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Needing suggestions for a Kids project  RSS feed

 
                                        
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First of all, someone out there need to write a "permaculture for kids" book.

Second of all, I have thought about letting each of my three kids do their own "keyhole garden" next year.  Given the fact that I am not yet at the point of figuring out what  the easiest and most productive "companion planting/guilds" would be for my area (zone 7), is anyone willing to suggest a list of options I can give my kids for what they may want to include in their own small garden?

This is a big life change we are trying to pull off, and I want my kids to be as involved and excited as possible.

Thanks,
Jim
 
Leah Sattler
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I don't remember how old you said they were but in general its good to stick with things that will give a pretty fast reward and feeling of accomplishment as well as things they can show off and put on the table to feed the family. I would stick to some basic garden staples.

green beans - fast to germinate and provide a harvest and easy to cook and you can generally get kids to eat them (in my experience). green beans want warm weather.

sugar snap peas - my daughter begs me to go down to the garden with her so we can browse through the vines and pick and eat snap peas. few make it into the house except in the best pea years. these are happiest if it is still cool out. highs in the 60's and 70's are best.

"sweet 100" tomatoes - plant these now (if you are frost free) and the kids will have to wait a bit but later in the season they start churning out gobs of grape size super sweet tomatoes. three healthy plants will overwhelm us with grape tomatoes. my daughter (4yrs) will sit and eat sweet 100's till she gets sick and she still can't keep up with them.

marigolds (can't remember the specific species) - these help deter insects near the ground, are easy to grow, pretty and a great introduction to "companion planting"

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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I'm with Leah on her suggestions..but any kinds of beans are fun to watch growing, also summer and winter squashes, pumpkins, cucumbers, and sunflowers are some of the best kids things ..i have a great couple of books on kids gardens..

I'll see if i can't glean some info for you later on them for you..

for the boy..worm composting..he'll love it..esp to feed the bass.

for the girls..i would suggest some flowers that are speciailly girl fun, like hollyhocks (although they take 2 years to grow unles you get plants from a nursery)..they make great skirts for small dolls. snapdragons,

also you can make playhouses in the back by the woods with cuttings from your willows..stuck in the ground they will grow..

so map out a shape..like an alligator, or dragon, or tunnel, or fort..and then plant willow or sunflower around on the lines (or both) make sure there is enough room for the kids to be inside comfortably when the things grow up..

also a hoop or teepee house with green beans for the kids..just saplings tied together at the top with green beans planted at the bottom of each of the saplings..they will grow up and form a tee pee..morning glories will also grow up and some sweet peas might.

the girls would like the morning glories and sweet peas..also while you are waiting for germination..some old blankets tacked up over the poles wold be fun..

see if you can get a couple old telephone poles or long steel beams or something from salvage and put a bridge or dock in at the pond or over the creek.

kids LOVE to make little dams and ponds too..so lots of stones piled in a spot in the creek will make a fun place to play.

then there is always a fort or a tree house..ask around for free oak pallets. for those.

set a tent up in the back and they can catch lightening bugs in a jar, let them go the next moring or later that night.

set up some exercise type games..like a net type games or croquet..

with a push lawnmower make some paths out in the fields..where they can walk...maybe a maze..

they can make birdhouses..with dad's help..free plans all over.

or birdfeeders, suet balls..that will help deter bugs too.

maybe they can set up a field guide of the birds that they spot..a picture and a description..and then study them ..

ok i'll move on
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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i just thought..used book store..pick up wind in the willows, watership downs, little house on the prairie, huck finn, etc.

one of my kids garden books has the family building a wind in the willows replica around a pond..

then there is making a boat to float out on the pond..a little sailboat..that the wind will blow around..
ok now i'm gone
 
Leah Sattler
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oh ! I can't believe I forgot about a sunflower forest! a rather larger stand of the giant size sunflowers is alot of fun for little kids. a hummingbird buffet it great too. if you cover a seating area with feeders )and eventually flowers) they will actually get quite comfortable with humans and kids can get a closeup view. ok. I admit. that is not just for kids. I love it!
 
            
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Location: olympia
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Brenda Groth wrote:
I have a great couple of books on kids gardens..

I'll see if i can't glean some info for you later on them for you..


Which books would you recommend? 

I'm specifically looking for resources for children's gardens in suburban yards, but interested in all related information. 

Thanks!
 
Leah Sattler
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there was a book that my mother had when I was a kid called "growing up green". I thought i swiped it as an adult out of some books she was going to toss. the term 'green' has a different meaning now and I can't find it online. I will see if I can find the book and author.
 
Gwen Lynn
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Is this the book? I found it on amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Up-Green-Education-Ecological/dp/0807737240/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1246110127&sr=1-2


Looks like it's only available in used copies.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
steward
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Location: Missoula, MT
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Gosh, Brenda is the QUEEN of this stuff! 

My kids remember the sunflower house and green bean teepees the best. My daughter hated green beans until she ate them off the vine of her teepee as a youngster. She's loved them ever since.

Anything they can eat, especially berries, is truly inviting. Visiting kids without gardens at home were amazed that you could eat flowers - boys and girls alike. The chive blossoms were the most fun to have kids try. Some loved 'em, some got really funny faces if they didn't like onions! 

Some of my favorite kids books about nature that my kids loved, too, are:

Come to the Meadow, Anna Grossnickle Hines - sweet, gently repetitive story of a daughter asking her family to go on a picnic in the meadow, out of print, but available through the author's website, or perhaps used elsewhere

Bigfoot Cinderrrrrella, by Tony Johnston and James Warhola - hilarious take on Cinderella, with a definite nature moral to the story

Animalia, by Barbara Helen Berger - a classic collection of tales from around the world of sages, saints and mystics who revered and respected animals. Beautiful paintings and hand-lettered pages.

Gwinna, by Barbara Helen Berger - this is an amazing fairytale about being true to yourself and respecting the wisdom in nature. I'm definitely partial to this author for her paintings and prose, though I enjoy some of her books more than others. Two other mythically fantastic stories of hers for younger children are Grandfather Twilight (one of my son's all-time favorites when he was little) and When the Sun Rose (definitely my daughter's favorite story for years).
 
Leah Sattler
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Gwen Lynn wrote:
Is this the book? I found it on amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Up-Green-Education-Ecological/dp/0807737240/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1246110127&sr=1-2


Looks like it's only available in used copies.


no thats not it. ops: where is that thing!!!


found it!!!
http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Children-Parents-Gardening-Together/dp/0911104224%3FSubscriptionId%3D1NJQNZ8AA2VZ71K9Y9G2%26tag%3Dbahaas-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3D0911104224

from in the book...

on a seed

this was the goal of the leaf and the root.
for this did the blossom burn its hour
this little grain is the ultimate fruit
this is the awesome vessel of power......
                  -galbraith
 
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