Because I Can

It started a few years ago, with strawberry jam.  The next year, I added tomatoes. The year after that; zucchini, corn, and blueberries.   I am now a full-fledged canner of seasonal produce, and what doesn’t can well gets frozen.  Although I live in-town and love it, I also appreciate the enormous amount of produce grown in West Michigan.  Aside from apples, I am not a huge fan of the ‘pick yer own’ experience although Good Idea Momma has promised me a good time cherry picking this year.  I do like to visit the farms when that is an option, so that my city kids can see that apples don’t come from Meijers. 

I have already started to plan what I will need to put up for next year based on what we used (or didn’t use) so far this year.  I really like the idea of involving my kids in this process, so when I saw the suggestion on PreschoolRock to make a “What’s In Season” calendar I was very excited. 

Here is what you will need:

  • Printer paper or construction paper
  • Magazines or seed catalogs for cutting out pictures of fruits and vegetables
  • Markers or Crayons
  • Glue
  • Paper Clips

Here is what you will do:

Step 1: Use one page for each month. You can do a few months to cover spring and summer or complete the whole year. Label the top of each page with the name of the month.

Step 2: Look through magazines or catalogs with your preschooler and cut out pictures of fruits and vegetables. Choose pictures of just the fruit/vegetable or choose pictures “on-the-vine” of the entire plant. Include your favorites but also include a few you or your preschooler would like to try for the first time.

Step 3: Glue each fruit or vegetable onto the month’s page that best represents the time when it is ripe and ready to eat. Leave about 1/3 of the page at the bottom blank for notes.

Step 4: At the bottom of each page, make notes about dishes you’d like to try with that month’s produce or activities you’d like to do, such as visiting a U-Pick farm. To the extent that they are able, my kids help with canning and freezing so this will be noted also.

Step 5: Attach pages with paper clip(s), leaving the current month on top and on prominent display in your kitchen.

Here is a listing of what is available throughout the year around here.  If you live in another area, click on this link to the National Resources Defense Council to see what’s growing around you.

Time of Year Fresh Produce

March (late) Broccoli, Cabbage,
April (early) Asparagus, Broccoli, Cabbage, Greens, Herbs
April (late) Asparagus, Broccoli, Cabbage, Greens, Herbs
May (early) Asparagus, Greens, Herbs, Potatoes, Rhubarb
May (late) Asparagus, Greens, Herbs, Peas, Potatoes, Rhubarb
June (early) Asparagus, Beans, Blackberries, Herbs, Peas, Potatoes, Rhubarb, Squash, Strawberries
June (late) Beans, Blackberries, Cherries , Herbs, Potatoes, Rhubarb, Squash, Strawberries
July (early) Beans, Blackberries, Cantaloupes, Cherries, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Herbs, Nectarines, Peaches, Peppers, Potatoes, Raspberries, Squash
July (late) Beans, Beets, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cantaloupes, Cherries, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Herbs, Nectarines, Peaches, Peppers, Potatoes, Raspberries, Squash

August (early) Apples, Asian Pears, Beans, Beets, Blueberries, Cabbage, Cantaloupes, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Herbs, Nectarines, Peaches, Peppers, Raspberries, Squash, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, Watermelon
August (late) Apples, Asian Pears, Beans, Beets, Blueberries, Cabbage, Cantaloupes, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Herbs, Nectarines, Peaches, Peppers, Raspberries, Squash, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, Watermelon
September (early) Apples, Asian Pears, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cantaloupes, Eggplant, Greens, Herbs, Peppers, Plums, Pumpkins, Raspberries, Squash, Sweet Corn, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Watermelon
September (late) Apples, Asian Pears, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cantaloupes, Eggplant, Greens, Herbs, Peppers, Plums, Pumpkins, Raspberries, Squash, Sweet Corn, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Watermelon
October (early) Apples, Asian Pears, Beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Greens, Herbs, Plums, Pumpkins, Squash, Sweet Potatoes , Watermelon
October (late) Apples, Asian Pears, Beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Greens, Herbs, Plums, Pumpkins, Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Watermelon

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under Something to Make Saturday

5 responses to “Because I Can

  1. Big Binder – you are such an awesome educator at home! I am impressed with this project, we might have to start something like it around here.

  2. Dear Big Binder,
    Parents and teachers interested in getting kids to develop a friendly attitude towards fruits and vegetables should take a look at new book called “The ABC’s of Fruits and Vegetables and Beyond.” Out only a few months and already being bought in quantity for class use. For kids of all ages as it is two books in one – children first learn their alphabet through produce poems and then go on to hundreds of related activities. It is coauthored by best-selling food writer David Goldbeck and Jim Henson writer Steve Charney. More at HealthyHighways.com

  3. I smell a MOPS contender… 🙂

  4. Silly Sister-in-law

    Since we live in Sparta, we have a lot of fruit farms available to us very close by our home. If any one is interested, the most items we can or freeze are strawberries, cherries, blueberries, peaches, apples, asparagus, and raspberries. The cherry season is very short. We usually pick (eat) our own (with the exception of raspberries, they are very time consuming to pick and my kids get distracted by the “prickers”). PS – my sister-in-law is awesome 🙂

  5. Great idea and great list. I don’t can – I’m too afraid I’m going to poison my family by accident.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s