Dig This!

Gardening with the little ones in mind

It’s really, really fun. We know, because we were kids once, and at age 6, when bees were the size of bats and snakes were not at all threatening, digging up a radish or a carrot in Mima’s backyard was the best thing in the world.

In fact, we go into total recall on the organic gardening site Molly found when it tells us to “Watch a child pull a carrot from the earth, brush off the soil, and take a bite, or see the anticipation in the eyes of a youngster creating a bouquet of flowers she grew. There is a natural magnetic attraction between children and the earth, whether it’s making mud or discovering a germinating seed emerge from the earth. Gardening with children, from toddlers to adolescents, opens new windows in a world dominated by technology.” Of course you DO have to log on to read the whole thing, which kind of dilutes the “world dominated by technology” message, but nonetheless it’s a very good piece.

We quote: “Memories last longer than one season. Adults who fondly remember a childhood spent in a garden often recall a parent, grandparent, or neighbor who guided and encouraged them to explore the natural world. Jim Flint, executive director of Friends of Burlington Gardens, in Vermont, takes pride in planting a straight row, which he learned from his father, and in preparing food he’s grown himself, which his mother taught him. His strongest memory of gardening in childhood, however, is of being with his grandmother. In the garden, ‘she talked and explained things, and not just gardening.’”

We miss our Mima.

So, whether you are “an accomplished gardener or a novice, gardening with children is your chance to partner with Mother Nature to make magic. Don’t worry about achieving horticultural perfection. Just dig in and grow something beautiful or good to eat. Your garden is your treasure chest; you and your young gardener—exploring together—can discover its priceless bounty for an afternoon’s delight or for a lifetime.” Go to http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/gardening-kids and read the whole story. It’ll make your heart bigger.

Here’s some more gardening with kids stuff, with instructions on how to make terrariums. They’re easy and are a great way to teach your children about ecosystems – no matter how small. The instructions are very easy to follow, starting with, “Find an appropriate container. Glass jars, fish bowls and tanks, clear plastic bottles and food containers, and the like can all make fine terrariums. Just make sure you have enough room to reach your hand into your container for planting and maintenance.” You’ll need potting soil, pea gravel and suitable plants. Go to http://www.kidsgardening.org/node/12931 for full directions, and have fun! You might even want one or two for your office desk…


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