Friday, April 19, 2013

The Budding Blue Botanist

I have so many partial posts that I haven't gotten around to finishing up yet, because there's just a LOT to them. So many parts and pieces to finish up. Lots of pictures, lots of ideas, and a theory or two behind homeschooling. That's right, we're homeschooling for real now. Sometime in the winter, the online charter school changed their policies on moving kids up a curriculum level, and Jack had finished TWO language arts levels. But that's another post. Another half-finished post that I will eventually slow down and post for anybody that's reading! This is not that post. This is a post about my budding blue botanist, and the awesome spring time we're having here.

Yesterday, we went on a field trip with my mother. If you're in or near Atlanta, Scottsdale Farms and Bella Luna Cafe is DEFINITELY worth a visit. Warning: TAKE CASH! You'll want it! We went for their children's event. Jack was the oldest by a good bit, but the ladies running it were absolutely brilliant with him and told him that "with age comes privilege." In his case, that meant the ability to make extra biscuits, carry the biscuits to the oven in Bella Luna's kitchen, and pick a story at story time. It also means that next time we go, he gets to not only PICK a story for story time, but read it to the younger kids! He had a blast making biscuits, reading stories, EATING the biscuits with fresh local honey, and playing with the other kids in their demo garden. It was lovely.

After this, my mom treated us to lunch at Bella Luna, the cafe inside Scottsdale Farms' gift shop. Jack had "the Jake" - a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich on crustless whole wheat bread with apple slices and fresh squeezed organic lemonade. I had the most beautiful fresh, organic salad with fresh vegetables and cherry walnut vinaigrette. I also cashed in on my free chocolate caramel latte with almond milk. And their water! Oh their water! It's infused with cucumbers, and they have fresh mint leaves and lemon wedges to put in the cup! Glorious! (mind, I have a pitcher of filtered water in my fridge that is ALSO infused with cucumber, lemon, and fresh mint). It was an inspired lunch, with "Jake" the flower-lady's small black lab mix at our feet.

Then off for our awesome botany lesson and tour of their nurseries. Jack learned the difference between annuals and perennials and also between deciduous and evergreen trees. We looked at all the plants, and walked for well over two hours exploring everything. He was enthralled by the flowering blue daze plants, so when his Mema told him at the end of the tour that he could pick out one plant to buy, he went IMMEDIATELY to the blue daze, and picked up the plant he wanted. Before my mother and I had even settled on the two lantana plants for my butterfly garden (which soon will also have purple verbena and a butterfly bush or two), he came back with the plant he wanted. He was able to tell my mom that it's an annual that grows in full sun! So that was his first plant. He walked through the shop to check out, proudly showing off his blue daze to anyone who cared (and probably a lot of people who didn't), and he's been so excited and proud of the plant since.

So, now, he's into this gardening idea. We're in the process of setting up a notebook journal for his gardening project this spring and summer. Yes. Project. What started as ONE flowering blue daze in a pot has become a HUGE project. We're planning several garden plots and flower beds in our yard, and I am hoping it works out, because if it does, it will be fantastic.

Today, we were in a store looking for a birthday gift for Jack's baseball best friend (baseball is another post. I promise I will explain that one too, with pictures, adorable, wonderful pictures!), and they had a BUNCH of seed packs on sale between 10 and 33 cents each. So we bought some. Okay, more than some. We bought a TON of seeds! Jack is planting his own BLUE flower bed, some herbs, and a vegetable plot!

His blue garden contains:
  • Flowering blue daze
  • blue morning glories
  • blue mink algeratum
  • blue cupid's dart
  • blue flax
  • Chinese blue forget-me-nots
We also picked up these flowers:
  • Marigold
  • Morning Glory
  • Columbine
  • African Daisy
  • Wild Flower Mix
  • Aster
  • Zinnia
  • Ageratum
  • Sunflower
  • Echinacea
Vegetables:
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Contender Bean
  • Cherokee Wax Bean
  • Cucumber
  • Bush Blue Lake Bean
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet Corn (GMO free!)
  • Carrot
  • Radish
  • Turnip
And Herb
  • Dill
So we got home today, in the cold and the mist, and Jack DEMANDED that we start our project. He wouldn't relent. So we started turning over dirt and turf to make flower beds, and we mapped out where we want to plant what. It's great how excited he is about this, and I hope that our gardens turn out lovely!