So here's our plan. We've got a small field on the north-west end of our property that is fronted by the road and a line of trees on one side and then rows of cedars and tamarack trees on two other sides.
Technically, it's a hayfield, but it's a pretty small one and since we have 10+ acres for cutting, we decided we'd start planting our fruit trees here. As it'll take years to create an orchard, we've still got a lot of open space that was simply left to grow. Until now.
Last year, hubbie put up a small teepee and covered it with ugly blue tarp. The kids loved playing in. I loved the kids playing it in but I hated the ugly blue tarp. Yes, tarps can be very useful but they're not particularly eco-friendly. I also have an aversion to blue tarps in particular since finding tiny shreds of one all over the vegetable garden after the previous owners buried one in the place that's now our compost area. Let's just say it's really, really tiresome to pick millions of tiny pieces of non-biodegradeable blue tarp out of vegetable beds.
While the blue tarp was removed from the teepee last fall, the skeleton remained, standing like a sentry in our front field.
When I asked the kids what they wanted to do for their kinderGARDENS project, we started talking about some of the things they loved growing in our first garden from last year -- morning glories, said Jack, those giant green beans, said Ella.
Well, there you have it: the perfect makings of a bean teepee -- a living hideaway where the kids can play, read, snooze -- even snack! -- under twining vines and lovely flowers.
We'd also planned on growing a traditional three sisters garden this summer with corn, more beans and squash (or perhaps pumpkins... maybe both!) but we didn't know where to put it. Now we do -- one bed on each of the four corners of the space we've cleared around the teepee. And between the three sisters gardens -- sunflower walls, of course!
We may try to build a really simple twig fence around the perimeter of all of this. Or maybe not. It all depends on what the kids want to do. I've decided I'm not going to fall into my usually trap of making uber-ambitious projects, giving myself two hours to finish them and then wonder why I'm left frustrated and discouraged.
This time, I'm shelving my type-A self and allowing the kids to take the lead.
This time, instead of focusing on the end result, I'm just looking forward to the journey.