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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
Fax: 503-253-7345
Phone: 503-253-9633  

Site Developed by
KARMAN Graphics and Design


For 29 Years The Teaching Home Has Been Providing Home-School Families
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective.

Co-Editors: Veteran Home-School Sisters, Sue Welch and Cindy Short

Gardening, Part 1

If you missed the first part of this two-part Gardening series, you can find it in our online Newsletter Archive – along with more than 200 other newsletters!

Gardening, Part 1, included:

1. Why Plant a Vegetable Garden?  Including links to Christian and free online unit studies.

2. Gardening with Young Children

3. Learning About Plants

4. Spiritual and Character Lessons  Including Scripture references and a list of character qualities.

Harvesting and Beyond

Harvesting your vegetables at peak quality, handling them properly, and storing them under optimum conditions preserve the quality of your produce.

1. Harvesting Your Vegetables

Pick or pull vegetables frequently when at their peak for the best flavor and to keep the plants producing.

Harvesting and Handling Vegetables explains how to determine when peak quality for harvesting is reached and the best method for storing--listed by vegetable.

Harvesting and Storing Home Garden Vegetables provides specific harvest and storage information for some commonly-grown vegetables.

2. Serving Your Vegetables

Find new and nutritious ways to use your fresh produce as it ripens.

How To Prepare Fresh Vegetables offers information on many different veggies, various cooking techniques, and flavoring ideas.

3. Sharing Your Vegetables

Don't forget to share your produce, fresh or preserved, with friends, neighbors, and those in need.

4. Showing Your Vegetables

Consider entering some of your produce in your state fair.

Contact your county Cooperative Extension System for information on fairs in your state.

5. Preserving Your Vegetables

Preserve your crop by freezing, canning, or drying.

Canning and Freezing Basics includes information on different methods of canning, freezing, dehydrating, pickles, jams and jellies.

Drying Vegetables presents many details on all aspects of drying different vegetables.

6. Storing Your Vegetables

Many of your crops can be stored under that right conditions.

Storing Vegetables and Fruits at Home gives instructions for storing vegetables by several methods and also includes a list of recommendations for each vegetable.

2010 State Conventions

Unique benefits await you at your local, regional, or state home-school convention, conference, or book fair.

We urge you to attend!

Learn more about a major convention in your state by linking to the sponsoring organization's website below.

(Conventions that have already been held are not listed.)

Also find out how to get the most out of attending a home- school event in Newsletter #269.

States A-H
AL: May 14-15;AZ: July 23-24;
AR: May 14-15; 20-22;
CA: April 30 - May 1; July 16-18;CO: June 17-19;CT: June 11-12; FL: May 27-29;GA: April 30-May 1

States I-M
ID: June 3-5;IL: June 3-5;
IA: June 18-19; KS: June 3-5; KY: June 24-26; LA: Nat. Black Home Educators: July 1-3;MI: May 14-15;MS: May 14-15

States N-O
NH: May 28-29;NJ: May 14-15;NY: Long Island: April 30-May 1; Upstate: June 3-5;
NC: May 27-29;OH: June 24-26;OK:  Central: April 30 - May 1;OR: June 25-26

States P-W
PA: May 7-8;SC: June 18-19;SD: May 7-8;TN: Various Dates by Region;TX: July 29-31; Plus Various Dates by Region;VA: June 10-12;WA: August 6-7;WI: May 20-22;WV: May 21-22;WY: May 7-8

NB:  May 28-29;
QC:  April 30 - May 1

Resource E-Mails

Do you like Special Offers and learning about new and useful resources for your home school?

Then you will want to check out the Resource E-Mails that come to your mail box!

These free newsletters are made possible by the fine suppliers who advertise in them and the Resource E-Mails.

Don't Miss a Newsletter!

We trust that you find this newsletter informative and encouraging.

•  See our archives of more than 200 newsletters online.

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HSLDA offers homeschooling families a low-cost method of obtaining quality legal defense that gives them the freedom to homeschool without having to face legal threats alone.

(Use discount group number 299142 for $20 off your membership fee.)

The Teaching Home
Back Issues

Teaching Home Back Issues

Fifty-one back issues are offered online or by mail order.

The information, inspiration, and encouragement packed into each back issue never goes out of date.  They are always relevant, applicable to your needs today.

Order securely online.

Sunnyside Up

The Forgotten Continent

When our oldest daughter was in 3rd grade, we drilled her every day on the continents for geography studies.

After a few days, her 1st-grade brother decided to try to recite the continents also: "North and South America, Africa, Amnesia . . ."

Submitted by Yvette R., Tennessee.

Send your humorous anecdote to

God's Plan
of Salvation

1.  God loves you.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

2.  Man was separated from God by sin.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) For the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)

3.  The death of Jesus Christ in our place is God's only provision for man's sin.

He (Jesus Christ) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (Romans 4:25)

4.  We must personally receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. (John 1:12)

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9)

Bible Reading Schedule

Immerse your family in God's truth through systematic reading and study of God's Word.

See The Teaching Home's Bible reading schedule online at

Listen to the Bible Online

Choose from six English versions (plus Spanish and other languages) at

Search options at include Passage Lookup, Keyword Search,and Topical Index.

Christian Music Online

Listen to beautiful traditional, sacred, and inspirational conservative Christian music (commercial free!) 24/7 at Old Christian Radio.


We need your help!

Please help us make this newsletter better by letting us know what we are doing correctly, where we need to improve, and topics you would like addressed.

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Copyright 2010 The Teaching Home


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In This Issue

Gardening, Part 2

     1.  Planning Your Garden
     2.  Preparing Your Soil and Garden
     3.  Tending Your Garden
     4.  Keeping a Record


   •  Gardening, Part 1
   •  Harvesting and Beyond

Recommended Resources

   •  Egghead Academics: Lapbooking Studies
   •  Copycat Books: Copywork Lessons


Gardening is a wonderful life skill to teach your children – one that could yield a tasty and healthy harvest all summer long!

 •  If you can't do a full garden this year, consider raising a tomato plant in a container or a couple of zucchini plants so that you can share with all your neighbors.

 •  If you don't grow any of your own vegetables this year, the information supplied by the links in this newsletter will help you select, store, and preserve produce that you buy.

Happy gardening!

May the Lord bless you and your family for His glory.

The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian

The Teaching Home is a home-school, family-run business operated in our home since 1980.

Add a little eggcitement to your homeschool
with lapbooking studiesTM from Egghead AcademicsTM

     Lapbooking studiesTM are a fantastic way to add the fun of lapbooking to great unit studies on your favorite topics!  In the end, your children will have a beautiful project to display, perfect for showing to grandma, for your portfolio, or as a study folder to refer back to later.

•Take a look at our newest mini-lapbooking study,
  Blooms, Bugs, & Babies: Snapshots of Spring.
•Check out a few of our other titles as well.
•Don't miss our upcoming series, Schoolhouse Scrambles!

Use discount code 544972DJ to save 20% until April 30!
Don't miss the cute demo video by the author's children!

Learn more, see samples, and order online
803-773-3836  |  8 Pickens Ct, Sumter, SC 29150

1.  Planning Your Garden

One of the lessons that gardening can teach your children is the value of planning.

Like many jobs (painting, for instance), the planning and preparation may take as long as, and be even more important than, the actual work of brushing on the paint or putting the seed into the ground.

Considering the following factors in planning your garden will save you time, money, and energy.

1. Research

 •  Look at seed catalogs, displays of seed packets, gardening books, or the Internet to become familiar with different varieties of garden vegetables.

 •  Visit garden centers and nurseries.

 •  Talk to experienced gardeners in your area.

Invite grandparents or another family to dinner to share their gardening know-how with you.

2. Choose Vegetables

Discuss as a family:

 •  What vegetables does your family like to eat?

Browse through Burpee's online catalog of many varieties and characteristics of vegetables.

 •  What vegetables offer greater health benefits and should be included in your diet?

Burpee's Nutritional Guide lists fruits and vegetables by color categories with their main nutrients, plus those specific to each vegetable and their health benefits. Also includes growing tips for each vegetable.

The USDA National Nutrient Database lists all nutrients of most foods in many different forms (e.g., there are 19 listings for "carrot").  The Nutrient Lists are sorted either by food description or in descending order by nutrient content in terms of common household measures.

 •  What vegetables can offer the best savings or superior quality compared to bought produce?

 •  What vegetables do you have space to grow?

 •  What vegetables grow best in your climate?  (Check with local gardeners and suppliers.)

3. Determine Amount

You do not have to plant all the seeds in each seed packet you buy. Consider the following questions and then see the back of the seed packet for the expected yield of each vegetable.

 •  How much can your family eat fresh as it is harvested?

 •  How much do you want to give away or sell?

 •  How much do you want to preserve by canning, freezing, or drying?

4. Make a Commitment

 •  How much time do you have to devote to garden care?

Estimate the number of hours per day or week that your garden care will take.

 •  How much money are you able and willing to spend on garden supplies and water?

Make a budget.

 •  Who will be responsible?

Assign specific chores or a section of your garden to specific family members.

5. Find a Location

 •  Determine how much space you need to grow the types and amounts of vegetables you have chosen.

For example, if you grow corn or spreading pumpkin and squash, you will need much more space than just a "salad garden" of lettuce, tomatoes, green onions, radishes, cucumbers, and carrots.

 •  Determine how much money, time, energy, and commitment will be required for the size of your garden.

Novice gardeners need to start small; however, "small" has been suggested to be anywhere between 12'x16' to 20'x30'.

 •  Find a space that gets 8 hours of sun (unshaded by buildings or trees), adequate water supply, and good drainage.

 •  If you do not have a lot of space, consider planting in borders around your lawn, in containers (e.g., tomatoes) or on trellises, and in several smaller patches.

Small, well-maintained gardens with successive planting can produce more than large gardens that are overridden with weeds.

Read suggestions for Urban Gardening and Growing Vegetables in Containers.

6. Allocate Space and Map It

 •  Draw your garden to scale on graph paper and label each row.

Use 1/4 inch = 1 foot or tape two pieces of paper together and use a larger scale.

 •  Make three maps for spring, summer, and fall plantings, or use one map with color codes for each of the succession plantings.

 •  Allocate space for each vegetable based on its yield and the amount you can use.

Check the planting and maturing time for early and late vegetables to see if you can make a second planting after the first is harvested.

 •  Draw space for each vegetable in rows (narrow or wide) or in blocks.

 •  Draw space for paths between rows or every other row.

Be sure you and your children can comfortably reach all the plants from the paths.

 •  Mark your rows to run east and west, with the taller vegetables on the north side.

 •  Group vegetables together according to similar need.

Some plants do well with overhead watering; others do not.

Read Companion Planting: Basic Concept and Resources.

Online Resources

Planning a Garden discusses all aspects of this topic.

How-To Info's Planning a Garden lists many articles on different types of gardens.

Copywork Develops Skills in Handwriting, Spelling, Grammar, and Vocabulary

Copycat Books
brings you everything you need to provide copywork lessons.

• Economical e-books ($5 ea.)
• Contains 87-175 pages each
• Biblical and academic themes
• Manuscript and cursive
• 3 popular styles: Traditional, Modern, and Italic
• Instructions, plus dictation lessons and practice pages.
• Ample lined writing space under each line of the model.

