March 14, 2008

Green Hour... in the Back Yard.


Green hour has turned in to a tree-planting frenzy around here in Texasville. This past week we have planted two small red oaks, one ash, a cypress tree, three Texas lilacs, and two redbuds (the redbuds could hardly count as sticks, much less trees!). The ash was the biggest. We had to pay someone to pick-ax the rock in my back yard to plant that sucker. I'm hoping Mr. Ash will shoot up like a rocket and provide me some serious-blockage-of-view (the neighbor behind me has dogs that chew and teens that smoke).

You wouldn't believe how much fun digging and planting has been for my 9 and 11 year old. You would have thought I bought them a Star Wars Video Game and let them eat an entire bag of Mint Chocolate Milano Cookies. After we were done with that last blasted rock-filled hole, my son said, "I could dig all the way to China!" And that he probably could! "Youth is wasted on the young." Hopefully he'll feel the same way when we tackle the flower bed out front. I think we may make the front yard our target "Green Hour" zone tomorrow.

Hard work in the yard doubles as PE when you are homeschooling. That's the beauty of being the boss around here. And the kids think they are "having fun". Hey, at least I don't make them weed the cactus garden like I did when I was their age!

Photos in order, top to bottom, left to right...
- Grub on clay
- Tupperware cups (we drank all the water) - Morgan took that one!
- Birdseed
- Pupa of some unidentified encased bug (UEB)
- Texas Lilac/Vitex/Chaste Tree stem - budding! Thought it was dead!
- Hole in the fence - Morgan took that one, too!
- Grandma opening the bag that holds the pot
- Pretty unidentified green butterfly (UGB)
- The fence again (another Morgan shot)
- The garden hose and my brown grass (Morgan again!)
- The weeds we picked
- Baby red oak after planting
- Morgan making a pot out of clay
- Kaden "the diggin'est boy"
- "Sharp Shooter" shovel
- Red Oak with Sprittibee hiding behind it

Quick Links
Nature as a Teaching Tool (all my nature links, quotes, books, etc)
The Pond, err... Drainage Ditch
Our Vow to do Green Hour and one reason WHY
Insect ID links
Green Hour Blog

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Anonymous said...

That looks like a great time. I could TOTALLY see all of my children getting into that!

SaraLynn said...

How fun! My kids love being out doors!

nutmeg said...

Wow! Truly inspiring!

Anonymous said...

Morgan sure has an eye for photography!

Sheila said...

Isn't that one of the best things about homeschooling? They can participate in the real stuff of life, and learn at the same time. And they learn an appreciation for nature, which is so important!

Keep having fun!

Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

Mark said...

I thought your green hour homeschooled kids would like this experience!

My name is Mark Chipkin. When I was 10 years old I grew TickleMe Plants and I never forgot the day I tickled my first plant and it closed its leaves and lowered its branches. As with my own experience, this is a growing experience that can excite kids about plants and nature. I have been teaching science for over 30 year and now, and I decided to create an educational company that sells TickleMe Plant seeds and growing kits. I developed kits and activities to help children (and those young at heart) get excited about plants and indoor gardening. I 100% guarantee they can grow a plant and it will move when they tickle it or I replace the seeds. I provide individual support, growing tips and experiments for kids for free. Would you consider sharing any of the information indicated below or videos from our web site with your readers?
You have my permission to use any of our photos, graphics, videos, pricing and text from our web site or below in your writings TickleMe Plants are now being featured by the National Gardening Association which have similar goals to ours! Below are directions for growing your own TickleMe Plant and other information I hope you will find useful!
Please write or call if I can provide you with any high resolution images. I look forward to your reply.
Thank you for giving this matter your attention,
Mark Chipkin
Ever Grow The Plant That MOVES When You Tickle It?
Now you and your family can grow your own TickleMe Plants™! I have been growing TickleMe Plants™ with my sixth grade students and family for over 30 years. Imagine the amazement of your friends, family or students when your living TickleMe Plant™ closes its leaves and lowers its branches as you tickle it.

• TickleMe Plant™ Seeds
• Flower pot or cup with hole on the bottom
• Soil
1. The day before you plant your seeds, soak them in warm water overnight.
2. Fill a flower pot or cup ¾ of the way with soil.
3. Plant three to five seeds by covering them with 1/8 inch of soil.
4. Water your seeds gently.
5. Place your newly planted seeds in a room that receives bright light or sunlight for part of the day.
6. Temperatures in the room should be above 70 degrees.
7. Water before the soil dries out.
8. That’s it! Your plants will begin to grow in less than a week.
The first two leaves will not be ticklish. In about three weeks, the second set of TickleMe Plant™ leaves will appear and they will move when you tickle them. TickleMe Plants™ are best grown as house plants and can even be placed in a bright location outside during the warmer months. They are frost sensitive, so be sure to bring them inside before the cold weather arrives. The sensitive plant seeds of the TickleMe Plant grow to produce beautiful pink cotton puff ball flowers.
TickleMe Plants™ can live for a year or more and grow to about one foot plus in height.

What is a TickleMe Plant?
Native to Brazil, TickleMe Plants can be found growing wild there and in other tropical areas. The scientific name for the TickleMe Plant™ is Mimosa pudica. It also has been called shy grass, sensitive plant and other names throughout the world.
To learn about the natural history of the TickleMe Plant™ go to

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself and your children developing a greater sensitivity to plants. When my students first tickle their plants, they often scream “It’s ALIVE!”
Even students that are sometimes hard to motivate, can’t wait to take home their pet TickleMe Plant™ to show off to their friends and family. I grew my first TickleMe Plant™ when I was 9 years old and I never looked at plants in the same way again, nor have I ever forgotten the experience. Neither will you!
To learn more about growing TickleMe Plants™ or to order seeds go to Seed packets start at $4.95, Growing Kits and TickleMe Plant Greenhouses with mini flower pots are available.
TickleMe Plants can be found online, in science catalogs, at science museums, botanical gardens, The National Gardening Association Kid’s Store as well as at toy and gift stores.

Mark Chipkin is a middle school Science Teacher and an Educational Project Director for the TickleMe Plant™ Company. He has sent hundreds of students home with their own Pet TickleMe Plants™.
Thank you for your time to consider this matter,
Mark Chipkin
Educational Project Advisor and Co-Owner
TickleMe Plant Company

Unknown said...

Hey there -- it is so great to see Green Hours in action. Thanks for sharing your story!

Anne Keisman
Online Media Coordinator



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