Happy Halloween from the Garden!

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Hello gardening friends & followers! We haven’t blogged since mid summer!  We temporarily suspended our vegetable gardening and traveled for a little bit.  We are happy to be back working in the garden beds!

We have been composting and replenishing our garden boxes. The purple beans are back (as requested by our little gardeners), and we are bringing indoors a few herbs and a young moringa in preparation for the coming winter. But my favorite thing about fall gardening is the crisp lettuce!!!

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Halloween Crafting: Monster Jar Luminaries

 

When we haven’t been in the garden, we have been playing with the kids.  This month we upcycled some old pickle jars into monster jar luminaries!

 
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We simply:

Painted the glass jars with acrylic paint (careful it stains).

Spray painted the lids.

Used a sharpie to draw on monster faces!

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We hope you are having a wonderful autumn and will have more blog posts coming soon!!!

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Our Orange Themed Backyard Brunch!

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To celebrate summer this year, my little gardeners threw a summer brunch for a few of their friends!  Today I wanted to share with you what nine kids did in our backyard!! First we decided what to do…

“Orange you Glad It’s Summer?!” Themed Brunch

Menu:

Yogurt Bar (different types of yogurt & toppings like granola, raisins, etc)

Fruit Kabobs

Homemade Blueberry Muffins

Homemade Lemon Cookies

Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice, Water & Tea

Activities:

Paint with Oranges

Pick Orange Carrots in the garden

Goodie Bags

 

Prep work

First we cut and dried oranges in the oven. The kids will use them to stamp orange paint on an art canvas.

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We made goodie bags (and tested our orange paint stamping idea). I purchased white paper bags and stamped them with an orange half covered in paint. We filled them with a few goodies: orange water gun, orange pencil & eraser, mango applesauce, Annie’s fruit snacks, a sun craft, and a YummyEarth lollipop. 🙂

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The Party

Guest arrived in the morning… they ate & squeezed their own OJ.

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We made orange prints in the backyard!

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Loved how different each turned out. 🙂

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One family went home and embellished their project a little more! So cute!

IMG952060Before we washed up from the paint, we headed over to the garden to pick carrots. A few of the children had never seen carrots pulled from the ground.

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It was a really fun morning!  We will have a garden update next week!

Happy Summer, Bee

Making Leaf Impressions

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I would like to teach my children (3 & 6 years of age) to be able to identify plants.  They can remember brands and logos, they should be able to remember the shapes of leaves and plants. We spent an hour in the backyard practicing this week.

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I am always looking for fun ways to incorporate identification into backyard play. I saw an idea on Pinterest to make prints with leaves. We took it a step further and labeled the prints when they were dry.

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First we went on a leaf hunt and gathered leaves of different shapes and sizes. Then we got out some finger paint and paper.

leafprints4I grabbed some wipes for afterwards and let the kids get messy.

leafprints3When both the paper and the leaves were dry, the kids matched them up and labeled the paper.

Here are some more ideas:

Learn to Identify Poisonous Plants in Florida

FloridianNature.com has 3 pages with photos of common poisonous Florida plants.

The Tree Identification Guide at arborday.org  is a great site!!!

Off to pick some tomatoes in the garden!

Thanks, Bee

Backyard DIY Vase

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We love upcycling materials around the house. One weekend while playing in the backyard, the little gardeners gathers up a bunch of sticks from our rain tree.  We decided to glue them to a washed tin can to make a little backyard vase.

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Materials:

tin can, or other recycled container

sticks

hot glue

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We left the sticks different lengths to help arrange and hold the flowers.

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We doubled up the stick layers to cover the aluminum.  You could also paint the tin can for a little extra color to show through.

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We’ve been enjoying flowers in our eco-friendly little vase all week!

Thanks, Bee

www.backyardFLgardening.com

Finger Knitting in the Rain

Florida gardening is always tough in August. The afternoon thunderstorms have been fierce.  Sometimes we lose power, and sometimes it is good just to unplug everything while the lightning dances around us.  Whatever the reason we have found ourselves inside with no electricity listening to the storms this month.

So, I decided to teach the little gardeners how to finger knit. I loved to do it as a child, so I really enjoyed teaching my six-year-old how to create beautiful pieces of yarn rope. 

    

The three-year-old did her best to finger knit as well. 😉

Our finger knitting yarn has made us crowns, bracelets, and necklaces to dress up with.  Check out the Pinterest board I created with some great tutorials and ideas on Finger Knitting!

September kicks off Fall Gardening here in the deep south!  This weekend we are prepping the garden beds and starting our indoor seeds.  Happy Gardening (and Finger Knitting)!