Saturday, March 30, 2013

Garden Experiment- Irrigation System

Happy Birthday Ryan! Even on "his day," he was out working!
Part II

In All New Square Foot Gardening, Mel says, "With Mel's Mix you cannot overwater. I repeat: you cannot overwater."  Ok Mel, we are holding you to your word!  His mix is made like a sponge. Each little piece can hold moisture so a plant root can grow around that piece and take out the moisture when needed.  When that little sponge gets saturated, the rest of the water drains out through the bottom.

The Brice family is using a drip irrigation system to water our plants.  Here is our building process.

 The timer- can put out 300 gallons as hour. So far we are up to 11 gallons an hour.

50 feet of hose.  Yes, we will put the hose underground.  HOA would not be happy with us.  By the way, our plant boxes were HOA approved so maybe you could try this in your neighborhood.

 First we put drips at the blueberry bushes.  We have six of those.

 Next is the first box. Known as the salsa box. More plants coming next week.

 This is where the potatoes and carrots are.

 Drip system in action

 Brody learning about irrigation.

 The boys cutting off the extra hose.

Next, they added "The grid."

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Brice Family Gardening Experiment

Ryan and Brody in the backyard
For the past couple of years, our family has had a few vegetable planets every summer.  This year we are taking it a step further.  Our garden experiment is Square Foot Gardening.  We brought Mel Bartholomew's book "All New Square Foot Gardening."  Because if you can read it you can do it, right? Maybe?  So I'm going to blog along for the next few months on this adventure.  The Brice Family makes no claims to being gardeners.  We are average folks wanting to eat healthy and have a family hobby.  I think many life lessons can be taught through gardening. So keep checking back in on us to see how this works.

Step 1
Build boxes
     4x4 Square feet garden boxes (16 square feet)
     Six inches deep

Hubs used 2x6 lumber for a sturdier box.

Step 2
Soil Mix
     1/3 Peat Moss, 1/3 Vermiculite, 1/3 blended Compost
We mixed the 3 components on a tarp.  Yes, this takes time. 

Step 3
Plan the garden

Now because we want to grow carrots, an extra 6 inch box was added to one of our boxes.

We left Yukon Gold potatoes out of the bag for a couple of weeks until they sprouted.

Step 4
     It's still a little early in Spring so we have only planted 2 things.  Last night's low was 31.  It's supposed to warm up next week.  Then some more planting fun will be begin!

carrot seeds
Brody really enjoys planting.
Add a little more dirt on top of the potatoes.
Even Maggie comes out to help...or sunbathe. 
Step 5
Water and Wait

We are hoping this will be a fun, yet rewarding journey!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Brody's Latest Bird Watching and Calling

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them?  ~Rose F. Kennedy

Brody loves birds, and I love his excitement about birds.  It makes me smile when we are driving down the road and he asks to stop to see a bird.  It's our version of stopping to smell the roses.  

I should carry my camera around with me more often to capture what he sees.  Brody has a bird book that he looks up birds in to find out what kind of bird they are. 

Last week we had a red tailed hawk visit us in our backyard.

One of our other visitors last week was Brody's grandfather, Pops.  He brought Brody a great present.  It was a fun, but loud Crow Call.  So Brody has been trying to get the local crows to come visit him too.  No luck yet, but he will keep trying.

February Snow

Maybe because it's so cold today or the fact that I slowed down long enough to remember, but I forgot to put Brody's snow pictures from last month on the blog.  Not that anyone wants to see any more pictures of snow, but I want to have it documented.  I'm really ready for Spring weather to start!

The snow came down hard.

Brody with his Nanny

"It's cold!"

The Snow Ball

Ryan, his mom "The Nanny," and Brody

I love this picture!  One of my favorites.

Brody starting to cry once he got so cold.

Our home

Sunday, March 3, 2013

My Smoothie King

We love books, and I'm always trying to find ways to continue to promote reading.  Brody typically enjoys non-fiction books.  He really likes books about animals. This week he surprised me by checking out a Disney cooking book from the library.   So we have been picking out some recipes to make.  I do the prepping.  Then he reads the instructions and follows them.  Today we made smoothies.

This was a fun activity for us.  I'm glad to find something new he likes to read...cookbooks!  It even challenged him with his sensory disorder.  Brody was afraid of turning on the blender due to it being loud.  I was not going to do it for him.  If he wanted a smoothie, then he would have to press the blend button on the blender himself.  He was scared, but he did it.  And that great taste was worth overcoming his fear of loud sounds.