Posts Tagged ‘family’

Pick Strawberries Near You!

Friday, May 20th, 2016
Today is Pick Strawberries Day! Have you and your family been out to pick these delicious berries right off the plant yet this spring? There's something wonderful about fresh strawberries eaten straight from the plant.  With each bite, one can taste the careful care taken to produce the delicious red fruit. (more…)

5 Fun Activities to Celebrate Earth Day!

Monday, April 18th, 2016
Dig into the Earth on Earth day. Less than 3% of the entire Earth’s surface is ideal for growing our food.  So why not, dig in and experience it. Here are some fun ideas: (more…)

Fall Lawn and Garden Update

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015
Harvest here in Northwest Iowa will wrap up soon. Lush green fields have been replaced with brown stubble. I enjoy watching the combines roll over the fields and grain dust fill the air. I often pause and reflect that harvest, whether it in a field or a garden, is the result of hard work and yields food for all of us. Here are a few updates and tips for preparing your lawn and garden for spring. I am savoring these gorgeous fall days! Have you taken the time to rake up (I mean play in...) the leaves? Leaves provide organic matter to the soil. Mulching mowers break down the leaves and allow your yard to benefit from its organic matter. Leaves also can be added to the garden. As they breakdown they deposit organic matter into the soil. Fall is a great time to divide most perennials. Dividing in the fall gives plants time to set new roots before the summer heat. Before replanting, add compost to the soil. This will replenish nutrients that were lost and builds the soil fertility. I am ready to put the lawnmower away for winter. I complain about mowing, but I’ll be the first to admit, I love a green lush lawn. To ensure a green lawn next spring, I apply a winterizer fertilizer. Winter care for your lawn is a great habit to start and your local garden centers will have what you need. I have a few favorite perennials in the landscape. Each fall, I collect the seeds from my favorites and save the seed to spread in the spring. Daffodils and Tulips! I just don’t think I can ever plant too many. Our 4-H Clover Kids planted tulips and daffodils in the city park. We tucked the bulbs into the ground and said, “See you in…

Do You Preserve Your Harvest?

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015
It's that time of the year! The time when your excess harvest can be put to great use by preserving it for the cooler months to come. Grandma’s Kook-Kwick Pressure Cooker manual was handed down to me. The manual is most likely from the 1950’s and tells me that a properly filled pantry is the result of careful planning in advance. (more…)

Garden Calendar: August Tips

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
It was a root and tuber kind of weekend; we pulled carrots and dug potatoes. The harvest makes me thankful for the hours of sweat I put into keeping the weeds out and the soil fertile. August finds me in the kitchen preserving produce from the garden. It makes for some long days but it is well worth it! (more…)

Garden Calendar: June Tips

Monday, June 1st, 2015
There is lots of gardening to do in June! The garden is growing and so are the weeds! Check out my garden help; don’t let the photo fool you. They were in the garden for less than fifteen minutes, but I’ll take what I can get. (more…)

On Gardening & Mother’s Day

Friday, May 8th, 2015
There is a nursery tucked into the rural Iowa Loess Hills which grows the most amazing flowers! I have been looking forward to visiting all year and finally my friend and I squeezed a Monday morning trip into our busy spring schedules. (more…)

From The Ground Up: The Science of Soil Year Two Launch!

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
Today we are launching new activities and features on From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil! Early in 2014, Nutrients for Life Foundation expanded its reach into the digital world through a partnership with Discovery Education, From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil (FTGU).  Together, the two organizations created a microsite with a collection of digital activities, interactive lesson plans, career spotlights and videos all about soil science and crop nutrients. FTGU is designed to extend the success of Nutrients for Life’s Nourishing the Planet in the 21st Century curriculum by providing cutting-edge, educational and dynamic multimedia content designed to engage 21st century classrooms. Now in year two, the Foundation is looking ahead and planning a virtual field trip, three new video segments, an interactive digital exploration activity, two additional fertilizer industry career spotlights, and two more at-home family learning activities. Family Activities More than ever, consumers are looking to buy high quality and responsibly sourced food. There has never been a better time to get into agriculture-related fields, but many students and their families are unaware of the myriad careers in this sector, particularly those that relate to science, technology, math, and engineering. This fall, a family activity will introduce students and their families to different career paths related to agriculture and soil science. Students will work with their parents to assess their skills and interests and then match those skills and interests to different career options, such as engineering, fertilizer blending and spraying in the agriculture sector. Another family activity will feature an overview of the ‘farm-to-food’ supply chain. Farmers are the first step in the food chain that feeds the world. Every part of the farm-to-food supply chain requires human and/or natural resources and, when one part of the chain is affected, they are all…

Nutrients in the Garden 20: Pumpkins & Peanuts

Monday, October 6th, 2014
We did it! For the first time ever, we grew pumpkins and peanuts! Adding new crops to the garden keeps our fingernails dirty and our interested peaked. From one seed packet, costing $1.99 we picked 15 pumpkins!! If I had bought 15 pumpkins at $4.00 each, I would have spent $60. Growing the pumpkins was relatively easy this year. I fertilized twice, watered regularly, hoed weeds A LOT, and didn’t have any insect problems. We are definitely going to plant pumpkins again next year. Who knew they would be so heavy? I didn’t know anything about growing peanuts. I wanted to try something new and peanuts were for sale with the other seed last spring. I said, “let’s try it,” and threw the packet in the shopping cart. I am so glad I did. We have been talking about the peanuts all summer, anticipation of what it growing beneath the soil. Our plants were just beginning to turn yellow and that is when the seed packet said to harvest.  We pulled the plant up and much to our amazement, there were cute peanuts attached to the roots. We shook the soil off and studied the little nuts! Although they are harvested, the peanuts have to dry before we can eat them. We are going to hang them in the garage for a month. Oh, I hope they taste good and don’t disappoint my hopes! I think we will try them raw and roasted.  Did you know that it takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12 ounce jar of peanut butter? Could this be the beginning of a Halloween costume? I would recommend adding pumpkins or peanuts to any home or school garden. Kids easily related to the big orange squash and the delicious taste of peanut butter. Both of…

Nutrients in the Garden 20: End of the Season

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Here we are at the end of another garden season. The hail set me back, for some of you it was grasshoppers, deer or disease. As I harvest the last of the summer veggies, I am taking notes on what grew well and what didn’t.   (more…)

10 Reasons to Visit Your Farmers Market

Friday, July 18th, 2014
While I wait for my garden to mature, I support my local farmers market and road side stands. I have always been grateful for farmers markets. They have given me fresh produce when I didn’t have the time and space to plant my own garden. During my youth, the farmers market was a source of income (and entertainment) for my family. (more…)