Friday, April 3, 2015

Straw Bale Gardening

My husband gets all the credit for our vegetable garden this year. He hauled the straw bales (left in the yard since November because the kids were building forts with them), soaking wet and several hundred pounds each, into the garden and lined them up where I wanted them per my little diagram. It is so beautiful and I am so happy! Leah's pumpkins, watermelons, winter and summer squashes, and celery have all germinated. She says the toilet paper tubes are working the best, although you have to water them more often because the cardboard wicks water away from your planting medium, and I agree with her. We have them on lazy Susans so that she can just spin them so they get sun evenly. I also like that you can write the type of seed and the planting date on the side of the tube! It's pouring here so I haven't planted anything that gets direct sown because I'm afraid the seeds will all wash away.

Full Disclosure:
DIY Lip Balm isn't happening this Easter -- the shopping list was just too expensive for us right now. But the idea will stay in the back of my mind. The children made the sewn felt eggs (I put their initials and the year on the back of each with Sharpie) and they will be decorations for the house as well as presents for teachers/relatives. I'm working on the knitted rabbits each evening. And the kids dyed the eggs today. We did the art tissue technique as well as the speckled ones. Just laid a tarp out on the living room floor! I gave each child (we had two kids come over today to do them with us) a paper towel. They wrote their names on their towel, to keep the eggs separate. Everyone did two of each technique. For the speckled ones, we just used tubes of watercolor paint and I let them blend in the water and see what thickness they preferred. They found out that if you make it wetter, your flecks are bigger. We just used old toothbrushes and they ran their fingers over the bristles to make the paint spray off. They had a great time! The speckled ones were my favorite:

Some techniques work best with white eggs, like the red cabbage dye. It's a beautiful blue but it's not strong enough to put color over brown or cream eggs. Brown chicken eggs still work really well for the art tissue technique though. The tissue was very strong. And the children said it was the favorite of their two techniques. I'm doing some more speckled ones myself tonight for the Egg Hunt, and the Painted Egg Cookies if I have the energy, and another mom and her son and our girls and Adam and I are doing an egg hunt Sunday morning. It's nice to be in a new neighborhood and start new traditions! The camo tarp on the floor was a special Southern Illinois touch. :-) Worked like a charm... and we didn't get dye or paint on the floor at all!!!

Since I'm not doing the Lip Balm, I think the girls might enjoy spending some time doing DIY Honey Facials. We have the lemon, the cinnamon, the plain yogurt, and the aloe vera plant for the juice. So this will cost me nothing and it will still make them feel pampered and happy! I can put a coupon for a DIY Honey Facial in each Easter basket.

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