Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be re-sharing a few posts that I published last year as part of a series called Spring Into Summer. My blog has grown much, thanks to all of you, in the past year, so many may not have seen these posts. I hope to give you some tools to prepare ahead of time for a fun, creative and relaxing summer.
- Gardening is an amazing teaching tool. Gardening opens up the door to discussions of plant cycles, good bugs vs. bad bugs, weather, soil, and life. It also helps children visualize where some of their food really comes from (i.e. it doesn’t originate on a shelf in Wal-mart!)
- Gardening forces you outside. The average modern child spends way too much time camped in front of a computer or tv screen and way too little time outside. (The average adult does too!) Gardening is a great way to enjoy fresh air and sunshine together.
- Gardening contributes to the family economy (hopefully!) Growing some of your own vegetables together helps save money on the grocery bill. Even small children enjoy knowing that they are “helping the family.”
- Gardening helps children learn to love vegetables. If you’ve carefully tended a bean plant together, chances are your child will willingly eat the beans.
- Only plant vegetables you really like and regularly eat. In over six years of grocery shopping, I have bought eggplant once. No matter how fun it sounds, planting eggplant would probably not be a wise idea for our family. Instead, let your children pick one or two of their favorite vegetables to grow!
- Start with easy to grow vegetables. Cucumber, bean, sunflowers, and squash are easy-to-grow summer vegetables/flowers you can plant from seed. Tomatos and peppers are also easy, but you’d want to purchase a plant. (Check out Jill’s Home Remedies for great deals on non-GMO heirloom seeds.)
- Start small. It’s so tempting when you’re planning a garden to want to put in three rows of cucumbers. However, unless you’re planning on starting a farmer’s market (or keeping the whole neighborhood stocked) a few plants would be more manageable. It would be much better to plant one tomato plant in a pot and actually enjoy the process, than let a whole garden full of vegetables become a burden.
- Realize that even a “failed garden” is worth it. Sure, we’d all love to plant beautiful gardens that keep are families fed for weeks. However, even if your garden fails, the time spent with your children was not wasted!
Shared at Thriving Thursdays