Our garden has yielded the first vegetables of the year, two perfect radishes. My son was beside himself he was so excited. The radishes are “his” since the seeds came with the garden bag we got him earlier in the year.
Gardening has been a family affair this year. After 5 years of trying to grow vegetables in various pots in various locations around our shade dense property, I gave up. This past fall I told my husband I was through looking at bushes I didn’t like and demanded the removal of many of them directly in front of the house. It’s the one place that gets enough sun to grow vegetables. After all, I’d much rather look out and see a beautiful garden than random bushes.
It didn’t take long before the kids were into the act and we were all throwing out ideas for the kinds of plants to plant and how it all should come together. Honestly, that’s the best way to get your kids involved, just talk about what they’d like to grow. Tell them what you’d like to grow and why. When you know what they are interested in, it’s then easy to delve deeper and teach them everything about that particular plant.
After we decided upon our seeds, we planned our garden. We built raised beds and decided that given the small space, we’d go with a square foot garden approach. I even bought the book by Mel Bartholomew. It’s been immensely helpful. Our garden boxes came together nicely and then we waited, not so patiently, for winter to pass so we could start planting.
Planting was the most fun for the kids. Who doesn’t like to stick their hands in the dirt? Putting seeds in the holes, gently covering them up and then watering (oh what fun the watering is!), and, again not so patiently, waiting for them to peek up out of the ground.
We tend the garden every day to check on our crop, to talk about the changes in the plants, to predict which plants will grow well, what will be next to harvest and which ones the kids want to try. Their enthusiasm is endless because they are a part of the process and because they can take ownership of the accomplishment. And as a result, they are not only learning a lot, but experiencing so many new things too. I am quite certain that the only reason my son tried radishes is because they were “his” and he grew them with love and pride.