One of my favorite things about spring is gardening. And the best way to have fun gardening is with your kids! It is definitely a test of patience and you can't expect perfectly straight rows. There will most likely be carrot seeds "accidentally" dropped in with the green bean seeds, and your child will probably water him or herself more than the garden. But there are so many life lessons and memories to be made when mommy and child both have their hands in the soil that all of these imperfections will soon be overlooked. From the time they could walk my girls have been planting, watering, pulling weeds and in the end enjoying the harvest from our labor of love.
There are lots of reasons to share this experience with your children but for me it's all about these few ideas:
- Talking about Gods beautiful creation we’ve all been blessed to share
- Respecting the men and women who spend their lives working the soil to make a living and provide food for the rest of us
- Learning the value of hard work
- Understanding our food doesn't magically appear at the grocery store
In addition to these important life lessons, gardening with your kids also helps combat childhood obesity. Studies show kids who actively help grow fruits and veggies are also more likely to eat them. Now, many moms say they don't have the time or space to garden. But really, if you have a place for a pot to get at least a few hours of sun there is something you can grow. In addition to planting in containers, you can also plant in hay bales. Simply cut out holes in the top of the bale, fill with good soil, and plant! No weeding and your garden will only take up a few feet. So what should you plant? My girls love harvesting potatoes. It's like going on an Easter egg hunt in the middle of summer. Tomatoes are also a favorite; especially, the cherry or grape varieties that they can eat right off the vine. Same with strawberries. (Washing first however is highly recommended!)
Ladies, I know it's easier just to grab your veggies at the store, but I challenge you to give gardening with your kids a try. The joy of seeing their little dirty faces enjoying nature is priceless! If you already share a garden with your family please tell me about it. What do you like to grow? Got any tips to help beginners?