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Backyard Gardening & Kale Chips

Posted Jul 31 2009 7:31pm

Gardening with your children provides valuable lessons, family togetherness time and plenty of fresh veggies to dress your table.

I’m a big slacker this year.  My big, fat, Eco-Confession?  I didn’t plant a garden this year.  This means we have been relying on farmers markets and u-pick to survive!  Ugh.

But, wait… I have a pretty good excuse.  We moved this Spring.  Our Spring was consumed with painting, cleaning, packing and unpacking.  It was pretty crazy around here.  Then my beloved Mama passed away and I didn’t want to do much of anything for a good two months.  Now, I’m up and running… but my yard is far from it!  Since this is a new to us home, there was already a bunch of yard work to do.  Needless to say, we haven’t gotten around to much of it, which includes clearing the garden beds and replanting.

So, that’s the plan this weekend.  Get those beds cleared and start our transplants inside the house.   Good thing I have plenty of kids. :)

We will be planting broccoli, carrots, kale, lettuce, spinach, cauliflower, squash, cucumber and pumpkin (not sure if the cucumber and pumpkin will work, but might as well try!).

Many of our seeds will need to be started inside and transferred to the bed in a few weeks.  Here are some important tips for growing fall veggies:

  • Keep them soaked, any drying out can cause them to not grow.  We will lay out a drip house, possibly attached to raised 5 gallon buckets of gray water.
  • Use lots of mulch.
  • Cover with old blankets and clothing if you do get some chilly nights.

Not sure what crops will work best in your region?  Check out Mother Earth News for a planting schedule by region.

Our favorite garden snack?  Kale Chips.  Make a bunch now and store them in gallon size glass jars in the pantry.  The kids LOVE them and they make a great addition to any lunch box.

Kale Chips -

Wash and dry your kale.  Tear or cut into chip size pieces.  Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil.  Lay kale pieces out in a single layer.  Brush with more olive oil and sprinkle with Celtic sea salt, pepper, & garlic.  Bake at 400 F for about 10 minutes, until crisp.  Allow to cool and transfer to storage container.  Experiment with seasonings to obtain different flavor delights.  We are kind of wimpy around here and stick with the basics!

Photo Credit: Kale Chips by I Love My Pit on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

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