Sep
28
2011
1

Alexander the Grape

A couple of years ago Dan’s parent gave us some cuttings from their grape vines.  Let me start by saying these grapes are amazing.  They are small champagne grapes and are so sweet and delicious with a flavor like none I’ve found at the store.  They are perfect for kids to watch grow and eat – even our littlest one.  The first year the cuttings were literally just sticks in the ground.  The following year they had grown enough to call it a vine and had sprouted leaves.  Last year I think we may have gotten a couple of grapes even, but this year is the year they really began to bear fruit.

I would love to experiment with grape juice and jelly and I know Dan would love to try his hand at wine, but they get eaten up so quickly there is never enough to preserve.  Our littlest one (who is almost one) does not crawl yet, but scoots around on his bottom.  Whenever he sees someone come in with grapes in their hand goes crazy and scoots over faster than I would think is possible.  We dried one clump in the dehydrator just to see what these taste like as raisins and to be honest I think they lose too much flavor that way.  They are definitely preferable fresh.

The bummer about these vines is that our long term plan for the garden includes a replacement retaining wall and new (non-chain link) fence.  This winter we may try to remove the vines from the fence and create an  arbor that they can live on permanently.

Written by alicia in: Garden,Kids | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment
Feb
19
2011
0

The Chickens are Laying Again!

Alicia texted me this morning while I was out saying “2 eggs in the coop today”, which is exciting because they haven’t laid since October or so. Maybe it was that huge full moon last night. When I got home Robbie and I went out to collect the bounty and pose for this picture. By that time there was a third egg, so spring has officially arrived.

(Note: Right after snapping this photo, Robbie decided to drop the eggs on the ground, and one broke, so we’re back down to 2 eggs.)

Sep
05
2010
1

Hannah’s Crop

We allowed Hannah to choose one crop for the garden this year (Robbie is not yet rational enough to be given gardening authority) and she chose baby bear pumpkins.  Pumpkins are such a great crop for kids to watch since they can really see them growing on the vine and turning colors.  Each day since its emergence she checked on it and the day finally came for the first one to be picked.  She really wanted to carve it, but we convinced her that drawing faces with washable markers was almost as cool.

Hannah and her baby bear

Written by alicia in: Garden,Kids | Tags: , , | 1 Comment
Sep
02
2010
0

Tomato Love

Its been a very mild (some would say non-existent) summer in the Northwest.  Add to this the fact that tomatoes are notoriously hard to grow here anyway and I am surprised we have anything to show from our tomato starts this year.  We had good luck last year growing our tomatoes in the hoop house.  This year, however, not much has grown out back, but we’ve had great luck with the cherry tomato plant in our front bed.  Who knows why it did so well.  We assumed it got a lot of radiant heat from the concrete stairs behind it, but what to we know?

Its great to be able to go outside grab a handful of tomatoes when a meal arrives.  I actually do not really like raw tomatoes (shudder, gasp – gardener treason!) but my kids love them.  Tonight for dinner I grabbed a cucumber, a handful of tomatoes and a bowl of blackberries (courtesy of our neighbor’s out of control bushes that are trailing over the fence) and had dinner.  Of course the protein of tonight’s dinner was frozen chicken nuggets, but no one’s perfect right?  Anyway it seems everyday there is another harvest of tomatoes to serve up and we may have permanently found a new place for our heat loving plants.

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