Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sunflowers and KinderLabor

It's been too hot and humid to be out in the garden too much but we have been busy in other ways around the farm. Our sunflowers seem to have gotten off to a late start this year. First, from the Goth Garden:
Sunflower Moulin Rouge
Stunning, deep red flowers. Quite Lovely.
Then, in the main garden we have the Flash Blend from Botanical Interests, a lovely mix:
This sunny yellow guy is a good 10 feet tall!
The sun was setting behind this one, adding to it's colors.
But sunflowers aren't the only thing growing- look at these:
Lotsa Peppers!! Jalapeno!
I13 was asking about making salsa so guess what we did tonight? Mmmm....
And finally, considering the heat index was in the low 100's today, I'm glad I was working at my paid job and not with the kinder at home (which happened to include J16's new boyfriend).
Deck reconstruction has begun!!!
We will eventually wrap the deck all the way around the addition but that probably won't be finished until spring. We will finish this section enough to use this fall.
And, yes, we are firm believers in child labor here. The children all help on construction, garden and kitchen tasks. This way, they are learning valuable skills in addition to having the satisfaction of building our home. I mean, really, how many children get to help frame and drywall their home and help design the layout of the basement. This house has been (and will continue to be) lots of work but it is also a great accomplishment for us all.
Oops, gotta go get my tomatoes out of the canner- it's time to go watch some meteors!!


  1. Oh, the sunflowers are so pretty-I particularly like the Moulin Rouge. Mine are WAY behind yours, they haven't even thought of blooming yet. Soon, hopefully!
    That deck is going to be nice to relax on............

  2. That Moulin Rouge sunflower is gorgeous. We're growing sunflowers for the first time ever, just to see if we can get them to grow. I just stuck with one kind... Mammoth... but if they grow well this year I'm definitely going to have to seek out some deep red ones.


    Rachymommy -

  3. I'm with the others: the Moulin Rouge is so striking and pretty. And yes, having children work with adults does give them a sense of accomplishment, participation, and a sense that this is "our" home. Wow on all that you (and they) have done: I have no idea how to do any of that.

    I keep meaning to stay up and see the meteors, but can't quite seem to manage to keep my eyes open. It's Friday though - and I'm determined to make it! People have been saying they are particularly clear/bright this year

  4. I agree with you, that's how kids learn to become productive adults, just as long as they aren't dragging ball & chains labeled "property of Troll Bridge Farm" LOL. The Goth Garden sunflowers look so pretty! I have not been watching the news lately but tuned in this morning to see the awful floods, are you near that area? Try and stay cool!

  5. My parents were big believers in child labor too. I suspect I will pass it on to my daughter.

  6. LOL, Erin! Don't worry- they still have plenty of time to play X-Box and watch TV. Of course, V did threaten to get the boys custom t-shirts with "Stud Monkey 2010" on it. That's his name for them when they help with framing and other construction tasks. In all honesty, I think they probably have LESS to do than I did when I was their age growing up on a farm.
    Now, if we could only figure out how to get them to help without complaining.....

    Oh, and this time around, the floods aren't nearby. The 4-6 rain that they got near Ames- we only got .6 inches from that one. Of course, we have had way more than usual this year and it wouldn't take much for us to flood again.

  7. I've never seen a sunflower like that Moulin Rouge one! It's so cool! We grew some Mammoth ones for the first time in my life this year and they did beautifully. They're drying so we can get the seeds for next year and have even more! Where did you find the seeds?

  8. We got the seeds for the Moulin Rouge sunflowers from Botanical Interests. They have a catalogue and you can order online but our local garden center carried the seeds. They have a wonderful variety of heirloom vegetables and flowers. We also got the black hollyhock seeds from them (the Watchman) but they won't bloom this year.

  9. Love those red ones!
    Every couple of years we've been planting colored ones, and it's really interesting to see what comes back the next year---we've gotten multi branched reds, gigantic multi branched lemon hues and the pale one with the darker edges, don't remember what they're called.

  10. Fabulous sunflowers! I wish my parents had worked on our house when I was young as the house we own needs alot of work and my husband and I are learning as we go.

  11. Lovely sunflowers! I was raised to perform child labor and absolutely loved it. I have the happiest memories to this day of laboring with my Dad in the garden. You are doing a great thing for your children!


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