We are raising our two “seedlings” in North East Fife, just a short drive from Tayport and are striving as a family to reduce our carbon footprint. I have started this blog to share our journey this year and tips on what has worked well (and not so well) with our young family.
Our outdoor challenge for this year is to grow as much as of our own food as we can and fit it with work commitments. We are aiming to triple our harvest from last year. To do this we are going to transform a concrete area on our driveway to become an extension of our veggie patch. We will need to build some planters from salvaged and recycled materials, raising them off the ground to allow for drainage. The children love wood-work so I’m sure will try to help as much as possible. We made two new raised beds using old slabs last year, and aside from one getting cracked when a delivery van drove into it, they have done really well.
We have recently found the children becoming disconnected from the outdoors due to the colder weather, being off nursery due to the lockdown and less focus with two parents (allegedly) working full time from home. They usually attend a fully outdoor nursery so are normally in sync with the changing seasons and think positively about going out in wet weather; it’s good for the plants, gives us brilliant puddles to jump in etc. Now we have seen some tentative signs of Spring being on its way, we have decided to refocus on the amount of time we spend outdoors.
Being outside really helps me centre myself, I have never come in from the garden in a negative frame of mind even if I stomped my way out of the house! The children are the same. It doesn’t always work and occasionally someone will fall face first into a puddle and you have to carry a bike, a child and a bag home with another child and a bunch of sticks in tow with everyone howling! At the same time I find staying in guarantees that everyone will feel pretty grotty and it’s worth putting on the layers even for a short time outside.
Our top tips to encourage outdoor adventures
- Go with a mission, try a colour hunt, photography challenge or track animal prints in the snow/mud
- Take a hot drink in a flask and a snack
- Tuck some hand warmers into your pockets
- Wear the right kit. This doesn’t need to be expensive however lots of thin wool layers under waterproofs help keep you cosy. We found some great merino wool thermals second hand.
- Take spare gloves and hats
February’s jobs and fun
- Planted bare rooted berry bushes so we have lots to snack on later in the year
- Dug over the compost heaps ready to help fill new veg beds
- Gathered materials for making our extra raised veg beds. We found some pallets behind our sheds and these will come in handy
- Started to sow seeds indoors. We began with planting cucumbers and sweet peas, using recycled materials such as toilet roll tubes and old baking trays
- Potted up the pups from our money plant, see this guide for how to do it
- We had a great time making ice volcanoes
- Snowmen, snow roads, snow towers…. you get the idea, we had a lot of snow!
Keep an eye out for more in March including…
🔨Building the raised beds
🌳Harvesting willow for making supports in the garden
🐞Constructing new bug hotels out of recycled materials
🎁Making presents for a friends’ new garden
🌈Planning our new rainbow garden for the children