How children were meant to be raised

The rain the weatherman predicted never came, but Friday dawned bright and beautiful and warm just like he said it would. A perfect day for planting my snow peas and for a couple of before pictures in the garden.

This is our squash garden, waiting oh so patiently. My husband picked up several used cattle panels, bent them at the ends and used PVC to support them in the middle. We’re going to stake down the ends as well. I’m going to plant my salad garden under the panels. By the time the squash is large enough to shade out the lettuce, it will be about time for my lettuce and spinach to bolt, anyway.

For the peas and tomatoes, we’re making a hedge-type support system with used cattle panels. Using my trusty warren how, I ran a nice furrow along the base of the fencing to drop the peas in. I’d like two more by tomato planting time, but for now the “make do” side of me is thinking about planting the tomatoes down the center of the row. By the time they are big enough to need the support, the peas should be dying back, anyway.

I actually felt sort of sad turning under so much of my clover already, but was happy to see it  had a nice dense root system, doing the main job we were looking for in a cover crop this year: pushing out the weeds.

Bear saw I was working in the garden and came down to chat.

“Can I help?” he asked.

Warmed my soul. The children were disappointed in the morning when I told them they couldn’t plant their sections until I had a way of marking off their squares, but they seemed to get over it as soon as they had the day and the sunshine to themselves.

But a voluntary helper? Makes me feel like we’ve done something right in this outdoour country lifestyle we’ve chosen.

“Don’t forget to leave some peas for me!” He interjected as I poured out the last of the package in my hand.

“Sweetheart, I still have two more packages. I should have enough for a fall planting and still have plenty for you guys.”

He smiled. He really likes gardening, and it always surprises me how hard he is willing to work. He can throw a temper tantrum over picking up a few legos, but out here he will work until his muscles are sore. I don’t know if it is the sun or the soil or the warm spring air, but it just feels right. Like this is how we are meant to live and how children are meant to be raised.

Hard work, free time and the great outdoors. For a fleeting moment, I feel just a twinge of the excitement I had when we moved here.

__________________

Visit Smockity Frocks for more frugal gardening and Linda’s Lunacy for more Saturday on the Farm posts and to share your own!

About Dana

Dana homeschools her children on five acres in the country with her husband John.
This entry was posted in Gardening, Rural life. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to How children were meant to be raised

  1. Nikki says:

    What a wonderful opportunity for “mommy time” with your little Bear. lol

    As soon as I grab for my barn boots my 4 kids are out the door and I don’t see them to even ask if they will help.

    Your absolutley right-that’s what feels right, I also feel as though that’s how it’s meant to be. (raised with plenty of fresh air and manual labor for all lol)

    Good Luck on the garden, I just got my all planned out and the seeds in the pots.

  2. Dana says:

    I had to re-plan mine after the addition of the cattle panels, but it worked out. My seedlings in their pots aren’t doing so well, but in a week or two, I should be able to start setting them outside during the day which should help the ones still struggling to stay alive.
    Dana´s last [type] ..How children were meant to be raised

  3. Phyllis says:

    Sounds like just the kind of day you guys needed!
    Phyllis´s last [type] ..Teaching Alex About Tenses

  4. Tracey says:

    That’s great, Dana!

  5. You are truly inspiring me. Maybe we can do this gardening thing right this year…

  6. Dana says:

    I’m hoping for a better go at it this year. People keep reminding me that no one’s gardens around here did well, but I gave up half way through and just let the weeds take over. :( I have the tools I need this year, and we’re starting on time. Hoping that makes a difference!
    Dana´s last [type] ..How children were meant to be raised

  7. Wendy says:

    Isn’t it amazing what the spring can do? Some of my most vivid, and most favorite, childhood memories go back to gardening with my parents as a child. It really had a lot to do with who I am today.

    We are looking for a new house right now, and it breaks my heart to think of leaving our garden behind, but I am trying to be confident that we’ll find someplace with potential for an even better garden, and animals. I want to raise my son with exactly the same appreciation and love of garden work you mentioned in your post. He’s only little yet, but the few times we’ve spent in the garden together have already felt like a dream come true. Any professional success I’ve ever had pales in comparison! :)

  8. Jen says:

    Glad you are getting some time out with the kids doing what you all enjoy. We love our garden time too.

    The weeds are the hardest part of any garden and can be pretty discouraging once they take hold. We’ve had so much rain we’ve not been able to get our gardens in yet. The suns finally out today bless the Lord!
    Jen´s last [type] ..a blast from the past

  9. How sweet! Having just finished planting with my own crew of willing helpers, I know exactly how you feel.

    I like your squash/salad system. We might try to rig something like that for next year.

  10. Transient Alien says:

    Cool picture of your squash garden. It’s kinda eerie like a horror movie. I would call it, ‘They came from the depths’.

    The movie would center around an evil group of mole men who secretly push weeds to the surface from their diabolical hideout at the center of the earth. No matter how hard you battle the forces of evil the weeds just keep coming.

    Alas it is time for a hero and from above comes the universal corps of good named ‘the Clovermen’. who unmercifuly combat the mole men with seeds of their own coupled with a vigourous weed elimination and mole destruction program.

    This battle rages as it has done down through history until the evil mole men up the anty by using there sun-ray intensifier to call down scorching heat that is coupled with their water absorption technology and finally their foot minions of bugs and insects. With rotting and wilting vegetables your discouragement is complete. The mole men rejoice for yet another year they have won.

