Brownie’s in the Garden

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The dedicated Brownie Scout Troop #1574 came to our humble little garden this week.  It was a win for everyone as they got to earn their gardening badges while I enjoyed free labor!  We had a blast talking about the garden, planting, harvesting, and enjoying the fruits (or in this case vegetables) of our harvest.

To tell you the truth I had started to get anxious about teaching the girls about the garden.  I realized a short time before they arrived that based on Norah’s usual indifference to my vegetable endeavors this might be a tough sell.  That turned out to be completely unwarranted.  They love going through the garden, they asked questions, and they certainly weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

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The wonderful troop, to which Norah is a member, first received a tour of the garden.  They spent time guessing what all the plants were in each row.  The carrot marker gave this row away pretty quickly.  I love showing people around the garden especially kids who are extra fascinated by everything in it!

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I showed them how I harvest our greens.  I cut single leaves off the plants. This allows them to keep regrowing to produce more, instead of cutting the whole plant at once.

We harvested kale, swiss chard, spinach, tatsoi, dandelion, and baby lettuce.  This will be used later in our snack- Turkey Wraps.

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Of course I should have anticipated once the chickens came into sight I would be ignored!

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Lemon (the chicken) was the biggest hit of the party and she got all the attention she needed.

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But now it was time to get to work and I had a great crew.  I had 10 helpers, 10 containers, and 10 more cucumber seedlings to get planted.  Armed with gloves and shovels provided my our great friend (and troop leader) Molly they got to work planting.

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They scooped out a hole in each container and planted the baby seedling in it.  Then they filled it in and watered each pot for me.

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10 more potted cucumbers for me brings my season total to 94 cukes in the garden.  I almost want to get 6 more to make it an even 100.

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After they completed my work for the day, I thought I would give them the chance to plant their own cucumber seed to take home with them.

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Hopefully their 10 plants will grow and they will get excited to harvest their own cucumbers this year.

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Now that the work was over it was snack time.   If I passed a couple raw beans sprouts (the ones we grow at home) to Norah on any given night she would run away.  Start passing them out to a group and you get kids happy to try them!  I was supremely impressed with the kids willingness to try the sprouts, and greens we had grown.

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We got out a picnic table and whipped up some Turkey Provolone Wraps for the kids to try.  Loaded with raw homegrown greens for a healthy snack.

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To make these wraps I used 1 large spinach tortilla.  I put a dab of ranch dressing on it then layered shredded carrots and cucumbers.  Then topped with a handful of bean sprouts and a bunch of greens.  Finally 2 slices of turkey breast and 2 slices of provolone cheese.  I roll that up and cut into slices to pass out to my awesome crew.

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I was amazed at the positive feedback I received from the girls.  I still think if they hadn’t been around, and this had just been my maniacs I would have seen them feeding it to the dog!  There is something wonderful to be said about growing food and watching it come together into a meal and I was so happy to be a part of that for this troop.

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Here is my amazing crew of Brownie Scout gardeners…

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A big thank you to all of them- Emma, Caisley, Kalley, Leila, Madison, Bella, Uli, Lauren, Norah, and Annabelle!  You were perfect helpers!

I would also like to thank the Brownie’s and their awesome scout leader Molly and helpers Tina and Em (I am married to that last one, but I still have to thank her).  I feel very lucky to have been a small part of their year and I hope they had as much fun as I did!

 

 

 

Jeff McIntosh

About Jeff McIntosh

Jeff's family lives in his childhood home on a 1/4 acre in town lot. Despite the small space to work with, they have challenged ourselves to produce as much of our own food as possible — and cook it! They document their journey at Blogging with Apples.