and transition them with hope that this colony will make it through our long winter ahead.

Other happenings:

We are keeping busy following our children in their athletic endeavors.  Fall extra curricular include cross-country running, a kids marathon race and flag football.

RaceI ran too!   I returned to the running scene and completed a local half marathon after having a competition hiatus for the last 13 or so years.  It felt good to accomplish this goal.

BdaySince I have last posted we have also celebrated this special boy's 8th birthday!  


Oh how our life is rich and full!  This mindful practice of reflecting upon still images serves as a reminder of all of the beauty in my life, especially on difficult days. This simple practice fills me with gratitude and evokes feelings of joy and love.   I invite you to play along.

Around Here

Garden - 1 (1)


School Days - 4
Garden - 1 (2)

School Days - 5

School Days - 2
School Days - 3
Around here....

::Garden produce has been keeping me busy.  We are doing a lot of eating and I am canning and preserving extras tomatoes and cucumbers in the form of salsa, pickles and relish.

::We passed on our layers and invited about 50 new baby chicks to our homestead.  25 are laying hens (It will be about 5 months or so until we get our first egg.) The other 25 are meat birds, which we will "turn to meat" late October.

::This mama and her four kids have started school.  It has been a great first week - we are getting in the groove!

::We are enjoying the last days of the summer season.   It has been a beautiful weekend.  I started my day with a quiet hike.  Right now James is out fishing.  Both, wonderful ways to recharge for the week ahead.




Garden Goodness

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Garden - 3
Peach Popsicles - 4

Garden - 1 (1)When I am not adventuring outdoors with the kids, I find myself in the garden or kitchen.   August is the season for canning

and preserving.   So far I have put up dilly beans, cucumber dills, pickled beets and peach salsa.  I have been harvesting and drying chives, basil, oregano, rosemary, dill and cilantro.  The garden raspberries have started to produce and soon we will have red tomatoes.  Along with all of the preserving, we are enjoying eating right from the garden.

We are very pleased with our garden bounty!

In my garden - mid July

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7-13 - 77-13 - 7Summer is being shy in my neck of the woods.  We have had a long stretch of rain and dreary days, but I am trying to focus on the positives.  Today I took a slippery hike up the ridge behind my house to pick some berries, then wandered around my garden checking out the progress.  I found some berries as well as green tomatoes, herbs that were ready to be harvested and dried, and promises of raspberries, beets and carrots.  In my wanderings I also found happy chickens and a tribe of small boys.

Lots of good things.   

I hope you found some sunshine in your day today!

the garden, the blues and the bees

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


6:27 - 6

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6:27 -5
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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...

Bees 1Hive 3Bees 1
Hive 3
Hive 3 

Bees 1

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:


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 shows some of the many fun projects I’ve been involved with over my career, from my kids’ books to my writing for Highlights,, 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.


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!