I’m kind of sorry I don’t have much “academic” stuff on the blog lately, but it is summer and we just don’t do academic all year round.
What we do all year round, however, is a LOT of learning.
This Saturday we continued with our Three Sisters Garden. And with that – and all labor intensive endeavors – I received the following feedback: “Why are we doing this?”,”How long do we have to do this?”, “Can I take a break now?”
That was during the first 5 minutes of weed pulling.
During our 3 hours of weeding, planting, and watering with the hot sun beating down on us and my back aching like it never has before (I fully admit this means I must be old now) I pondered the importance of hard work, determination, the necessity of these principles and ability not only for success in life, but for happiness and fulfillment. Working hard, pushing oneself, and staying strong – especially when the task is one you don’t like but recognize the necessity of -and then sitting back and enjoying your accomplishment knowing that YOU did that, I just don’t think that can be gained any other way. And I don’t think it should be a one time thing, but a series of events repeated over and over again. You know, growth and development. Character building, right? Not the roll-your-eyes-“It-builds-character”-comment kind of character building, but actually developing and growing character in yourself!
I was so ready to write up this motivating blog post about getting our kids to do get up, do hard things, and recognize the significance and importance of their pressing on in the face of difficulty and adversity. But now that I’ve gotten to this point, I don’t actually feel like getting all philosophical and exerting that much effort.
How’s that for irony?
Anyway, so we’re growing a garden. It’s a Three Sisters Garden of corn, bean, and squash. We learned a lot about various Native American groups during the last three months or so of school and I thought this would be a good way to continue learning through experience during the summer. I used this resource when planning the garden. We put in our corn seeds about 5 weeks ago or so, then since our seeds are a couple years old and some didn’t sprout, we pushed a couple more into the dirt. So some of our stalks are 6 or more inches tall and some are more like 1.
I think our lawn must have gone to seed because the garden was full of little grass sprouts. I insisted we pull them out by hand – making sure we get all those little roots and everything. Life is sometimes too cushy, you know. Lets get on our knees and get dirty and ponder all this growing stuff.
For 2 hours.
My husband thought I was ridiculous and when I made some comment about authenticity he kind of laughed and said he was sure the Native Americans had developed some kind of a hoe. Still, we (as in I and my daughter) kept on weeding. (We stuck cucumber and cantaloupe seeds in a different garden plot, also being overrun by weeds, but I don’t care about the “authenticity” of the cucumbers so I hoed is out in about 20 minutes! Hooray for tools!)
When my husband tried to instal a drip system, my 7 year old commented that she was pretty sure the Iroquois didn’t have hoses like that. My husband came back this time with, “yeah, they had to carry the water from out of the river and water each little plant by hand. Would you rather do that? The river is about 2 miles that way.” (Truthfully, I don’t know what methods they had for watering, but he’s probably pretty accurate. I don’t think he thinks much of our authentic garden experience, but he is good man for putting up with me.)
Actually, he’s a great man. And we put up with each other.
Here is a happy mound!
Here is a “we’re getting there” mound… or actually that looks less like a mound and more like we should have had the kids picking rocks, not pulling weeds.
These are obviously pre-watered photos. I can’t wait for the beans and squash to sprout!