Thursday, February 27, 2014

If you haven't watched this video on "how the wolves change rivers" you should it is so amazing. It is short and to the point. Great for kids studying the ecosystem.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Seed Bank

We are collecting seeds and expanding out tree study to include edible fruits and vegetables this spring. (Science)
1.We sent away for some seeds from the USDA. All older varieties we will blog our results in sprouting rate and growth. We chose seeds the pioneers would have brought with them. Now we are just waiting for them to arrive.
2.We also found some places on line that are sending free seeds if you send them a SASE with a list of what you would like to grow. We choose two to send away for garden seeds from.
3.While we are waiting we are sorting and counting our beans (Math) and putting them into baggies by type for our "seed bank". I know I should be like all no GMO and Organic but first we will build our seed bank and then we can afford to be more picky about the origins of our varieties.
 Gardening from the Grocery Store -- 15 Bean Soup Mix makes 13 different plants (split peas will not sprout).
4. When we go to the farm store and buy seeds we will look for open pollinated and heirloom varieties to buy.
5.The kids are really enjoying looking for seeds from our food produce. I should never have to buy green pepper seed ever again. The ones with four bumps are female and those are full of seeds. I found instructions on how to sprout apple seeds in the refrigerator by putting on  a damp paper towel in a sealed plastic baggie for about a month. We plan to try this the next time I buy apples. We even saved our navel orange seeds for our seed collection.
6.My spice cabinet had various red peppers, chilli peppers,dill, and celery seed.
7. I saved common garden sage seeds from my plants last fall and also planted some in small pots I left out all winter for the kids to see sprout up in spring. I also saved seeds from our Rose of Sharon bushes to add to our flower seed collection. (I had this activity planned for quite some time.)
8. We are cutting pictures out of seed catalogs along with growing instructions for each kind of seed we collect. These we are putting in the baggie with each seed type.(Fine Motor skills)
Brown     Sugar:   2    Tblsp.                 Molasses, 1cup white sugar. Mix         unti      l blended.

 Butter:1 pound shortening, 1/2 salt, 1 2/3 c condensed milk, Whip     the shortening and alt. Add      the condensed milk a little at a time and blend.

Corn  Syrup  :1cup sugar and2 cups water   boil until thickened.

 1 egg=1 tsp              unflavored gelatin

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

We are starting our Veggie Garden Indoors right now. Call it Science and life skills rolled into one.

 How to get seeds for free:
1. Check your spice rack — Many cases you can plant seeds from your spice rack. Some ideas, mustard seed, dill seed, coriander, poppy seed, celery seed. If your spice rack is lacking you can pay a few cents buy a teaspoon of organic spices in bulk. My local Amish grocery store has a section of these.
2. Save seeds and starts from your produce- green peppers, tomatoes, green onion roots, celery bottoms etc.... can all be regrown or started from seeds. 
3. Get free vegetable seeds from the US Government: Have a little experiment or study you want to conduct and report the results on your blog?  Check out the National Plant Germplasm System from the US Department of Agriculture.  Within a database of over 10,000 species of plants you are sure to find some vegetables for your experiments.  Even shipping is included though can be time consuming to find what you are looking for.
4. Buy a bag of soup bean mix-mine had northern beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans 9not sure these will sprout)2 kinds of lima beans, cranberry beans, yellow eye beans, small white beans,navy beans, black beans, kidney beans, white kidney beans, pink beans, and small red beans. It also has splint lentils that will not grow and will need to be picked out. I plan to sort by type and plant a pot of each type.