    But as you know there is always next year and the powered roto-tiller is a great equalizer. Eventually, the forces of good reinforce their battlements, establish sound counter attacks and with the super advanced weed and grass and vegtation and dirt and anything else it touches eliminator spray the mole men need to find another target. Success the garden is yours…………………………………………at last.

    However lurking in the underdepths the evil mole men are forced to abandon their posts and leave the scene of their latest defeat, ashamed full of hate and anger, ready to conquer the world with more vehermence that ever before.

    Althought they are a defeated and de-moralized bunch, don’t you worry or cry for them. There’s an abundance of new battlegrounds out there just ripe for an all out war for crop domination.

    The mole men are waiting, watching, looking for unsuspecting people to move into new homes and so begin their chichanery anew :)

  11. Joede F says:

    The comment above made me go hummmm and scatch my head. Quite an imagination whcih is always a good thing. But still hmmmm….
    I love the old fencing idea for laying out the salad garden!
    I have my garden dug up, but that is as far as it has gotten. We are in zone 8, so I am behind on planting in all actuality, but in my view, never to late to get started!!

  12. Dana says:

    There is no end to creativity on the web, I guess, Joede.

    Is there a gardening season in zone 8? Don’t you get to garden all year down there? Or do you have to get things in and done before the sun kills everything off for the summer?
    Dana´s last [type] ..How children were meant to be raised

  13. Mary says:

    Have you ever tried the ‘three sisters’ plating method? My husband always plants corn, green beans, and squash together. The beans run up the corn, the squash shelters the soil from evaporation (it’s gets reall, really, really hot here). It’s an old Aztexc/ American Indian metod. (I slshed that becuase he says Aztec and everyone up here in America says American Indian!)

    I’m so happy for that little twinge of excitement. :)

    Always praying for you, especially Bear.

  14. Dana says:

    Mary, we just learned about that this year! We haven’t tried it yet, but I’m thinking of trying it next year. Or I may let my beans climb my corn this year just to start with.
    Dana´s last [type] ..How children were meant to be raised

  15. I like the way your planting early and late crops together. That’s a great space saver.

    My kids always volunteer for the “fun” jobs – planting the seeds & harvesting. The hard work part, I have to make them do that. lol

    Thanks for linking up to Saturday on the Farm!

    Linda @ Linda’s Lunacy
    http://www.lindaslunacy.blogspot.com
    Linda @ Linda’s Lunacy´s last [type] ..Bible Memorization 2 Samuel 22-31

  16. Kara says:

    Voluntary.
    So much contained in that one little word.
    Big smiles for you ‘cuz I know how much my heart sings when they volunteer.
    Kara´s last [type] ..Left-Over Friends

  17. So eager to create our garden space this year!!! We moved out here to our mountain-land two years ago, and have had to put every spare dollar into the driveway, finishing the wood-stove, porches…and finally our spring project will include bulldozing some topsoil back down onto this rocky-excavated mess around us.

    And I couldn’t agree more about the way to raise children! Fresh air, sunshine, plenty of water…tilling, planting, weeding, tending…covered with lotsa prayers for the emerging fruit…

    Blessings -
    Teri
    Teri @ StumblingAroundInTheLight´s last [type] ..My Favorite

  18. Maggie Hogan says:

    Lovely post and pictures! It gives me hope that spring will come to DE too :-) And I LOVE hearing about Bear and his attitude toward working. Being in the garden is such a healing thing – even for the little ones. God bless you – and I am praying for your family.

  19. Tonia says:

    That is one big garden! I wish we had that much room to grow!

  20. Mary says:

    Dana, I didn’t even know it had a name until he told me he was out there ‘con las tres’ which means ‘with the three’ (but we only have three girls, so why the feminine?) so i asked, and realized his ‘messy’ garden was actually space and water saving. (*chagrine* I thought he just didn’t know how a REAl garden was supposed to look. :D Glad I never nagged about it, probably the only thing I never nagged about, hahaha!

    Still trying to figure out the mole men comment…

    Praying for you always!

  21. Hope says:

    The garden looks like it will be amazing. How long have you been gardening, and are there any books you can recommend on vegetable gardening?
    Thanks!

  22. Dana says:

    That’s funny, Mary. I probably would have been the same except I read about it in a book about companion plantings. :)

    Mary, I really liked Square Foot Gardening and The Backyard Homestead. Both are pretty basic, but gave me the information I needed to get started and to research a little more about different things I was interested in. I also like Four Season Garden by Elliot, but our first year of trying to plant cold tolerant vegetables in cold frames only brought them into November. No mid-winter salad harvests around here!

    Maybe if we work on it, we can get something that works, but right now I’m more interested in our small greenhouse project. :)
    Dana´s last [type] ..Purina Pro Plan Selects review and 100 Visa gift card giveaway!

  23. Dana says:

    Maggie, I think it is good for everyone. Just the right amount of exercise and just enough planning for the future without it being too overwhelming.
    Dana´s last [type] ..Purina Pro Plan Selects review and 100 Visa gift card giveaway!

  24. Mary says:

    We have friends who do the cold tolerant harvesting and they have potatos and some others in march, and they’re about fifty feet higher eevation than we are! My husban’ds jealous…
    My sister has an indoor greenhouse that she uses for all her starts. She’s also into the heirloom seeds and has DOZENS of tomatoes. My kids love eating at her house in the summer becuase they have purple mashed potatos and striped tomatoes!

  25. Two says:

    Your absolutley right-that’s what feels right, I also feel as though that’s how it’s meant to be. This is truly inspiring..Thank you so much for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge