Saturday, April 17, 2010

Grains of the World

Logan and I are headed well into recovery now and we have started up with regularly scheduled things.

We started our Grains of the World study yesterday.

I spent quite a bit of time, looking for grain seeds that were sold in less than a 50lb bag, and I have to tell you, it was a much harder than I thought! Finally, I took to the natural health food stores and asked if they had any sproutable grains. Of course the health food stores were able to help me immediately and I found white wheat, red wheat, barley, oats, and rye all in a sproutable form. The millet was a bit harder to come by... We had to dig it out of bird seed! lol! Corn I ordered because I wanted to make sure it was organic and GMO free so we could eat it, but that came in plenty of time and we have them all started now.

None of these seeds came from a 'gardening seed package', so I thought it would be a good idea if we sprouted them first, before we tried to put them in the ground.

To keep them all properly labeled, I had the kids write the names on huge craft sticks and then we placed one in each mason jar. At the bottom of the jar, we put a wet (really wet) paper towel, and then a heaping teaspoon of seeds, and another wet paper towel on top.

This is the bed they will go in when we are all finished. The corn is going to take up the 4 squares in the middle, then around the outside will be the different grains. I have made them a graph with the grains names on them so they can follow up with how fast they each grow in our climate.

This is the kids school garden bed and is located at the top left of my garden (pics here). It is 4ft by 4ft and Alex measured and marked it off for a square foot garden yesterday.

The one main grain of the world we can not grow here in the Pacific NW is rice. I was bummed at first. But as we were planning our vacation for CA next month, I realised that we will be able to drive right past the rice patties! So we can do a mini unit study on rice just before we leave and then try to see as much as we can of the way they grow on our trip, and the kids 'grains of the world' lesson will be complete. I have to admit to being very excited about being able to fit rice in the study so perfectly.



Committed Recycler said...

I was not homeschooled and neither do I engage in structured homeschool with my little ones, but I am of the belief that if you have children you absolutely are teaching them at home, posts like this are so great to me because this is something doable on different levels for most parents. Perhaps not grains of the world, but sprouting seeds and planting them, something I do with my kids. And although I haven't the green thumb my dad has, I have eaten from my plantings and it's a HUGE thing for children to understand. Produce does not come from the grocer, but from the farmer, from the earth...

Thanks so much for sharing with us all.

Laura said...

Oh my goodness, I just love this idea! How fabulous!! I have a ton of wheat berries leftover from my Easter wheatgrass fun... think I could sprout some and plant it in the garden?? Wow, that would be so cool.

What a great educational experiment!

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