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Wonder Sprouts Fall Nature Classes

Posted by on Sep 6, 2017 in Education, Gardening | 0 comments

  September is just around the corner and they have a special line up of sessions planned for our Wonder Sprouts this autumn at the Outdoor Education Center. Come out and join us as we hunt for berries, harvest squash, plant food for bees, build micro-greenhouses from re-purposed containers and more! Dates/ Times: Monday, September 11 – 10:00-11:30 am Friday,September 15 – 3:00 -4:30 pm Monday, September 18 – 10:00-11:30 am Friday, September 22 – 3:00 -4:30 pm Monday,September 25 – 10:00-11:30 am Friday, September 29 – 3:00 -4:30 pm Monday, October 2 – 10:00-11:30 am Friday, October 6 – 3:00 -4:30 pm Friday, October 13 – 3:00 -4:30 pm Monday, October 16 – 10:00-11:30 am Friday, October 20 – 3:00 -4:30 pm Monday, October 23 – 10:00-11:30 am Price: Adult/ 1 child – 1 session $15.00 Adult/ 2...

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Tips for Successful Raised Bed Gardening

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Autos, Gardening, Green Living, Kia | 1 comment

 Sponsored in partnership with Kia When my oldest son developed severe food allergies, I turned to food to help heal his overactive immune system. I found that by feeding him a plant-based diet with all organic produce that his allergies decreased, and he had fewer anaphylaxis reactions to food. The only downside was that feeding a family of five a diet rich with organic food was very costly, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I went to The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano and got information on how to start growing organic produce for my family in our backyard. I had my husband tear out most of our grass in the backyard, build raised beds, and we got started on what we now call “The Barone Farm.” Over the years, I have successfully been able...

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Wonder Sprouts Helps Kids Become Eco-Heroes

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017 in Education, Events, Gardening | 0 comments

  In organic gardens overflowing with herbs, kale and berry bushes, Suzanne Slavens led my son and his new friends in song during the fall session of Wonder Sprouts at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center. “Capturing sunlight, collecting worm poop, I can make a difference even though I am little.” Soon the children jumped up and danced to the music, their voices rising loud enough for the citrus trees in the hills above to hear. Suzanne is excited about the new winter curriculum for ages 3-6. Topics include making dyes out of beets and greens, searching for “gold” treasure in citrus groves and training kids to be eco-heroes. Turns out Suzanne created the quoted song about kids making a difference. She believes active lessons in nature during early childhood produce huge dividends later. “Hopefully Wonder Sprouts will inspire...

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The Outlets at San Clemente Debuts in Orange County (Giveaway)

Posted by on Nov 15, 2015 in Featured, Gardening, Shopping | 1 comment

 Sponsored Just in time for the holiday season, The Outlets at San Clemente has officially opened. All of the hottest retailers have opened discount store locations in the shopping center offering the coolest fashion trends at 30-70% off retail. More than 35 retails stores opened this weekend during the grand opening celebration including Calvin Klein, Cole Haan, H&M, Nike Factory Store, Tilly’s, Tommy Hilfiger, and more. Additional stores will continue to come to the popular shopping destination over the upcoming months reaching more than 70 outlets stores. The outlet center is one of the most beautiful shopping destinations in Orange County with beautiful architectural elements. Guests will feel immersed in the atmosphere of a European village while strolling through the courtyards and promenades. With families in mind, the Outlets at San Clemente features the most luxurious mother’s room and...

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Berry Picking and Apple Cider Mini Donuts at Snow-Line Orchard

Posted by on Sep 15, 2015 in Events, Family, Featured, Gardening | 0 comments

  While spending the afternoon apple picking in Oak Glen, we couldn’t miss stopping at Snow-Line Orchard for their famous apple cider mini donuts. Snow-Line Orchard is one of my favorite places to visit while in the area to stop, relax, and spend quality time with my family while surrounded by such beautiful nature. We started our visit to the farm by picking up some souvenirs for the kids in their adorable store and then waiting in the long line to get some of their delicious mini donuts. The donuts cost $2.45 for a bag of 6 donuts and $4 for a bag of 12 donuts. Once we got our freshly made apple cider donuts, we took them to the enjoy at one of the outdoor tables while listening to live music. The farm has a barbecue going on...

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Family Guide to the all-new Discovery Cube Orange County

Posted by on Jun 11, 2015 in Activities, Featured, Gardening, LegoLand, Theme Parks | 4 comments

 We visited as a guest of DSC It’s an all-new discovery Cube OC as today the center opened their highly-anticipated new wing, restaurant and more. The center has expanded to become a 44,000 square-foot venue with permanent exhibits, interactive programs, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning spaces. It is the perfect place for families to keep their children learning throughout the summer. Discovery Cube Orange County will also feature a new 10,000 square-foot Julianne Argyros Showcase Theater and Exhibition Hall. It will provide the ability to transform an exhibition space into a 500-seat theater for greater flexibility in giving the families of Orange County an ever-changing destination for entertainment and education. New Exhibits: Sherlock Holmes – The first exhibit on display in the Julianne Argyros Showcase Theater and Exhibition Hall will be The International Exhibit of Sherlock...

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How to Start a Backyard Vegetable Garden

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Family, Gardening | 3 comments

  Starting a backyard garden is easier than many people think. This month is the perfect month to get started planting for a Summer Harvest. Don’t have the space? You don’t need a large space to grow a large amount of produce for your family to enjoy throughout the Summer months. If you only have space for 1-2 things to plant then look for a couple of families to crop share. Think you don’t have time to care for a garden? It will take 1-2 days to get started, and then only 5-10 minutes a day to care for the garden. You’ll need to commit the 1-2 days every year to refresh and replant. I first started my backyard garden over five years ago in an attempt to try and calm my sons overactive immune system, and try and...

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Free Garden Activities at the Farm + Food Lab in Irvine

Posted by on Mar 5, 2015 in Events, Featured, Gardening | 1 comment

  Want to get your kids outdoors in the fresh air and away from the electronics? Want to inspire them to eat, (of all things!) vegetables?!!!! There’s a wonderful demonstration garden, the Farm + Food Lab, at the Great Park in Irvine that offers free garden related events for kids on the weekends, and anytime is a fun, educational place for them to explore! What is the Farm + Food Lab? What? It’s a 2 acre demonstration garden at the Orange County Great Park. What’s in it? 12 themed garden beds: ‘Pizza’ garden, ‘Fruit Salad’ garden, ‘Butterfly’ garden and more. What else? Be sure to visit the chicken coop, worm bin, bean tunnel, vertical strawberry garden, kid sized container garden, container blueberry orchard, hay bale garden, and over 50 espaliered fruit trees. Maybe read a story from the garden’s...

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Kids in the Garden! Spring Blooms from Seed Bombs

Posted by on Feb 28, 2015 in Crafts, Family, Gardening | 0 comments

  Remember the fun of making mud pies and getting your hands (and the rest of you!) dirty? Here’s a project that lets kids get their hands dirty, but also gives them the opportunity to bring spring blooms to your yard, school grounds, or anywhere you can get permission to throw them! What is a ‘Seed Bomb’? Seed ‘bombs’ are made of clay, compost and wildflower seeds (or other easy-to-grow seeds) mixed together with water, formed into balls, and then dried. Once dry, they can be tossed into the garden, on backyard slopes, or anywhere that has full sun exposure and the ability to get water from sprinklers or natural rainfall. Materials Needed Clay (I used Crayola Air Dry Clay found at Michaels Craft Stores) Compost (sold in bags at hardware stores or garden centers) A large packet (12...

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Easy Ways to Refresh Your Backyard

Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Family, Gardening, Parenting | 0 comments

 Is your backyard looking old and dumpy after the fall and winter seasons? Does your outdoor furniture look as though squirrels nested in it? Do you notice cracks in the hardscape? Flowers non-existent? Well, now’s the perfect time to refresh that worn backyard with some splash and color. Probably like me, you’re still waiting to inherit a boatload of cash from a distant relative, which doesn’t leave a big HGTV remodel budget. Which is why our own backyard refresh has been a “work in progress” the last year. Doing some research, including interviewing my mother-in-law (MIL), who is knowledgeable in landscaping and reviving outdoor living spaces, here are a few ways to refresh that dull yard: Add Seasonal Flowered Plants If you love vibrant hues of summer flora, these are a few no-fail flowering plants that will bloom all...

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How to Compost

Posted by on Apr 26, 2014 in Family, Featured, Gardening, Health | 0 comments

  Gardening is one of those fun activities for the whole family! You don’t need a green thumb to have your own garden, especially if you grow lettuce, herbs, potatoes, radishes, beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Those are some of the easiest vegetables to grown, green thumb or not. My favorite part about it all is connecting with nature. Call me a kid at heart, but I truly enjoy digging in the dirt and picking the weeds! It’s one of the best was for me to unwind and relax, plus the kids absolutely love watching everything grow. The picture above is from my spring garden last year. Our lettuce went crazy last spring and we had a constant supply of home grown leafy greens (as you can see from the picture above). It was my best garden yet! Every gardener...

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