Spring Break

Today is the last day of school for our girls before Spring Break starts. We’re not going to Florida or Mexico or on a cruise. We’re staying home. And the forecast does not look promising. It’s going to be an indoor break. I haven’t told the girls yet, but we’re going be starting some seeds.

Both girls have been helping us in the garden for the last two summers with the harvesting, and the weeding and even though they planted their own small garden last year, I’ve never involved them in the spring seed starting. I’m not really sure why. I enjoy working alone, but like having my kids around. I have some control issues, but love giving my kids an opportunity to learn. It’s possible that my issue is as simple as the fact that most of my work is done while they’re at school.

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Working AND getting along!
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This was the haul that day from the photo above. Mostly herbs, but some kale, lettuce, peas and zucchini also.

It’s been amazing to see the learning taking place with our kids. They’re definitely in a minority around their friends.They’ve questioned why we don’t go on more vacations because that’s what they see their friends doing. They ask us why we want to do this because it’s hard work and the work doesn’t stop when we come inside. They see us putting in 10-12 hour days all summer and into the fall. But they’ve also tasted the produce from the grocery store. They’re as disappointed as we are when we open that last bag of frozen carrots or kale. We’re about to run out of beans from last summer and we find ourselves rationing them because we want them to last just a little bit longer. They’ve tasted the difference and they’re starting to really understand why we’re doing what we’re doing.

I understand that there’s a lot of merit in travelling with kids and taking them all over the world. It’s something that we’ve struggled with. We felt that by moving to our current home we were choosing a homesteading lifestyle and that makes travel difficult. We know there are learning opportunities that our kids are missing out on. I also believe that we’re giving our kids a different set of life skills. A set of life skills that will come in really handy wherever they live and whatever they’re doing.

That means it’s really important for me to give them the full circle education about growing food. Yes, pulling weeds is important and harvesting is really what we do all of this for, but they need to know how to start those plants. And they need to learn about crop rotation. And soil building. And succession planting. And companion plants.

Oh man, I’ve got my work cut out for me. I should maybe go and lesson plan for this school vacation.

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Labour day weekend 2015. Our then 7 year old helped shuck 6 dozen ears of corn. Proof that we really know how to live it up on school vacations!
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