Have you ever heard of companion planting? Native Americans grew certain vegetables together because they benefited each other during their growing cycle. Start a gardening project that includes plants that will benefit each other during their grow cycle.
Check out the related posts below for more information about the Three Sisters.
To begin your gardening project, find out when your last frost date will be:
Then, find a place to plant your seeds or plants directly in the ground, or in a container or a bucket. Put drainage holes in your bucket, or learn how to plant in a self watering container.
The Three Sisters are: Corn, Beans, and Squash
You can decide to grow:
Corn: A type that can be cooked and eaten off the cob, ground up into a meal, or used to make popping corn.
Beans: A type that grows as a bush, called a bush bean, or a type that climbs called a pole bean. There are types that can be picked and eaten fresh and others that need to be shelled.
Squash: There are many varieties of squash available to grow. You can try a vining variety, such as pumpkin, butternut, spaghetti, acorn, watermelon (part of the gourd family),or cucumber.
Another type of squash “bushes” such as zucchini, where the plant grows wide and large, but does not vine out. Fruit is grown close to the main stem of the plant. Yellow crookneck is another squash that bushes.
Learn more about planting a garden so you know when to water, how much sun your plants should have, and how to take care of pests and other problems naturally.
While you are waiting for your veggies to grow to maturity, look up some delicious ways they can be enjoyed.
Note: Add some fun twists and turns to your game with the info in this post.
Watermelon Carving Challenge
Watermelons are really fun to carve. One of the videos in the section below offers a gallery of some of the awesome things people have done with them. If you feel inspired after seeing the works offered, try your hand at carving something unique and interesting yourself. This makes a great family activity too.
Online Watermelon Activities
Online Jigsaw Puzzle: Carved Watermelon: How long will it take you to complete this puzzle.
Native Americans called pumpkins, “isqoutm squash”
Recipe: Original Pumpkin Pie (with a modern twist) and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
One of the first pumpkin pies were baked right in the pumpkin shell! A delicious custard was prepared and poured into a cleaned out pumpkin and the whole thing was baked until the pumpkin flesh was tender and the filling completely cooked.
Would you like to make this uniquely interesting desert?
Here is what you will need:
1 5-8 lb Pumpkin
3/4 c Brown sugar
1/4 c Raw sugar
2 1/2 c Heavy whipping cream
1 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Vanilla
3 T Butter
Aluminum foil covered cookie sheet
Preparing the pumpkin:
Cut the top of the pumpkin off and reserve, this will become your lid. Remove the stringy fibers and seeds – save seeds for roasting. Once the inside is clean, scrape out 4 cups of the inner flesh and reserve.
If your pumpkin has a stem, leave it on.
Preparing the filling:
Place eggs, sugars, molasses and spices in a blender and mix together. Next add the 4 cups of reserved pumpkin flesh, butter and the heavy cream – blend until smooth.
Filling the pumpkin:
Place pumpkin on a foil cookie sheet and pour filling into the pumpkin. Do not overfill, leave about an inch of space to allow the custard filling to expand. Put the lid on the pumpkin and cover the top and sides with aluminum foil. Place the cookie sheet in a 350 oven for 2 hours or until custard in done – a metal tester will come out clean.
Allow to cool in oven to prevent splitting. When cool, place pumpkin in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight. Pie can also be served warm.
Serving the pie:
Pumpkin pie slice with whipped cream
This unique pie can be served two ways and will feed 6-12 people depending on the size of the pumpkin and the portion taken.
1. Remove the lid (or cut it off) insert a spoon and have everyone serve themselves by taking a spoonful of custard and cooked pumpkin flesh.
2. Cut around the stem of the pumpkin with a knife and serve by cutting slices of the pumpkin. Do not eat the skin.
Add a modern twist to one of George Washington’s favorite deserts!
This pie is not overly sweet and for some, may not be sweet enough, if you find this to be the case, feel free to use any of the following suggestions:
Before adding whipped cream, drizzle with maple syrup
Serve with spiced whipped cream by adding a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to the whipping cream
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
You will need:
Raw pumpkin seeds
Aluminum foil covered cookie sheet
What to do:
Place seeds in a colander and wash in cool water. Shake off excess water before spreading seeds on an aluminum foil covered cookie sheet, and lightly salt seeds before placing in a 425 degree oven for 10 -12 minutes or until golden brown. Watch them carefully around the 10 minute mark so they don’t burn. When cool enough to touch, enjoy.
Question of the day:
Pumpkins are one variety of squash, how many other types of squash are there?
The warm weather is here, it’s a great time to plan a summer celebration!
Who will you invite?
It doesn’t matter if you are inviting everyone you know, or keeping it a family-only event, invitations help to set the stage for fun and give everyone something to look forward to!
Make a list of all the people you want to invite, then make and give/send out theme-related invitations.
Remember to write the date, time, and place of the celebration on your invitation, and ask people to RSVP (to let you know if they are planning to attend) by giving them your contact information, which can take the form of an email address and/or a phone number.
Invite people to the beach, park, your house, or some place else.
Tip: Think about making invitations that are shaped like your favorite summer icon!
Symbols of summer…
What are some of things you think about when you think of summer?
I think about:
The beach, sand, shovel and pail, sand castle, beach balls, sunshine, sunglasses, bathing suits, flip-flops, suntan lotion, a cool drink, ice cream, the ocean, sailboats, watermelon, flowers, butterflies, fireflies, mountains, lakes, camping, cookouts, bonfires, swimming, sports, and so many other things!
What are some of the things you think of when you think of summer?
