Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Clagett Farm

Today was the first day of our new unit, Plants, and -- fortuitously -- this was also the first day of our CSA farm pickup for this year. Hurrah! We love supporting Clagett Farm. Today they gave us two tomato plants, a Swiss chard plant (Bright Lights), a bag of popcorn, radishes, baby bok choy, and asparagus. There were several other vegetables we could have taken but I don't usually take a full share because my family rejects some things. Thinking about this now, I should probably find another family to split my share with. It's pretty expensive up front ($405 for the season) but we think it's worth the money because you definitely get more than $15 a week worth of produce, even not taking all that is offered, and school-wise it's great for us to have a farm to call our own, walk around on, visit weekly. Plus they have lots of pick-your-own stuff throughout the growing season (we get shares from May through November) which are completely free if you're a member. Last year we had so much fun picking strawberries, walking through the sunflower patch... not to mention the enormous fields of pick-your-own heirloom tomatoes... yummy!

In the morning we got things started for our big project I have planned for this unit: the Moon Garden from Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children by Sharon Lovejoy. We laid out the space where our garden will go and tomorrow Steve is going to take the children to gather five 6 foot long bamboo posts for the central tent. I will be heading out to buy the plants. The plants she suggests for this garden are jasmine tobacco, evening primrose, four-o'clocks, evening-scented stock, white alyssum, white petunias, white yarrow, and moonflowers. I already have the moonflower seeds but I need to buy the rest.

This morning I also showed the kids our renegade patch of sunflower seedlings which sprung up. This is because my brilliant idea to attract birds to our yard (the house was vacant for a while before we moved in, and there were no flowering or berrying plants of any kind to attract wildlife) was to shower the ground with about 40 pounds of birdseed over the course of the winter. We got plenty of birds, but it didn't really occur to me that they are seeds and might actually sprout! It will be fun to see what kinds of sunflowers come up -- naturally, there was no photo of the flowers on the package. I know only that they were labelled white sunflower seeds and that cardinals love 'em.

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