Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Project- Update on my Garden and Seed Collecting

Earlier this summer I did a post on my garden. Thank you all for the kind feedback on it and interest in the garden. This was my first garden and the kids and I really enjoyed working on it. We were able to get corn out of it, a few green beans, a couple of zuchinni (squash bugs got into it and killed most of it), lots of peppers, which we are going to try pickling, a few carrots, strawberries, and tomatoes and basil. We also grew zinnias and black eyed susans, which were perfect for cutting and using indoors as fresh floral arrangements.

                                   My son, Gabe, picking a peck of pickled peppers (sorry, had to say it).

I think we met our goals for the garden. My goal was to have a fun learning experience with the children but also to use the garden as a vehicle for saving money on herbs and veggies. I will say that my biggest mistake was not planting enough. For example, we only planted five green bean plants. I learned that although they did produce, five plants was not enough to serve five people! We would pick what was available and then have enough for maybe one serving for one person. We had the same problem with the corn; we'd pick two ears, cook it for the kids, and they'd beg for more! Unfortunately, there wasn't more to be had!

So next year I will likely do a bigger garden. I was amazed at what grew. Since I had never done a garden before, I had no idea what to expect. For example, I planted corn on our front patio, thinking it wouldn't grow, and lo and behold it all produced!

Now fall is approaching, as well as Hurricane Irene. The hurricane should make landfall late tonight so as part of our preparations we decided to do a final cutting of the zinnias. They are so tall that I doubt they'll make it through the hurricane. We made a pretty floral arrangement and as a hurricane project while we are cooped up in the house, the kids are helping me harvest seeds from the flowers and store them for next year. It's so amazing how a packet of maybe 20 seeds costs $1.00-$2.00, but from one flower you can gather about 100 seeds! We have probably 100 flowers, so you do the math! We will have thousands of seeds and I can't wait to use them in our garden next year!

See our video below about how to gather seeds from zinnias (and other flowers for that matter).

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