Copycat Books
Visit our website to view a sample page of each title –
Lots of Free Printables available too!
31 Rocky Lane, Farmington KY 42040  /  E-mail

2.  Preparing Your Soil and Garden

1. Prepare Your Soil

 •  Rototill or shovel your garden plot to a depth of 6-12".

 •  Fertilize.

Learn about the basic nutrients in all plant fertilizers (N - nitrogen; P - phosphorus, and K - potassium), as well as calcium, sulfur, and magnesium, and what mix is best for which vegetables and your health.

Balancing Soil Nutrition explains the functions of each nutrient, and Nutrient Deficiency Problem Solver lists symptoms and solutions.

 •  Ask a garden expert or your local Cooperative Extension System about testing the pH level of your soil and the necessity of adding lime to reduce the acidity.

 •  Add humus (decayed or decaying plant matter) to improve your soil texture if necessary.

Buy humus or make your own by composting.  Read Making Compost or free e-book Composting for Kids, a clear explanation of the process.

 •  When soil is fine and crumbly, rake smooth.

2. Prepare Your Garden

 •  Following your plan, stake out your garden using 12"-18" stakes and string to mark off rows.

Use a wide permanent marker to write the names of the vegetables on the stakes.

 •  Assemble, clean, and sharpen tools.

A handy, designated place for each tool will help your children to put them away after each use.  See Care of Gardening Tools.

 •  It might be worthwhile to fence your garden to protect it from pets, children, and wildlife.

3. Buy and Plant Your Seeds or Seedlings

 •  Buy quality seeds for varieties that will grow well in your area.

 •  You may need to start some plants indoors.

Read Tomato Seed Starting Tips and Which Plants Should Be Started Indoors?

 •  Some vegetables, such as tomatoes, grow better if started from a plant.

 •  Be sure to check directions for planting each vegetable— how deep and how far apart the seeds should be sown and thinned.

 •  Make your own seed tapes for effective planting of tiny seeds.

See instructions from Youth Gardening and Organic Gardening.

 •  Space your plantings two weeks apart for vegetables you want to eat fresh throughout the growing season.

Online Resources

Organic Gardening's How-to Soil Techniques.

Growing Zone Finder

Zone Maps of the World

3.  Tending Your Garden

1. Providing for Plants' Needs

 •  Water your plants regularly to keep them growing.

 •  Spread a layer of grass clippings or other mulch around your vegetable plants to reduce weeds and conserve moisture.

Easy Gardening: Mulching provides four pages of simple and practical information.

 •  Add fertilizer to crops as needed.

2. Eliminating the Undesirable

 •  Pull or hoe weeds while they are small so they will not compete with your vegetables for water, nutrients, and sunlight.

See Weeding Tips and Weeds: An Organic Strategy.

 •  Thin seedlings as soon as possible to provide room for your plants to grow.

 •  Control pests, without harmful pesticides if possible:

Order ladybugs and lacewings.

Attract toads and birds to your garden.

Plant marigolds, nasturtiums, and mint.

Shake large beetles onto a sheet of plastic.

Pick off snails by hand.

The Pest Control Library identifies pest problems such as bugs, diseases, animals, and ways to control them.

Online Resources

The following websites contain a wealth of information that will help you maintain your garden.

Maintaining a Vegetable Garden

Easy Gardening Series

Better Homes and Gardens Vegetable & Fruit Gardening

Organic Gardening Articles on Growing Techniques

Food Gardening Guide: Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs

National Gardening's Biweekly Regional Reports

4.  Keeping a Record

Keep a notebook, scrapbook, or journal to record details of your garden. Items to include:

 •  Your garden plans.

 •  Packets that contained the seeds you planted.

 •  Photos or drawings of plants as they grow.

 •  Schedule of plantings.

 •  Notes about everything you did in your garden.

 •  Inventory of supplies, where they were bought, and the price.

Online Resources

Cindy Rushton shares her wisdom and experience concerning the whys and hows of Scrapbooking, Notebooking and Nature Notebooks.

Free Reprints

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