Archive for 2011

Gardening: You Reap What You Sow!

Thursday, September 29th, 2011
Between potty training, laundry (which I have decided breeds and multiplies in the laundry basket), and answering the dreaded “I’m hungry” plea, I have little time to keep up with current events. Thankfully, I have direct access to the computer and subscribe to my favorite newspapers, magazines, and blogs. I don’t get to read all of them, but if I do find a moment of silence, I am a click away from being caught up. (more…)

Soil Test Report

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011
Recently, I shared a video with you demonstrating how I took a soil sample from my garden.  I brought my “bags of dirt” to our county extension office. For a fee of $10 per bag, the soil would be analyzed and the results would be mailed to me within ten days. (more…)

Nature’s Teachable Moment at Birthday Party

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
I love a good birthday party! One where the kids go home on a sugar high and a happy memory. This past weekend, our four-year-old was turning five. She loves being a cowgirl and insisted on a cowgirl-themed birthday party! We called all cowpokes and invited them to mosey over to our backyard for a rootin’ tootin’ good time! All of our little wrangler friends were encouraged to wear their cowgirl or cowboy duds! (more…)

How to Take a Soil Sample

Thursday, September 15th, 2011
Get the most out of your garden! Dee McKenna, Nutrients For Life blogger, takes you to her backyard and demonstrates how to take a soil sample. (more…)

Grow a Tree; Grow the Child

Friday, September 9th, 2011
Amidst our bedtime routine, my four-year-old daughter was sitting at my side, listening to me read, while she was eating an apple. I was getting annoyed, because the squirmy girl was picking and playing with the apple, rather than just eating it and listening to the story. (more…)

How to freeze sweet corn

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
We love sweet corn in my home! I don’t have to tell my girls twice to eat their vegetables when sweet corn is being served. It’s a homegrown taste that I like to have all year long. Suprisingly, I have NEVER personally grown sweet corn in my garden. Crazy, I know!  In my logic, I think it’s a waste to use up my little backyard garden plot to grow sweet corn when my dad plants acres of it. He grows the most flavorful sweet corn I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. And even better, he likes to share it with his favorite daughter. (more…)

Tips for starting a fall garden

Thursday, September 1st, 2011
Here’s to fall! I have had enough of this summer! How about you? Depending upon where you live, your garden season may not have been as dry and hot as ours. Consider yourself lucky. The daily temperature still feels like summer but now is the time to talk about extending our growing season and planting a fall garden. (more…)

FREE Plant and Soil Science Curriculum for Elementary, Middle, and High School

Friday, August 26th, 2011
With school back in session (thank goodness for routine) I want to remind you that I blog for the Nutrients for Life Foundation. We are an education foundation that has free resources for educators interested in bringing science to life. The Nutrients for Life curriculum, Nourishing the Planet in the 21st Century, is available in three grade levels. Developed and tested by science teachers, the six-lesson curriculum makes the connection between science and everyday life. (more…)

Growing and fertilizing backyard cantaloupe

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011
I have never grown cantaloupe before. First, I had to decide whether to refer to them as cantaloupe or muskmelon. I have heard them called both. I settled on cantaloupe because muskmelon sounds more like a cologne. Apparently, if you smell the melon it smells a little musky, therefore it has the alternative name “muskmelon.” (more…)

Fun with the family at the Iowa State Fair

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
I consider it a great privilege to have always been able to end my summers by attending the Iowa State Fair. It certainly was a highlight of my childhood. Where else can you see the Big Boar, the Big Ram, the Super Bull, and the Butter Cow?  Let me tell you, they are each big and impressive! (more…)

Lessons learned from the Belgian landscape

Friday, August 12th, 2011
My husband had business in Belgium and invited me to go with!  Castles, gardens, and chocolate...why wouldn’t I go? Crazy as it may sound, initially I said no. I gave my dear husband a long list of reasons why I just couldn’t go. For me to leave for a week means calling on family and friends to care for my daily responsibilities. Who would watch the girls, the dog, water the garden, blah, blah, blah? I came to my senses when everyone I shared my reservations with gave me a list of reasons why I should go. That list was longer than my list. I renewed my expired passport and booked a ticket. (more…)