By the time we'd finished breakfast, the day was gray, but the drizzle was over so out we went. This is one of my favorite times of year, and gardening provides so many learning opportunities that I don't feel the least bit bothered when we abandon the books to weed and dig.
I did most of the weeding. The gents were busy creating a river with the hose. Right now they're working on getting the river to curve and creating banks that prevent it from turning into a lake before it gets to the designated lake area. Hands-on engineering at its finest, with no helpful advice from Mom.
Eventually they abandoned the river to help me dig. I just turned the soil in the boxes, trying to get the last of the stubborn roots and loosen things up a little. I love digging with my guys. They're delighted by everything they find: peach pits, crawly things, roly-polies (or pill bugs or potato bugs), roots, spiders, worms. They adopted a few worm pets and named them. Wiggly was one of the worms, a big fat one.
We let the chickens out of the side yard. The garden isn't fenced, so once we get things planted they won't be able to roam the yard for a while. The chickens decided that hanging around digging humans is a great way to get an easy lunch. The gents experimented to find out just what the chickens will and won't eat. Weeds, no. Rocks, no. Grass that's been tossed at them by grubby children, no. Worms, yes. They will eat the fat squashy caterpillars that I dug out of the garden boxes. Like chicken candy. Ew. I still haven't been able to identify the caterpillars because the caterpillar identification sites I visited assumed that I could actually see how many segments the caterpillars had. Too bad we fed them all to the chickens. I figure whatever they are, they probably aren't good for the garden. I believe I mentioned that the chickens will also eat worms. I fed the chickens the worms I found floating in the gent's lake. Oops. Apparently Wiggly and friends were going for a swim in the lake for fun.
So we started a worm hunt. The gents have quite a worm collection by now. Tomorrow we'll make worm farms.
The littlest guy was just happy that his brothers had abandoned the hose, leaving him free to water everything in sight, including himself. Look at that little face. Darn, he's cute.
Tomorrow we're heading to the garden store to choose our seeds, and to the library. Here are a few of the books we'll be checking out: How a Seed Grows (Let's Read and Find Out Science),
How a Seed Grows (Let's Read and Find Out Science),Helen J. Jordan, Ill. by Loretta Krupinski. I haven't read this one before, but it looks lovely.
Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots, Sharon Lovejoy. My friend Dawn recommended this book. I can't wait to read it. This looks like a book we'll eventually own.
From Seed to Plant, Gail Gibbons. We've checked this out from the library twice already. Like all Gail Gibbons books, the illustrations are fantastic, simple but accurate. The gents really liked this one, choosing it for bedtime reading several times.
Growing Vegetable Soup, Lois Ehlert. We're Lois Ehlert fans. This is one of our many Ehlert favorites, a story about growing a vegetable garden with the ingredients for vegetable soup. Just lovely.