Write or draw a list of your own! You can use these symbols to help make your invitations, decorate your home, plan activities, and anything else you can think of!
Plan your celebration….
What will you eat and do during your celebration?
Here are some food suggestions:
If you are going to have a cookout, hamburgers and hot dogs are very easy make, but you may enjoy having ribs, chicken, veggie burgers, or something else.
White vinegar, baking soda, a cooked chicken leg bone, 1-2 eggs, a recycled water bottle, balloons, measuring spoons and cups, a jar with a lid, a bowl, funnel, a spoon, a magnifying glass, a zip-top bag (sandwich sized), bathroom tissue and tape Optional: Dish soap, food dye, a length of yarn, scissors, and a ruler
Experiment #1: A Chemical Reaction
In this simple experiment, you will add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 2T of vinegar to a bowl and observe the results. You may have done this before, so to make it more interesting, add a few drops of your favorite colored food dye and a few drops of dish soap to the baking soda before adding the vinegar. Experiment further to get the best reaction possible.
Experiment #2: Capture A Chemical Reaction
In this experiment, you are going to use a funnel to add 1 tablespoon of baking soda into a balloon and 1c of vinegar into a recycled water bottle. Carefully cover the top of the bottle with the open end of the balloon without releasing the baking soda into the bottle. When the balloon is in place, allow the the baking soda to fall into the vinegar and observe the results.
Tips: Talk about what you think is going to happen before mixing the baking soda and vinegar together.
Measure how large the balloon gets with a length of yarn and a ruler. Try the experiment with different vinegar and baking soda ratios, and fresh balloons of the same size, and compare the results.
Experiment #3: Bend A Bone
In this experiment you are going to start by testing the strength of a leg bone without snapping it. Next, put it in a jar, add enough vinegar to cover the bone and close the lid. Check the bone in 3 days and test its strength. Compare the results to the day you added it to the solution. In another 4 days check the bone again and test its strength again. Put the bone back into the solution and check on it in a month.
What happened to the bone each time you checked on it? What was the final result?
Experiment #4: Rubber Egg
Put 1 raw egg in a jar and cover it with vinegar. Refrigerate the jar and check on it in 24 hours. Remove the egg carefully with a spoon and put it aside, then dump out the vinegar. Rinse the jar out, put the egg back in the jar carefully, cover it with vinegar, and refrigerate for another 24 hours. Remove the egg, rinse it off, and observe the final results with your hands and then with a magnifying glass.
Using two pieces of bathroom tissue put together, add 1T of baking soda to the middle, then fold it up to form a little packet. Use a piece of tape to keep it together.
Next add a 1/2c of vinegar to a sandwich sized bag. Add the baking soda packet to the bag but hold it away from the vinegar while you zip the bag closed. When you are ready, drop the packet into the vinegar, and give the bag a shake before putting it down on the ground.
Step back and observe the results.
Try this experiment with different amounts of baking soda and vinegar and different sized bags.
Looking for fun and creative things to do this summer with your kids?
I’ve posted some great activities that we like to do right here on FranW.com! There are enough ideas to last you the whole summer!
You may be wondering what age group these activities are good for and honestly, I offer activities for families and kids of all ages, so that means grown-ups can have fun with them as well. Being a big kid myself, I enjoy playing right along side my kids and encourage other parents to do that same. I feel that kids and adults can really learn a lot from each other.
If you are interested, then please take a moment to choose from the following posts:
Summertime Activities – There are a lot of activities listed that can make the summer a little more fun! Fun foods, fun games, and fun things to learn about.
Summertime Fun June, Volume 1 –Fun games like Petals Around The Rose, fun foods like the French Fry Project, craft an American Flag, experiments, and more!
Ghost in the Graveyard is a tag-like game that can be played with many players or just a few. It is best played at twilight into night, but it can also be played during the day.
How to play:
The game starts with one ghost, once the players determine who that will be, he/she will stand in one place and give the other players 1 – 3 “days” to hide by counting up to midnight out loud (“1 o’clock, 2 o’clock…12 o’clock, noon-time, 1 o’clock, 2 o’clock…….12 o’clock, MIDNIGHT!”). When the “ghost” finishes counting the days, they should call out, “The ghost comes out at night!” or something similar to indicate that the “ghost” is ready to find the hidden players. When the “ghost” finds one of the hidden players, the player can run, but once they are tagged, they will become “stunned” and won’t be able run away again. The “ghost” will then gently place his/her hands on the player’s shoulders and say, “You are now a ghost in the graveyard!”. That player will then become a “Ghost in the Graveyard” as well, and together the two “ghosts” will go around looking for the other hidden players and turn each of them into ghosts. After all of the players are turned into, “ghosts”, the last player caught becomes the new, “Ghost in the Graveyard” and the game can begin again.
Importantnote: The hidden players can change their hiding place at any time and may run when they are found, but they must freeze once they are tagged. There is no home base or safe zone in this game. Feel free to change the rules as needed! Happy Haunting!
Celebrate by making a homemade blueberry topping You’ll need:
1c blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2-3 T raw sugar or honey
1 tsp butter
salt to taste
What to do: Place blueberries, sugar, water, and salt in a blender and puree until smooth – about 1 minute. Pour mixture into a small pot and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and mix the butter into the warm topping. Pour over pancakes or add some to oatmeal.
Note: The blueberry puree does not need to be cooked, it can be eaten raw. Leave out the butter and salt and use just enough water for processing. Serve right away.
Tip: Leftover blueberry puree can be used to flavor your milk, plain yogurt or added to a smoothie.
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