Green fingers

The unschooling diaries: week twenty-four

I have never had much luck with growing things, but it seems that with my green-fingered assistant by my side my fortunes are starting to change. In fact our little veg patch, which we planted together about six weeks ago, is almost growing too fast for its own good!

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Before we actually started planting, we had lots of fun getting the ground prepared – pulling out the weeds and making sure the earth was well and truly turned over. Most mornings Arthur would be straight out there in his wellies and pyjamas, and we even discovered the thrills of making volcanoes after our trip to see them in Lanzarote.

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It was almost a shame when our plants arrived, but Arthur helped me then too – watering in the seedlings and positioning his scarecrow to watch over the growing crops.

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He was particularly interested in the potatoes – not just because they’re used to make chips, but also because he couldn’t quite believe that actual potatoes would turn into plants. He watched the planter for a while, hoping to see some evidence that this was true, but reluctantly accepted in the end that it might take a little bit longer than he was willing to wait…

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As time went on, he was brilliant at reminding me to water the plants as they grew – though with all the rain we’ve had that hasn’t been such an issue!

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In fact the rain might be one of the reasons why the garden has just exploded in the last couple of weeks! I’m actually thinking I might have to transfer some of the plants to pots, having paid very little heed to the recommended planting distances…

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Arthur has loved watching his garden grow – especially because we came up with an alternative place for muddy play in the shape of an old planter. He’s dying to taste his peas, but only the lettuces and the spinach are really ready for harvesting. We checked on the carrots the other day, but I think they have a way to go yet too… And would definitely benefit from not being completely overshadowed by pumpkin leaves.

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What we did find, though, when we were looking through the leaves, was a little cluster of caterpillars – the perfect subjects for our next metamorphosis project! After demolishing the lettuce we sacrificed to feed them, they are now resting in their cocoons. Once again I suspect I might be even more excited about the change to come than Arthur is, though he’s enjoyed reading about their life cycle – and revisiting The Very Hungry Caterpillar of course.

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All in all this year’s garden is turning in to a wonderful learning space. I think I may try to keep it going right through Autumn and Winter so we can explore what grows in the changing seasons – the thought of home-grown food all year round is pretty enticing too, even if we might not enjoy quite such lushness as we’ve got right now.

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

8 thoughts on “Green fingers

  1. ethannevelyn.com

    Aww… bless him watching and waiting for the potatoes to grow. I think I need a bag or two of those – my kids can’t seem to keep still. lol! This might be the trick! What a lovely veggie house there and what a lovely helper too! 🙂 #CountryKids

    Reply
  2. Coombe Mill

    What a wonderful learning space it is. You make me feel guilty at how little we have done. My greenhouse is being overtaken by slugs and snails at the moment who are taking more than their fair share of my tomatoes! I love the beans in the bag too, I’d never thought to grow them like this. Good luck with the caterpillars, a great project to watch them grow and transform even if they have eaten the lettuces.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

    Reply
  3. Michelle Twin Mum

    Those raised boxes are fabulous and yes growing so well, that is one good thing about the rain. Mich x #CountryKids

    Reply
  4. Merlinda Little ( @pixiedusk)

    Awww the best way to learn is to experience it! This is such a lovely journey and thanks for sharing. Your plants looks lush and so worth giving it to the caterpillars! Love reading this, such a lovely way to educate kids!
    #countrykids

    Reply
  5. Heidi (@Him_Me_Three)

    What an amazing veggie patch. We have a much smaller garden this year as we moved house so I decided to plant in pots but very little is growing. I’m useless at growing anything!

    #countrykids

    Reply
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