Sunday, 17 April 2011

Cold Frames Today!

The view out my kitchen window this morning  :)

Hubby is intent on building cold frames with the 3 younger kids today.  We have a sheltered spot that faces south, at the side of the garage, and we think it's the perfect spot to situate a few cold frames.  We have some plexiglass kicking around from when Kelly replaced the crude "double paned" windows in the garage a few weeks ago, and plenty of scrap lumber. Should be a good project for today!   We'll plant some greens and the kids can monitor their progress as well as track the temperature readings in the cold frame vs. the ambient temperature outside.  Our days are usually above zero (ensuring snow melt), but the nights dip down to around -10 C making frost protection more than necessary for another month.  The other issue to contend with is ground thaw.  Even when all the snow melts, it takes a few weeks to thaw out the soil.  It can be workable at the surface, but digging and planting are out of the question until the frost works it's way out the deeper ground.  I'm sure all this cold weather talk has you wishing you lived in a cold climate, hey?  hehehehe...

The basement got well and truly "tackled" yesterday as planned.  We managed to say "farewell" to the five 8' banquet tables that housed a large Playmobil city for the long winter months.   Ahhhh....  it feels so good to have that packed up!  The kids will be thrilled to bring it out again come the first heavy snowfall, but for now, we shift our activities and our energies out of doors where fresh air and soil await our lungs and hands!

Books remain scattered throughout the house, evidence of learning taking place no matter the day of the week.  I've spied the kids reading about various topics these past few days all fuelled by a desire to learn and know more about something.  Questions abound.  Messes multiply.  One of the hardest things about Home Education is the constant clutter and mess.  I'm just being real here.  When you are home all day busily learning and exploring, things pile up!  Books, art supplies, science experiments, toys...  Sometimes it just gets on your nerves a little bit, but that's just part of the process.  So, we let things unfold and we teach and learn, and try to pick up at anchor points in our day (meals namely).

I ground some wheat this morning (specifically, Gold Forest Grains organic hard red wheat) and made my usual 4 loaves plus a double batch of blueberry muffins.  All will be gone by bedtime, between lunch, snacks and packing lunches for tomorrow.  My husband and 2 oldest sons take lunches each day.

All in all, a good day planned with much to do with the family!  I'll (hopefully) update tomorrow with pics of the finished cold frames.  Enjoy your Sunday, however you keep it :)



  1. That "DNA and Genes" book is Usborne, isn't it? I love Usborne, we use their science curriculum at my school, and I've taught the chemistry 2 and used the biology 2 extensively. From them, I discovered "Fizz, Bubble, Flash" (chemistry) and "Gadgets and Gizmos" (physics), which I hope to get for us -- they are just that much fun.

    Anyhoo, have fun with the cold frames. Perhaps the kids can study up on energy, solar energy and energy transformation as they look the temps inside and outside the cold frames. Just an idea!


  2. Yes, Rachael, it is an Usborne Book. Thank you for the recommendations about the chemistry and physics books, I'll look into those. Good ideas about points to study ~ I'm sure the coming week will be filled with a lot of that!

  3. Wow, you baked all that lovely food AND ground your own flour for lovely and fresh, keep up the good work. Is it hard to grind up the flour, or do you use a special gadget?

  4. I have a Nutrimill electric grinder. I simply load the hopper with grain, pop the lid on and turn it on. I can grind enough flour to make 4 or 5 loaves of bread in one go. It takes about 5-7 minutes to grind that much flour and it is very loud, so I keep it in my laundry room just off the kitchen. It's dead easy :)