I've been reading the blog Handbook of Nature Study's Green Hour Challenge post for this week and thinking about our pumpkin seeds. Barb is keeping nature journals with her children "using Anna Comstock's book Handbook of Nature Study as our textbook and the great outdoors as our classroom". She suggests planting sunflower seeds this week for the challenge, so that you and your children can study them all summer long.
We don't have sunflowers this year, but we planted pumpkin seeds. When my oldest son Buster was about four we planted pumpkin seeds and it was so exciting watching them grow over the summer. The vines expanded all across the back of the lawn and in the fall we had a couple really beautiful jack o'lantern pumpkins. I wanted to try it again with my currently young guys.
We planted Veggie Tales Jack O'Lantern Pumpkin seeds from Ferry Morse about two weeks ago. Buddy and Punkin love their daily chore of watering the seedlings. They can't get over how exciting it is to see them grow bigger day by day.
The fabulous thing about pumpkins is that they are so big. The leaves are enormous and the growth is so rapid even a little kid can see the difference from one day to the next. I am not sure we have enough sun in our yard to get many big pumpkins, but we planted them in the sunniest spots we could find; two plants in the side yard and two in the back of the lawn near the fence. One of my friends said she planted pumpkins last year and they climbed up in her tree. They do take a lot of space!
We have a few books to read about kids growing pumpkins: Farmer Boy has Alonzo growing milk-fed pumpkins for the fair, the Berenstain Bears and the Prize Pumpkin, and a board book called The Little Pumpkin Book that I found at a second-hand sale years ago.
If you want to do more nature study and play with your children I suggest the following links: National Wildlife Federations' Green Hour, the No Child Left Inside Coalition, and the Handbook of Nature Study blog. This post is submitted to challenge #16.
Whatever is going on in your garden this week, I hope you'll put it in Mr. Linky and leave a comment so we can all come visit on my Sunday Garden Tour!