Camp Frémont

Gardening, Photography, and Homeschool.

- by Sarah Fremont

  • Sarah Fremont

Plant propagation: The process of growing a new plant from a mother plant by seeds, cuttings, or other plant parts.

It was a few days before Christmas when we heard a knock at our door—our sweet neighbors bearing gifts and Christmas greetings! They presented us with three small vintage glass jars wrapped with ribbons, each containing a cutting of a Pothos plant. “Place the jars out of direct sunlight, change the water every once in a while, and the plant will survive for a long time,” our neighbors explained. We followed their directions and enjoyed the ease of caring for the plants and observing the growth of the roots submerged in water. Since that day we have gifted many lovely glass jars with our own cuttings.

Water propagation is by far the simplest way to grow new plants. All you have to do is snip a cutting from your plant and place it in water! The fun of watching the continual development of roots is an added bonus. There are a number of plants that grow well in water after propagating, including: African Violet, Bloodleaf, Chinese Evergreen, Coleus, Corn Plant, Glacier Ivy, Pothos, and Umbrella Sedge. (We’ve found that propagating Pothos is the easiest, so let’s start there!)

Here are a few simple instructions for propagating the Pothos in water:

  1. Choose a vine (runner) extending from your “parent” Pothos plant.

  2. Cut the vine so that each piece you will be propagating contains a node and a leaf (see photo). The node is where new growth will occur.

  3. Place the leaf with node in water. Roots need air as much as water, so you will need to replace the water every few days. (The water from your tap has oxygen in it. As it sits, the oxygen evaporates and the water becomes stale.)

  4. Place the jars on a counter where the temperature of the air is above 68 degrees.

  5. Plants will survive for a good while in water, but you can eventually pot them in soil.

Place your leaf cutting in a beautiful jar wrapped with Christmas ribbon and you have yourself a lovely homemade gift!

Happy propagating! xo

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Updated: Aug 3, 2021

Years ago I heard a story from our pastor, Dr. Timothy Keller, that completely astonished me. When his wife Kathy was 12 years old, she wrote to C.S. Lewis . . . And he wrote her back.

11th November 1963

Dear Kathy,

Thanks for your note of the 5th, and I hope you will enjoy the Screwtape Letters which has been the most popular of all my books.

I sympathize with your “maddening experience”, but I can assure you that this is one of the occupational risks of authorship; the same sort of thing has happened to me more than once. There is nothing to be done about it!

With all best wishes,

yours sincerely,

C.S. Lewis

They continued to write back and forth four times. The last letter she received from him was 11 days before he died. The part that most astonished me was not that he wrote her back, but that she had thought to write him in the first place. His writings had so moved her that she wanted to form a connection with the writer.

If I had been alive during the time his Narnia books were first published, would I have written to him? It’s doubtful. Most likely fear, self-doubt, and laziness would have contributed to me missing out on a remarkable opportunity. This got me thinking . . . Who are the present-day authors or illustrators inspiring us? Who could we write to encourage and praise, so we do not miss out on an opportunity to make a connection?

Our primary objective in writing to our favorites was not only to get a response - even though that would be a hopeful outcome - we also wrote to praise and to encourage them, to tell them how much we loved their work, and what it meant to us personally. A few times we asked thoughtful questions about the writing and illustrating process to seek help with our own writing and illustrating. We also chose our favorite authors and illustrators that were lesser known, thinking we may have a better opportunity to connect with someone that may not already be inundated with letters.

We have been on this journey for six years, writing letters to authors and illustrators, many of whom have written us back. In fact, my oldest daughter has her very own “C.S. Lewis pen pal”. Such a delightful outcome. They have exchanged lovely ideas about the writing and illustrating process. Though sharing ideas with her pen pal has helped my daughter with her own efforts, the best outcome has been the personal connection she has been able to make with one of her favorite authors.

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  • Sarah Fremont

We had moved to a new town in a new state. We left our home, friends, and family for work opportunities. I was hoping it would be temporary - Texas was so foreign compared to our cozy, familiar place in Minnesota. When I met other homeschool mothers at the park, and they asked for my phone number, I thought, “Why? I’m only here for a short while. No need to put down roots and make connections here!” But a year went by, and then another. It seemed like we were actually going to live in Texas ... I looked around at our homeschool rhythms, and I was not satisfied. I had not created the environment I desired because this was not where I had wanted to be.

I firmly believe in the power of handwritten goals. In fact, my husband and I have always written our goals for the year, taped them to our fridge, and worked to accomplish them. Seeing our goals in written form, on a daily basis, keep us focused, excited and motivated. However, my goals, dreams, and desires for the rhythms of homeschool were much too visual to capture in a simple, textual, bullet-pointed goal list. The process my husband and I used of setting up goals needed to be expanded upon. To motivate the change I wanted, I decided to make a collection of the inspiring photos offline. Thus the idea of a vision board was born.

I was incredibly inspired by the images of homeschool families who spent their days gardening, handling chickens and goats, and had spaces in their homes for displaying a plethora of nature collections. These were the pictures I wanted to move from my imagination to reality. So, the first step was to begin gathering photographs. I cut out images from magazines, such as Taproot and Modern Farmer, and printed pictures from the internet. Armed with this stack of motivating photos, I formed a collage of them on a piece of cardboard. After the vision board was completed, it found its place in the heart of our home, the kitchen, for all to see. The concrete examples on display of the homeschool life I desired motivated me to finally take ownership of our vision here in Texas. There, on our board, were images of people gardening, chickens, dogs, goats, kids climbing trees, and nature collections. This vision board represented goals for our home life and my children’s homeschool days, and opened fundamental questions such as where does one get chickens? Where will we cultivate our garden? Where should we designate a nature display? These questions lead us to explore, to find the answers, and to put our visions from the board into action. Having a physical image board that all family members could see numerous times throughout the day - instead of hidden away on a screen - created enthusiasm and an emotional connection to what the future could be.

It’s been two years now, and most of the original goals have been met, a few are still in progress, (the goats will be kidding this spring), and some desires have changed. We keep the vision board in our garage now. It has been great fun to show friends and neighbors how far we’ve come in our journey to our goals. Seeing our vision board come to life in the rhythms of our homeschool days has inspired many folks to create a vision board of their own.

Do you have changes you desire for your daily homeschool rhythm? Perhaps a vision board could help motivate you to achieve those goals as it did for my husband, my children and me.

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