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Where to Buy Heirloom Seedlings if You Can’t Start Them Yourself

 Welcome back to Tuesdays in the Garden! Today’s topic is spring veggies – growing and eating. Since seedlings are also a big part of spring gardening, I’m sharing a list of where to buy heirloom seedlings if you can’t start them yourself. Finding heirloom seedlings ready to plant can be a challenge, and this list of five places to look might be a big help.Where to buy heirloom seedlings when you can't start them yourself

*This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a bit off your purchases at no cost to you! Thank you for supporting my site.*

I enjoy starting my own seeds have done so for the last 7 years in a row. But truth be told, it’s always stressful! Pulling out the shelf and equipment. Watering every day. Harding them off. What if they don’t grow? Who’s going to babysit them when we go on spring break (we always go on spring break!) In years past, I haven’t let those complications deter me. But this year, we went to Europe right at the time when I should have been starting seeds and lining up seedling babysitters. Instead of stressing about it, I decided to let seed starting go this year.

I’m not starting my own seedlings this year!!- even though I did buy new tomato seeds for varieties I’d really love to grow in my garden. But not starting my own seeds presents a challenge – because I REALLY want to grow heirloom plants. They’re hard to find if you don’t know where to look. So instead of starting my own heirloom seedlings this year, I decided to come up with a list of where I can find heirloom seedlings started by someone else instead. I’ll keep you updated with what I find – but here’s where I’ll be buying heirloom seedlings this year!

Where to Buy Heirloom Seedlings if You Can’t Start Your Own Seeds

Buy Tomato Seedlings

Farmer’s Markets – 

Local farmer’s markets are great places to find heirloom seedlings. I haven’t visited any farmer’s markets yet this year, but I definitely remember seeing seedlings there in years’ past. Do you find heirloom seedlings at farmer’s markets? Locally, I plan to check out Freight House Farmer’s Market in Davenport and the Iowa City Farmer’s Market too.

Azure Standard

I have ordered lovely heirloom seedlings from Azure Standard (called Sarah’s Starts) and have been quite pleased with their quality. Last year, I grew a couple heirloom tomato plants from Azure Standard and also fun broccolis and cabbages. If you haven’t heard of Azure Standard before, they are an organic bulk food coop out of Oregon and deliver organic and non-gmo food and supplies all across the country. I’ve been buying in bulk from them for years and they are one way I keep my grocery budget low. You can read more about why I like them in this post.

Local Nurseries – Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menards, even Walmart

While I haven’t found a huge variety of heirloom seedlings at local nurseries, I do find a few every year. Cherokee Purple tomato seedlings seem to be a popular heirloom for big box stores to sell and I’ve seen a few other varieties too. It does take some searching, but if you look hard enough, you might find a few heirloom seeds at the big box nurseries. And Walmart! I’m not a big Walmart fan, but I really do like their nursery sometimes. They have the biggest selection of seedlings in my rural area. I’ve enjoyed buying chocolate mint starts at Walmart and other fun herb varieties that I don’t see elsewhere.

Ask friends who garden – 

It might seem an imposition to ask friends who garden, but as a person who has had good luck with seedlings in the past, I know that I happily pass my own leftovers to friends who want them! I’ve had to work hard some years to get rid of my extras and I’m always glad to find good homes for them. Facebook is a great place to advertise extra seedlings and Facebook groups are a good place to look. You can always offer your friends a barter or to pay for the seedlings, if you want!

Order direct from seed companies and sometimes even Amazon!

Two of my favorite seed companies ship out plant starts, both Seed Savers in Iowa and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in Missouri. I’ve never ordered seedlings from Seed Savers, but if you’re in the market for unique heirloom tomatoes, herbs, and peppers, definitely check out what they have to offer.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds sells heirloom sweet potato slips. I ordered a sampler last year and the plants were delightful. Unfortunately, my dogs dug up all but two of of them, and the two that were left, while prolific growers, didn’t produce much of anything. 🙁 Could be grower error, though. I have no idea why I didn’t get any sweet potatoes. The starts themselves were lovely, so it was probably grower error.

And did you know you can buy seedlings on Amazon? I want to say I am surprised to see that they sell them, but honestly, you can find everything on Amazon. I haven’t seen any heirloom seedlings yet, but it’s worth checking back for sure! Eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and herbs are all on amazon and they ship free with Amazon Prime.

And that’s where I’ve found heirloom seedlings started by someone else! Have you found heirloom seeds to buy somewhere else? Please share in the comments!

Tuesdays in the Garden 2017

Tuesdays in the Garden!

You’re in for a treat with this week’s Tuesdays in the garden posts! From growing spring crops, to eating them – we’ve got you covered. Check out what my gardening buddies are up to this week by clicking on the photos or the links beneath.

tips for growing kale
From Shelly @FrugalFamilyHome – Tips for Growing Kale

Tips for Growing Peas

From Angie @AngleFreckledRose – Tips for Growing Peas

Tips for growing rhubarb

From Diane @HomemadeFoodJunkie – Tips for Growing Rhubarb

Shrimp & Asparagus over White Bean Puree

From Jami @ An Oregon Cottage – Shrimp & Asparagus over White Bean Puree

Favorite Recipes with Spinach

From Patti @Hearth & Vine – Favorite Spring Recipes with Spinach

5 recipe ingredients to grow in your spring gardenFrom @BrenHass – 5 Recipe Ingredients to Grow in Your Spring Gardens

Where to Buy Heirloom Seedlings if You Can't Start Them Yourself

Our Eclectic 1st Grade Homeschool Curriculum

 Today, I’m sharing our eclectic 1st grade homeschool curriculum. After homeschooling three children through first grade, I think we finally have a method to the madness!

Our Eclectic 1st Grade Homeschool Curriculum featured image

*This blog post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog.*

In the past, I have shared some of the reasons we homeschool, and in this post I’m sharing what we’ve done in our first grade homeschool and some of my favorite resources. I’m always curious how other people homeschool, so I will share our method! Honestly, I don’t subscribe to any one homeschooling philosophy. We use a variety of methods and incorporate Waldorf, Charlotte Mason, Classical, Child-led and more into our homeschooling days.

Each of my children learn differently, and there are a bunch of resources here. Please note that we didn’t use ALL of these resources with each child. My eldest daughter taught herself to read and needed very little help from me with that. My son didn’t really start to read until he was seven and we did a lot of phonics work with him. My third child actually went to public school for kindergarten and learned a strong grasp of reading there. My point is, pick and choose from this post. There is no one method fits all approach to homeschooling.


Our Eclectic 1st Grade Homeschool Curriculum:

For reading ~ For beginning reading, we like to do a lot of read alouds. I use the Mensa Reading List and also the Sonlight Reading List as starting points. (We’re a secular homeschool, but I still like the Sonlight lists.) We use Bob Booksblank as well as the Starfall Learn to Readblank books. The Bob books are my favorite. The Starfall books are also nice, but I prefer the Bob books for really beginning readers. My kids also really enjoyed working through the computer based ReadingEggs program. In fact, we still have an active subscription to Reading Eggs for the younger kids.

Lakeshore Learning - Road to Reading Kit

For Language Arts – We work through the Explode the Codeblank phonics series, both in book form and also online. We’ve also used the Modern Curriculum Press phonics series and Hooked on Phonics as well. Explode the Code is my favorite for phonics, but we do like the Modern Curriculum Press spelling books. Lakeshore Learning sent me some fun educational activities like the Road to Reading kit, and my youngest daughter really enjoyed learning sight words and basic phonics from it. It’s a hands on and interactive way to practice developmental phonics skills. For the more advanced First Grader, we’ve used the Editor in Chief Grammar book and the kids have fun finding errors in passages.

For math ~ We love Singapore Math. I’ve taught it through level 6b and it is challenging and fun. Until we got to Level 4, I taught from it just fine without the teacher’s manual. But the methods they use aren’t the way I was taught and starting with Level 4, I really needed the explanations the teacher’s manuals offered. I also recommend that you get the solutions manual too. While it’s not that hard to check work, especially at the easier level, the solutions manual must makes grading that much quicker.

I’ve also heard a lot of positives about Miquon Math from friends, and have seen Teaching Textbooks in action. I like that the Teaching Textbooks is computer based and so a little more hands-off for the busy mom, but it doesn’t start until Level 3.

For history ~ I have heard rumors that a lot of people hate history??? WHAAA? I can’t for the life of me understand why. History was always one of my very favorite subjects, but I lived in Germany during elementary and middle school and traveled to see where the kings lived and slept. It was very exciting! I have always loved history and want my children to love it, too. We just finished reading Volume 1 of The Story of the World and are moving along in The Story of the World Volume 2blank. I bought the entire Volume 1 set a while back including the textbook, activity book, and test book.

I recommend the textbook, activity book, and audio CDs. The activities are fun and the CDs are so useful for car schooling and roadtrips! I didn’t know half the stuff we’re reading and the kids are always enthralled. Ancient history is so fascinating and something I never learned that much about in public school and my kids have already been exposed to The Odyssey and Beowulf is coming! I am very excited to move on to the Middle Ages in Volume 2. And we travel! No better way to learn history than by traveling.

science curriculum first grade

For science ~ I don’t have a formal curriculum here either. Instead, we go outside. We garden. We cook. The kids build things with their father. We look at the stars and talk about the planets, dinosaurs, and aliens. We read lots of books and do some copy work. The Nature Anatomy book is just gorgeous and inspires lots of art projects. We play games and do Magic School Bus experiments. My younger kids have always enjoyed watching Magic School Bus PBS show (we have the complete series on DVD) and also reading the books too.

Lakeshore Learning has a lot of great STEM activities and my kids enjoy playing and learning together with their Create-A-Chain-Reaction kit. I’ve found that when bigs and littles play together they learn a lot more!

IMG_3639This activity {which I was not aware of and did not approve of…} provided an awesome opportunity for a discussion of levers, stability, and better safety practices. My hubs was all over that discussion!!

And finally, for handwriting ~ This is one area that I feel I failed in with my daughter. When she was quite little I didn’t really care that she was writing on her own. I let her do whatever she wanted without thinking about the consequences. Well…that made for some really awful handwriting and bad habits that she is just now starting to break. We have been using Handwriting Without Tears to try to encourage proper letter formation and they seem to like it. Ben finished My Printing Bookblank already, and we will move on to the next book soon. We also listen the the The ABC CD: Rock, Rap, Tap, and Learn Readiness to Printing (Handwriting Without Tears) CDblank a lot which has catchy little tunes about starting your letters at the top and so on.

Other things we love:

GeoSafari Laptopblank~ I read about this is one of the first books I read when I was considering homeschooling, Homeschooling: A Patchwork of Days: Share a Day With 30 Homeschooling Familiesblank. The author’s family had one of these laptops and I was intrigued. My daughter got one for her 5th birthday and it has been a big hit. It reinforces a lot of basic skills: math, phonics, social studies. The kids enjoy playing on it.

MindWare Pattern Play Puzzleblank ~ My mom got this puzzle for my son a while back and it has provided hours of entertainment. I love the brightly colored wooden pieces and watching my kids study the pattern as they try to recreate it. I have also been entertained by the puzzle… 🙂 It’s lots of fun!

Draw Write Now, Books 1-8blank ~ We borrowed this boxed set from our local homeschool assistance program and my kids love it! They have a lot of fun and actually produce some really nice drawings.

Electronic Snap Circuit Kitblank ~ Another gift that Ben got from my sister last year that teaches science. This kit helps him complete circuits and understand how electricity works – which is great because I don’t understand it myself.

Super Science Magnet Setblank ~ More science! When I first starting writing this post, I thought perhaps we were too lax in the science department. But we do a lot. It’s just in the name of playing – best way to learn in my opinion.

Lakeshore Learning Smart Pencil & Learning Cards – The Smart Pencil is really cool and lets kids work independently on math, phonics, and vocabulary skills. We have the Time and Money Kit and the Smart Pencil has helped make learning some of the basics fun for my younger kids. My eldest daughter basically taught herself to read with independent products like this!

Homeschooling has been both very rewarding and a ton of work! We’ve had a lot of fun homeschooling over the years and I hope this list of some of our favorite resources helps you in your homeschooling journey too. If you have a favorite resource for homeschooling first grade, I’d love to hear!

Our Eclectic First Grade Homeschool Curriculum. Resources and links to products we've used and loved to teach first grade.

July Garden & Homestead Tour

Happy Tuesday! And welcome to the Tuesdays in the Garden!  I always love to peek inside other people’s worlds and today I’m sharing a bit of mine with a quick tour of our home.

July Garden & Homestead Tour

If this is your first time here, welcome! I’m Michelle your friendly blogger. I live on 5 acres in rural Eastern Iowa with my husband and four kids. We grow a large garden, make our own electricity with the help of grid-tied solar panels, raise chickens for eggs and meat, and live in a super energy efficient house we’ve been building for the last three years. We also have 4H rabbits and Great Pyrenees dogs. Our homestead is a work in process – a labor of love if you will. We’ve got a lot of work yet to do, but we’ve come really far in the seven years we’ve owned it. Enjoy this tour of my gardens and our little five acre homestead!

July Garden & Homestead Tour

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10 More Easy & Frugal Homemade Gift Ideas

Last year, I shared a few ideas for homemade baked goodies for Christmas. Here are a few more homemade gift ideas from around my blog {and elsewhere}, too! I know it can be difficult to navigate blogs sometimes so I thought it might be helpful if I put them all together in one post!Great Gifts for any occasion. Staying frugal with homemade gifts. 1 – I’m passing this out this year – Homemade Laundry Soap. I’ve been making my own laundry soap for a long time now, and am very thrilled with it. It’s super easy and very frugal! It only has 3 ingredients: washing {or baking} soda, borax, and Ivory soap! And a little bit goes a long way. I love the soap dressed up in a mason jar with a fun bow!

2 – Another great, frugal gift in a jar is Citrus Infused Vinegar Cleaner! I made this last year and love it, too! It’s a great way to use up some of those citrus peels I know I have an abundance of this time of year. I not planning to give this out this year, but it is in the back of my mind for another easy, frugal, useful gift to give!
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