Wednesday, July 1, 2015

It's a Soup-er Garden!

Every summer, I host a container garden program on our library's patio. This summer, since our theme for the reading program is superheroes, why not have a soup garden?

I ran the program similarly to the Butterfly Garden program last year where we had different activity stations:

1. Container Planting: I had enough plants/seeds on hand for each child to get to plant at least one. For the soup garden, we planted:

  • Tomatoes - Roma, Red Grape, and Yellow Pear
  • Peppers - Green and Yellow
  • Nantz Carrots (seeds)
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Burpless Cucumbers (seeds)
  • Blue Lake Green Beans
  • Onions - White and Yellow'
  • Spinach (seeds)
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Oregano

2. Rock Painting: Originally, I found this craft and desperately wanted to do it. But after reading the list of chemicals in ready-mix mortar and stepping stone mix (which are quite scary!) and after agonizing over other possible alternatives, I just decided to just let participants paint rocks that they could either take home or leave behind to decorate our library garden. I set a tarp down on the ground, filled some egg cartons with paint, and left the rest up to their imaginations!

3. Bagel Bird Feeders: All you need for this craft are some plain bagels, ribbon, birdseed, and Sunflower Seed Spread (which is safe for both birds and peanut butter allergies).

4. Plant Pals: Kids take a clear cup and decorate it with stickers or markers, add some potting soil, and sprinkle some grass seed on top. I found the stickers on Oriental Trading (nose and mouth stickers found here).

5. Snack/Story: As the families finished up with all of the activity stations, they could come over a get a snack. I provided grape tomatoes, baby carrots, celery sticks, and cucumber slices with ranch dip. (Note: the celery sticks were by far the least popular choice.) We also had cold glasses of water to drink. When the majority of them were having the snack, I read a story or two.

Here are some great choices when you need a vegetable-themed story:

In August, the plan is to have a harvest day where families can take home some vegetables after we enjoy some gazpacho. 

For more garden ideas, check out my gardening Pinterest board. Happy gardening!

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