Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's Decided, A Summer Project

We are growing sunflowers again.  In light of our planting a mangel crop, we decided not to grow something that would help us feed the chickens in the winter in this particular plot.  Instead, Sam and Sadie are going to help us with the sunflowers so they can learn a bit about (a very) small business.  As a family, we've decided on a mission that the proceeds will go toward with the kids getting a small amount of spending money for themselves.

 Sam and Sadie helping set the stakes.

We're hoping that this will be a good project for them to help with.  They certainly aren't old enough to take it over, but maybe it will lay the foundation needed so that when they are old enough, they can take the lead with it (or other projects like it) and learn the value of earning money for the purpose of giving.  Summers are the perfect time for kids to learn to give.  They are naturally self-centered little buggers (as are we grown ups), so getting the focus off themselves is an important goal that we can set before them at a young age.

Last year's sunflowers

I'm curious...what summer projects did you help with during the summers growing up?  Will your kids be involved in any homesteading projects this summer? 

I just love hearing what you all do. Pin It


  1. What a great idea! As a child we moved quite often because we were a military family. The one project I remember from virtually every year of my childhood until the day I left home was our summer cleaning project. Each summer, soon after school got out we would clean the house from top to bottom. We wash all the windows, curtains, dusted, waxed, washed the inside of all the kitchen cabinets, etc. We even took all the crystals off the crystal chandelier (no we weren't rich but were stationed in Germany where we were able to purchase crystal for pennies on the dollar at the factory where it was made.) It wasn't a job I particularly enjoyed but I loved how clean and sparkly everything was when we finished. We would always have music on and normally it was a time I got to enjoy with my mom!

  2. What size/kind of sunflowers will you be using? We have a terribly ugly patch of dirt along the side of our garage - we don't see it from the house, so it doesn't get much attention... but I'd love to make it more attractive to the other people walking by - and get some cut flowers as well. :)

  3. We are also military. Every year the post holds a post wide garage sale. During the Spring garage sale (just a few weeks ago) the Children sold water and drinks to those that were thirsty. A small little thing but they took it extremely seriously. And, I soon learned I have some really "hard pressure" sales men! (giggle)

  4. I grew up on a farm, so summers were full of making hay, building fences, and gardening. Sometimes we grew sweet corn or pumpkins for money, and once in awhile when my dad sold some hay, we would get a few dollars. Summers were also full of playing in the creek, traipsing through the woods, and playing with our cousins. I think you have the right idea with introducing your kids to work and the value of money early on. My brother and I griped about how tough we had it being farm kids, but when we look back now, it taught us a lot and we both want our families to eventually move back there so our kids can someday learn those same lessons.

  5. We didn't do anything like that as a family....but each summer between the ages of 13 and 15 I had what I called "Fun School". I invited the kids that I babysat for (which was like the whole neighborhood!) was for 2 hours on Tues and Thurs. The mom's could drop their kids off...drop a couple bucks in the coffee can and go do errands in peace. In the meantime, the kids and I would sing, make art projects (I bought supplies with my earnings and sometimes had the moms bring egg cartons or popsicle sticks from home!), play games, go for "nature walks" in the neighborhood, and have a snack. Before I knew it the moms would start arriving and we'd be done for the day! It was really a lot of fun...and cool of my parents to let me use their garage twice a week! Not to mention I made a little extra summer cash!

  6. THHP - That's lovely! My youngest and I are doing this together, too! We have several varieties and hope to get them started soon! I don't have a big area like you have, so we'll have to be creative where we plant them. Hope we all have SUNFLOWER SUCCESS!

  7. Every summer I picked asparagus for a local farmer. That was my main source of "income" until I turned 18. Looking forward to seeing your sunflowers when they bloom.

  8. Our summer project (for teens) is volunteering with EKWIP; a summer camp for special needs children. Every other week different age groups come to the barn at our Leap of Faith Equine Assisted Therapy center to attend a summer camp style day filled with guided hikes, hand crafts, swimming, horses, games, and projects geared toward having fun and expanding their abilities.
    As for homesteading projects...our teens this year are learning cheese making with me and looking to market it locally.
    Thanks for sharing your vision--your on a great path!

  9. Oh, I just love reading about your summers.

    The sunflowers we plant are Sunrich orange F1 hybrids. The reason we are planting these is because they are great for bouquets (and often the kind florists use) because they don't drop pollen and they're non-branching. We got them from Johnny's Selected Seeds catalog.

  10. I grew up in middle class suburbia and was pretty much left to my own devices all summer. I can't remember having any chores except doing dishes and that type of thing.

    Our daughter was raised on our homestead and her main chores were getting in cookstove wood daily and helping with our wood business where we cut, bundled and delivered 5,000 bundles of firewood each year to a local state park.

  11. Hi! I love reading your blog, but have never commented before. We spent our summers making projects for the county fair--we would do sewing projects, canning, jam making, fruit leather, dried fruits, etc. We earned money for each ribbon we earned--higher for blue ribbons, etc. I'm sure it cost way more to produce the goods, but my mom always let us keep the ribbon money. It was a good way for us to learn that the more we put into it, the more we would get out of it.


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