Kids Small Space Garden

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Kids can grow abundant organic produce in a small space garden by using several different techniques. By practicing succession planting, kids can harvest a series of crops from a single pot, container, or raised bed garden. Early spring kids can plant cold season crops, like kale, and replace them with main season staples, like tomatoes and in fall harvest those and plant cool season edibles, like cabbage. Kids can sow seeds at the same time they plant seedlings of the same type for a head start on the next harvest. By inter-planting, kids can maximize their harvests by planting together companion crops that grow well together at different rates, sizes, and root structures. Kids can harvest loose leaf lettuces and greens by removing a few of the outer leaves; these come again crops will continue to grow and produce new leaves. By taking advantage walls and fences, kids can practice vertical planting and maximize the space. Peas, beans, grapes, cucumbers, squash, and melons trained to go up a fence, trellis, arbor, or teepee and make a beautiful landscape design. Floating green wall systems and privacy screens can be found at the garden center or kids can create them from plastic gutters or old ladders. In mild climates, kids can stretch the growing season with fall planting for a winter garden by using row covers and mulch for cold season crops. In colder climates, kids need cold frames, a mini greenhouse, and cloches, an upside down glass or plastic jug, to protect the tender seedlings from the frost and chill and ensure a winter harvest. Kids can grow an organic veggie garden on a patio, balcony, or roof in containers with organic soil and a drip watering system and harvest more food over longer periods by making the most of their limited space.

Kid Chef Cauliflower Avocado Wrap

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Kids can make this wrap to spice up parties and family gatherings. Cauliflower is a winter veggie in the cabbage family with abundant health benefits in its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Kids can give the sauce an extra kick to the dish by roasting the veggies. In a baking dish covered with ¼ cup organic extra virgin olive oil, put 9 organic Roma Tomatoes cut in half, 1 large green chili, 1 organic garlic clove, ¼ cup organic red onion, and 2 green onions and tops. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool. Take each tomato half and scoop the insides into a blender removing the skin, which easily falls away. Cut off the top of the chili, remove the seeds, and add it to the blender.  Add the garlic, red and green onions, 1 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil, ½ tsp sea salt with a sprig of basil, oregano, and thyme and blend until smooth. Cut 1 medium head cauliflower into small florets and marinate them in a bowl tossing them with the sauce. Cover a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with the marinated cauliflower florets, drizzle the extra sauce on the cauliflowers, and bake for 15 -20 minutes until fork tender. Heat 4 organic whole wheat tortillas at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Cover the tortillas with the spicy cauliflower florets. Grate an organic carrot, slice an organic avocado, wash organic lettuce and distribute them on top of the tortillas, sprinkle with organic coconut aminos. Fold the ends of the tortilla, wrap the veggies inside, cut the wrap in half, and enjoy.

Kids find the Flavors

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When kids grow a small organic veggie garden where they live, they discover the real flavors of food, like the hummingbird, sipping nectar from the blossoms instead of the processed food in a hummingbird feeder.  Standing in their garden, kids will immediately pop a cherry tomato they have grown in their mouth, enjoy its amazing flavor, and think it is the best thing they ever ate. Mass production, food processing, and microwave meals have removed much of the old fashioned flavors our grandparents enjoyed.  Growing an organic garden and cooking at home from scratch, produces wonderfully flavored meals, eases stress, and brings the family together. To prepare real flavorful whole food, stock the pantry with all organic ingredients. Kids can make flavorful cooking a joy, filling the pantry with organic whole grain pasta and noodles, quinoa, brown rice, dried beans, peas, lentils, popcorn, organic extra virgin olive and coconut oils, whole wheat pastry flour, old fashioned rolled oats, maple syrup, sea salt, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds.  Kids can cook healthy dishes sizzling with pops of organic herbs cut fresh in their garden.  Kids can be scientists in the kitchen and bring back those Slow Food flavors.  Kids can make their own fermented foods, like sauerkraut, pickles, and sourdough bread, which not only have exciting flavors, but are incredibly good for a healthy digestive system. Kids can be organic artisan bakers and learn to create the most incredible organic whole grain bread and pizza dough. Cooking from scratch can be a mysterious, scientific experiment and a rewarding adventure. Growing and cooking from an organic container veggie garden saves time, money, and trips to the doctor, and giving families self sustainable techniques, more time together, and fabulous flavors with every meal.

