Chatter and Chitter

The Wrong Kind of Homework

middle school

Homework has always been a struggle for Chatter and Chitter-but this first year of middle school has really been hard.

I think homework is a raging epidemic. I hear parents talking about it, I read articles about it, even Chitter and Chatter’s Doctor recently gave me a speech about the evils of homework-well, he didn’t say it was evil, just unnecessary in his opinion.

Instead of doing math homework – Chitter and Chatter wish they were doing homework with seeds in the garden.

Now that spring has arrived we can’t wait to get our hands dirty. The Deer Hunter has the garden plowed, ready, and waiting for us to plant.

Over the next few days I am going to gather some gardening wisdom. Please be thinking of any tips, superstitions, or memories you can add to my list. I’m already thinking of lime, scarecrows, signs, silver queen corn vs. golden queen corn vs. candy corn (there is a real corn fight in our family), just all kinds of gardening wisdom running through my mind, and I really hope you’ll post your gardening tips too.

Razor a.k.a Adventure Racing Man of Old Red Barn Co. recently shared with me and The Deer Hunter how he finally got his pumpkins to grow. Maybe he’ll share it with all of you-it sounded totally crazy-but I saw the pumpkins so I know it worked.


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  • Reply
    April 8, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    This garden tip really works. We grow tomatoes every year and some years the ripening goes a little slow and there are green tomatoes still on the vine at the end of the growing season. We were told by our grandmother years ago to put an apple that is beginning to go bad under the tomato vines on the ground. As the apple goes bad the ethylene gas vapors will cause the tomatoes to ripen quicker.

  • Reply
    Jennifer in OR
    April 6, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Soil tip: be sure to check the pH balance with a pH test kit. For most gardens, a pH of 6.2 to 7 is good. If your garden has acidic soil, add bonemeal, wood ash, or lime. If the soil is too alkaline, add shredded leaves, bark, aged bagged manure, and compost. 🙂

  • Reply
    March 30, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    The little bit of wisdom that comes directly to mind is from my Great-Grandpa and I only heard it second hand. He always planted his corn on a certain day (which I can’t seem to remember right now) and it needed to be “knee high by the 4th of July” in order to get a good crop.

  • Reply
    March 28, 2008 at 7:54 am

    I’m attempting a garden myself for the second time this year so I am pretty much cluesless – as in most things! Hail’s already raking up the ground and talking about what we will plant. I heard from an old-timer that manure is the key to any gardens success. Which, in your case, shouldn’t be difficult to obtain, just messy.
    As for homework, I like what the one gal said about homeschooling-so true! That’s why on some days it makes sense to go back to it 🙂

  • Reply
    March 28, 2008 at 7:28 am

    Auhhh, your garden all dug up and ready to go, brings back such great memories. I always had such a big garden and like you, couldn’t wait to get out there and get it planted.
    I always planted several rows of flowers, as amongst the veggies, they always were so pretty.
    Also, planted lot of the pearls and gold or sugar and cream corn. Yummmm.
    Also another favorite was the heriloom variety seeds of Moons and stars watermelons. Little, but ohhh so sweet.
    Have fun.

  • Reply
    March 28, 2008 at 1:39 am

    I envy you your garden. I’ve always liked the thought of a garden but the reality is a different thing. I can’t seem to pull myself away from needle and thread long enough.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 27, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    The amount of homework Chitter and Chatter do seems unnecessary and unproductive, but I’m sure it makes the school system feel like they are doing something—sad.
    Now spring planting, that is productive! My grandmother planted flowers around the garden to keep the bugs away. I think it was Marigolds.
    I don’t know much about planting but I do know about freezing, canning and pickling. I’ll certainly have more to say when you get to that stage.
    I love how your Blog is evolving. I see your values peek out between each line and the next.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    It’s been a while since I grew corn but we really liked “Golden Bantam” and “Early Sunglow”. The ears were so good you could just go out and pick an ear, shuck it, and eat it raw right in the field. YUM. We prefer growing New Zealand Spinach instead of regular spinach. It is slow to bolt. Also, McCaslin green beans are great. They are vining, not bush. I remember my Dad stringing strings at the side of the carport and growing the best McCaslins! We bought our home last summer and it was too late to put in a garden so I just grew Peppers and Tomatoes in containers on the patio. Yesterday we just laid out the beds for our new garden and I can’t wait till it warms up and I can plant, plant, plant!

  • Reply
    noble pig
    March 27, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    The garden is such a great way to get your hands dirty. Good luck with the mud!

  • Reply
    March 27, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Ugh. Homework stinks. Hang in there girls.
    I love playing in the dirt too. Razor will be thrilled that he made a blog other than my own. 🙂 Now if he could just get onions to grow big and beautiful then we would be set.
    But we will grow you all the pumpkins you want.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    I think the fact that you are not having me help you garden is a pretty good sign that you’ll have a lovely garden.

  • Reply
    trisha too
    March 27, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Two of our little Chitter and Chatters are all about the garden right now, too–FINALLY, it’s beginning to feel like SPRING!

  • Reply
    March 27, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Ooh, she does NOT look like a happy camper. ;-Þ That is one of the things I loved about homeschooling. We did our work during the day, and then it was done!
    I envy your garden. How I wish I had the space for one. I look forward to reading about yours, though. 🙂

  • Reply
    Stacy A
    March 27, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Ahhh yes, Standardized education homework. When will the world learn that we learn better with our hand. Once she finishes todays homework, it will flee from her mind. Cramming information in without giving it an application to your life guarantees, at least for me, that it wont stay. But the gardening…that will last and last. She will take care of the garden and get to enjoy the fruits of her labor. Kids want to learn, but they don’t want to be forced. You hear that Mr. Wilson 8th grade math! Middle school is so hard. I would trade anything to not go back there. I be she gets a great balance of learning when she comes home to you though.
    I loved your last post; all your beautiful art just waiting to be shared and enjoyed. I can’t wait to see the garden! Love Stacy

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