Archive for the ‘Human Children’ Category

Scenes From an Elementary School Garden

This is the time of year that I spend my weekends planting and by Monday, I’m so sore I can’t move. Today is one of those Mondays. My hands barely work. Instead of typing out one of the stories from our weekend of laboring at Redemption, I’m just going to post a few photos from Live Oak Elementary School’s garden. Last week we sold and donated about 35 plants to the garden. I’m sure the project director, Nesh is busy putting the plants in the ground this week, maybe she feels like I do.

I’m was excited to find out that Live Oak Elementary School has a garden. I’m sure it’s not easy to justify with budget cuts but I think it’s a very important endeavor. There are tons of studies behind it but nothing but good things happen when kids get involved in growing food.

We are proud to support projects that connect kids with their food. We like anything that unplugs our children and gets them outside connecting to their food. If you know of a non-profit garden project in need of plants, let us know, we would be happy to donate plants or other things they may need.


Dan Quayle Got a Bad Deal

Do you remember when Dan Quayle caused the downfall of his political career by misspelling potato?

Do you know that he was actually working off of a flashcard prepared by a teacher? I’m not defending him, I’m just saying he wasn’t the only dummy in the room that day. So I ponder now, if two idiots make the same mistake, do they cancel each other out?

Now that Dan Quayle has taken the heat off of me, let me tell you about my tater drama. The Weather Channel and Weather Underground agree that it will be less than rainy for 10 days, so I have decided to prepare my taters for planting. I bought them a few weeks ago and have been keeping them in the pantry, which I thought would be a nice cool, dark spot for them to rest. Apparently, I misunderestimated (that’s a George W. Bush word) the climate in the pantry. When I opened up the tater bags I found this:

My spuds are sprouting. Their little tendrils of roots are snaking though the mesh bags. It’s like a scene from horror film. Invasion of the Tater Snatchers!

Here’s a lovely shot of my All-Blues:

It came from the fields. AAAAHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGG!

My Red Thumbs:

Just when you thought you were safe on the farm….AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHGGGGG!

My La Ratte’s:

Now, here’s my Dan Quayle moment: This is not the first time this has happened to me. Last year, the exact same thing happened. I put the taters on top of the fridge, where it is not cool and dark, and I forgot them. They lived there for months.By the time I remembered them, they were already a living, breathing life form. AAAAAAHHHHHHHGGGGGG!

OK, enough of the B-rate dramatics. In all reality, there’s no permanent damage to the spuds and it’s highly unlikely they are going to take over the house or eat the children. Quite the opposite actually; the colored taters encourage kids to eat them. Those kids loved the pink mashed potatoes last year and the pink potato pancakes that followed. In fact, I think I’ve said it before, there’s nothing the kids don’t like about growing potatoes. They are kind of a mystery. You cut up a potato, shove it in the ground. Don’t forget to water (this is a very important lesson for kids growing plants, I wish someone would have taught this to me earlier.) One day we have waist-high plants with flowers then next thing you know, we’re ripping up whole plants and like magic, the dirt is full of potatoes. If we want to have some extra fun, we can monitor the growth of our spuds by sticking our hands down into the soft dirt and feeling for spuds. Dirt and food are two of the kids favorite things. Wine and food are my two favorite things. I digress.

So what do I do for my potatoes in my garden? I give them lots of compost. They are nutrient sucks. I also watch the water so I don’t rot them. I have issues monitoring my water. I use too much or too little. I admit it because admitting it is the first step to recovery. I also don’t use soil that’s had previous issues. I haven’t had potato disease issues but that’s only becauseĀ  But you don’t need me to tell you how to grow potatoes. There’s an entire internet of information out there.

This info is a bit technical but still OK for the everyday gardener. (It’s also where I got my seed potatoes.)

The Mother Earth News article. They never cease to be relevant. I love Mother.

And if you don’t have enough ground, try Love Apple Farm’s instructions for growing potatoes in pots.

Now go forth and get your french fry on. You won’t regret it. Actually, you’ll thank me. Make sure to thank me in comments so the whole world can know how Redemption Organics changed your world.

Also, don’t forget to find us on Facebook.

Child Labor

Don’t tell OSHA but I’ve been forcing the kids into child labor again. Actually, I’m so evil and clever that they don’t even know they don’t want to do it. They think it’s fun. There’s a reason I’ve asked them to call me the Evil Step-Monster.

The site where we put the garden must have been some sort of free form garden at some point. Last year we noticed there were Naked Lady bulbs all over as we dug up the garden. I attributed it to a fluke and ignored the problem. I gave the bulbs I dug up to Moo who re-homed them to a different area of the property. I had no idea what vicious reproducers those bulbs are. We had seven tiny plant with flowers last year. Two weeks ago, we had this:

And that was only half of them. By the time I thought to take a photo of all the plants, we had already removed a good portion of them. The kids and I spent the better part of two hours digging the bulb out of the garden beds and the middle of the aisle way.

The ground in the garden is ridiculously hard. I took all of my strength to pry the bulbs out. It took even more of the kids strength. The Boy was hopping around on top of that shovel like crazy. We actually did have a good time and it was worth the muscle soreness the next day

I wish these things were edible. We have a whole wagon load of them. Moo says she’s going to plant them other places. I just hope she plants them in places where we won’t have to do this again. It was fun, but I can think of some other things we could be doing. Maybe I can convince them that fence painting is fun. Oh wait, I already did that. Call me Tom Sawyer. How come I don’t have this power with my adult friends? Hey, does anyone want to help us drywall? It will be really fun. Bueller? Anyone?

Maybe you just want to lend me your children instead?

Growing Kids in the Garden

We had the kids all week while we worked on the ranch. Dave put in more posts for the fence and I caught up on some much neededĀ fertilizing and watering. The 11 year old, Moo, took the camera into the garden and here is what she brought back (many of these photos were taken on a wrong light setting with the camera so they appear blue):

Here is the young photographer herself: