Thursday, June 9, 2011

In the Garden with Monster Feet and Chopped Bangs

There is simply nothing like gardening with children.   Though a tad bumbly and even disastrous at times, it is one of my most favorite times with my little ones.  To sit in the soil (rock ridden as it is!) with a little man cub on my lap whose chubby little hands are filled with seeds, and whose little self is babbling away about everything in the world is…quite simply…bliss.  Truth be told, I could do without all the seeds from a packet being dumped from chubby hands into one spot…but in the end…I would not trade those precious hands helping in the garden for anything in the world. 

I am no expert, having only gardened with my own children for a few years, but I have learned a few things along the way.  Maybe they’ll help you in your own gardening adventures.

  • Always always always remember that the people you are gardening with are so much more the purpose of the garden than the produce coming out of it.
  • Grow the things you would like your children to be eating…there is something magical about growing the food that makes it easier for little mouths to gobble it up at the dinner table…or straight from the garden!!
  • Grow radishes…even if they are not a favorite in your home…they grow so rapidly and can be replanted throughout the season and provide more of an immediate (or at least quicker) gratification for little gardeners.
  • Set aside a bed for your little ones to plan and plant however they like. 
  • Make it fun…plant flowers along with the vegetables, choose unusual varieties like purple green beans, giant pumpkins, etc to spark your children's whimsy. 
  • Remember that all living things want to grow and are very forgiving….however clumsily planted, they will do their very best, and most likely grow into strong healthy plants. 
  • There are many great books about gardening with children…you can find a few of my own favorites featured in the sidebar.  Have fun browsing!!!

Happy gardening my friends.