Kids Drip Irrigation

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Kids can install an easy to assemble drip watering system by laying the hose on top of the soil in their raised bed garden and planning where the right drippers, bubblers, and sprinklers can be placed. Drip irrigation is good for the health of the garden, reducing fungal disease, mildew, and rust. The slow, precise delivery of water directly to the root zone of the plants keeps the roots moist and healthy. Drip irrigated plants grow better than those sprayed by hand or sprinklers; trees grow faster with wider trunks, flowers bloom more profoundly, and veggies yield more abundantly.  Drip watering is the most eco-friendly and economical way to water your garden, reducing water usage and evaporation by up to 70%. Kids can use drip watering kits available at the hardware store with instruction guides. There are five major types of tubing that can be used in the garden: porous hose, drip irrigation hose with punched-in emitters, laser drilled soaker hose, ¼ inch in line tubing, and ½ inch emitter tubing.  Kids can use soaker hoses to encircle fruit and nut trees beyond the drip line of the tree. For raised bed vegetable gardens, kids can use the in-line emitter tubes. Drip irrigation systems are perfect on the patio to give container herbs and veggies, which can dry out easily, a small amount of water once or twice a day. Kids can attach the main hose line to an existing faucet in the garden and lay it around the patio. Every plant can get regular scheduled watering by attaching small tubes with emitters to each pot and hanging basket around the patio and attach a battery run timer for consistent watering.  Kids can conserve water and grow their veggies with a slow micro watering system that delivers moisture directly to the root zone.

Kid Chef Mango Blueberry Crumble

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Kids love local organic in season mangos and blueberries together in this delicious treat. Kids can grow blueberries which are perennials, native to North America, and have few pests or diseases affect them in a container on the patio. Organic blueberries are a super fruit that gives energy and brain power to active kids. Mangos are rich in vitamins A and C, beta carotene, and potassium.  Kids can make this yummy crumble by using all organic ingredients. Preheat the oven 350 degrees.  Kids can peal and slice 1 organic mango and place one layer in a 6 x 6 inch baking dish. Kids can wash and drain 6 oz organic blueberries and pour a layer to top of the mangos. Sprinkle on top 1 tbsp organic sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice, and 1 tsp organic arrowroot starch. Add another layer of sliced mangos and blueberries.  In a mixing bowl add ½ cup organic whole wheat flour, ½ cup organic old fashioned rolled oats, 1 tsp baking power, 1 tsp organic sugar, 1/8 tsp nutmeg and mix with a fork.  Add 4 tbsp organic vegan butter and mix to make crumbs.  Kids can sprinkle the crumbs over the fruit and press down for a smooth crust. Bake for 25 minutes and cool, making 4 – 6 servings.

Kids make Salads

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Fresh organic salads are fun and easy for kids to prepare with yummy toppings and numerous health benefits. Kids can grow a year round organic salad garden in a container by the kitchen door or in a raised bed like the one in the picture above. Kids can have a culinary exploration trying the many heirloom lettuces and leafy greens that are available for them to grow and create into salads. Kids love to go to the Farmers Market and get local organic salad greens and talk to the farmers that grow them. Kids can use consumer power and buy locally as organic pre-packaged tossed salads are often not grown locally, but are shipped to big box stores from half way around the world.   Any organic raw veggie can be shredded into a salad, like carrots or zucchinis. Kids love fruit, nuts, and seeds sprinkled among the greens with a delicious homemade salad dressing. Cooked potato, beans, pasta, and pickled veggies can be added to the raw ingredients to wake up kids’ taste buds and their creativity. Use a salad spinner or colander to wash the salad greens and wake up their flavor. Add the ingredients and, rather than mashing the salad stirring, toss the salad and allow the air to enhance their aroma. Kids can make a traditional salad dressing from scratch using sea salt, 1 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil, and 1 tsp fresh organic lemon juice. The secret to salad dressings from creamy rich to light is to add just enough to highlight the salad flavors, rather than drowning those flavors and making the ingredients soggy. Kid Chefs can sprinkle seeds or croutons on top for an artistic presentation of their salad.

Kids Garden Bird Bath

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Kids can invite birds to their organic veggie garden to eat thousands of pesky insects, aphids and bugs that could destroy their plants. Kids can use unglazed terra cotta pots to create a colorful bird bath. Kids can get 3 different size pots at the garden center that fit together as shown in the picture above. The large 18” terra cotta plant saucer makes the perfect bird bath. Kids can add 2 little 4“saucers make water dishes to glue on the sides of the large saucer for butterflies.  At the local craft store, kids can get their favorite colors of acrylic Patio Paint. These acrylic paints can also be used for other projects like decorating terra cotta pots that can be planted with flowers or herbs as gifts. To make detailed designs, kids can use Painters Opaque Paint Permanent Markers. After painting the pots and saucers with bright designs, kids can cover them with Krylon Acrylic Crystal Clear Spray Coating. Kids can let them dry over night before gluing the 3 pots and saucer together with E600 glue.  Kids can enjoy watching the different birds and their antics when they come to visit their garden bird bath.