Posts Tagged ‘contest’

I have been watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and have been completely appalled by how our children eat.  The lack of knowledge of fruits and veggies is stunning…shocking that we have come so far from our food source that children cannot recognize many common vegetables.

When I was active in the WSU Master Gardener program my specialty was teaching people to garden with children.  That in of itself was so foreign to me as I cannot remember a time that I did not know how to garden.  Having to go and purposely teach parents to include their kids in their gardens seemed so strange.  But I enjoyed my time with parents that were eager to make their gardens more child friendly.  I also went around to schools and set up school gardens…which was very rewarding, and a also bit challenging!

I still have a deep passion for trying to get adults to include children in the garden.  Our next generation needs to know where their food comes from.  They need to know how to grow real food.  They need to know how to take care of the earth that gives us such bounty…

To that end I have started a summer long children’s gardening series and contest over at the farm.  I know I am preaching to the choir here at Not Dabbing in Normal as most of us are gardeners that love to have our kids with us.  But there is a whole world filled with folks that need a little push to include the little ones.

This is where you all come in…I am asking you a favor.

I would love it if you would come on over and join us.  I would love to include the readers here because as more experienced gardeners than most, I think your ideas and ‘can do‘ attitude would go miles to inspiring the beginners and newbies to gardening with kids.  All you need to do is let me know either here or there that you want to join us…I’ll add you to my blogroll.

And if you need more incentive…I’m awarding prizes for the most creative gardens that include children’s features!

So if you are a pro at building sunflower houses or bean tepees.  If you have some creative ways of growing veggies to appeal to kids or if you can teach us how to build a killer scarecrow…please join us!

This will be a weekly series that runs every Thursday all summer long with the winners being chosen in September.  We will have all summer to plan, create, and grow the most amazing children’s gardens.

But most importantly we will have a chance to show other parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or neighbors how fun it can be to share the love and wonder of gardening with the next generation!

This is so important if we are going to reclaim our food system…we must get our kids involved.  They must know how to grow their own food or know that real food comes from the farmer down the road, from the farmer’s market or CSA and NOT from a box that was made months ago somewhere across the country…or world!

OK…I’m done ranting and preaching to the choir!

Thanks…you guys rock!

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On Friday’s during March we do a weekly wrap-up about how we’re all doing for the Real Food Challenge. ***comment with your wrap-up by Sunday and you’ll be entered to win a garden seed collection (winner chosen, congrats Xan)


This time of the year is busy for anyone who loves to garden like we do here at Chiot’s Run. I’ve been spending the days working outside, cleaning out flowerbeds and planting lettuces, radishes and peas for late spring meals. So far I’ve been able to plant: peas (2 different kinds), radishes, spinach, lettuce, and arugula. I started seeds indoors for broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes and peppers. Along with all the seed starting for spring/summer/fall veggies, I grew some sprouts on the kitchen windowsill for eating this week. We enjoyed them yesterday atop pizza. I gave some to my mom and my sister to eat on and we kept the rest for ourselves. It’s amazing how many sprouts 2 tablespoons of seeds will produce (note to self, use fewer seeds next time).

We also harvested our first salad from the garden. I had some mache, or corn salad, growing in the garden that overwintered (wonderful little hardy green if you live in cold area). If I had more planted we could have been eating it all winter long. I also harvested some wild garlic mustard, which is an invasive weed that grows all throughout our gardens. I harvest the plants and we really enjoy eating them, they make a nice spicy green. The salad was topped with a homemade maple mustard vinaigrette, which is the house dressing here at Chiot’s Run.

I made a batch of crackers using this recipe. I used half freshly ground whole wheat flour, and I must say, they’re delicious. They taste kind of like wheat thins (not as sweet). I used my pasta roller to roll them out thinly, which is a trick I learned when making flatbread. They were super easy to make and made a delicious wholesome snack! I made some fresh flour tortillas on Tuesday, two batches some all white and some whole grain. I used this recipe, but I added organic vegetable shortening instead of oil to the recipe (and I added more than the recipe called for). Making homemade tortillas isn’t new for me, I’ve been making them for years. We don’t eat them very often though, often opting for sourdough bread. I’m thinking of experimenting with making overnight sourdough tortillas, I think I could make some them healthier and even tastier this way.

All-in-all it was a good week for the Real Food Challenge. We ate lots of seasonal foods. Squash was front and center this week with a few meals of butternut squash with brown rice (a variation of this recipe) and a few meals and butternut squash soup. We enjoyed quesadillas with homemade tortillas filled with local pastured chicken, local cheese, corn from the freezer and lentils. A few salads were enjoyed as well sided with venison burgers on homemade sourdough bread topped with caramelized onions and homemade pear chutney. It was a week of delicious homemade meals that provided much needed energy for all the chores we had to get done.


Kim here…I must say that I would call this week the ‘Rice and Egg Week’!  I was totally sick of homemade bread (is that possible?).  So instead of bread at most meals there was baked brown rice.  My big kids ate it with peanut sauce and my little ones opted for soy sauce or a sprinkling of local cheese.  I also made a lentil chili that we ate over rice.

Our hens started laying this week so every day my kids have begged for egg sandwiches!

I will say that these are almost too pretty to eat!

On a darker note there was the China Apple Juice Incident…enough about that.

I also found two York Peppermint Patty wrappers in the laundry…which nobody confessed to0!

My hubby was thrilled when a co-worker gave him some elk-sausage.  He has not found a local source of meat and since I’m buying any at the super market he has been meatless this month.  I won’t let him eat the camel…

We will have spinach soon and a few other greens.  My peas are a couple of inches high now.  I even have dandelion greens (which aren’t my family’s favorite) that I will harvest soon.

So as we head into the end of the month my only major break in our challenge will be this weekend when it is Sweet Girl’s 7th birthday.  She wants subway (not the restaraunt) sandwiches with a packaged veggi-bologna she loves.  So I will be buying that.  She also want a rainbow cake with organic jelly beans making up the rainbow…it is a tradition.  And since I have no clue how to make jelly beans I will be going to the health-food store for those too!

But overall it hasn’t been too bad…although I am sooooooo ready for a fresh tomato!


We had another very full week here at Unearthing this Life. The arrival of bees and chicks within days of each other, plus gardening, and a family gathering – well, let’s just say it really threw my schedule out of whack. This past weekend we did not eat one home-cooked meal. We were so busy with preparations for our new family additions that we took the easy way out for lunch on Saturday. That evening we had a double date with some new friends and Sunday followed up with a good ol’ Southern potluck.
cinnamon swirl

Once we got all the excess sodium out of our systems we were able to pick right back up where we left off with lots of good real food. I baked some cinnamon swirl bread with dried cranberries, and we had rabbit stew with turnips and sweet potatoes, even some bison burgers with homemade hamburger buns (substituted 1/3 whole wheat). I’ve had a horrendous craving for bright colored fruit and I’ve been experimenting with a mixed fruit oatmeal crisp using frozen stores from last year’s crop. Not as good as Kim’s I’m sure, but it was good enough to feed my cravings. The freezer has been hit hard this week, and I’ve been able to start making room for this year’s haul.


hamburger rolls

This last week isn’t going to be much of a challenge, I think. We’re over that 21 days of routine and hopefully have committed this all to habit. And yes, bring on the spring veggies! I’m watching my spinach and peas poke their little heads up without much worry for my impatience!


Don’t forget to link your progress by Sunday to be entered for this week’s drawing! (winner chosen, congrats Xan)

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