Tuesday, July 28, 2009


One of the things I really wanted to do with the kids this summer was get them excited about gardening! Especially getting them excited about the ability they have to grow their own food! Although I have been begging my husband to build a chicken coup and start growing our own eggs too....he insists on NO! He somehow thinks that our snobby OC families will not approve!

Here was the garden that the kids and I started on June 25th! They have been religiously watering it everyday! Fertilizing it every week and here is the garden today on July 28th......
It is huge! We learned that we planted everything way too close together. But I always feel the closer things are....the stronger the love! We planted two kinds of tomatoes! Ella is proud to show that her "early girl tomatoes" and 2x as big as Andrew's "supersteaks"! About 1/2 of the bell peppers and going strong and our Eggplant is massive! I am already searching recipes for eggplants!

They have done such a good job taking care of their garden that I recently gave them some more space (sorry grass) to plant pumpkin seeds, cucumbers, onions and about a million sunflower seeds!

What are the benefits of gardening with your children?

Benefits of gardening with your children: Benefits of gardening with your children:

*Social and Life Skills
*Environmental Awareness
*Quality time with family

Here are some tips for gardening with your children:

*Study what kind of climate you have before you start. Once you know your zone, you can find out what plants to select.
*Designate a place where your child will be gardening.
*Teach them about the importance of quality soil and soil preparation.
*Before starting a garden with your children, the first thing you should do is remove any large debris, rocks, and branches.
*Let the kids lay out the shape of the garden or draw on paper first.
*Ask your kids what kind of plants, vegetables or flowers they like to plant and let your kids pick them out.
*Explain what will work well in your garden and what won't. If planning vegetable gardens, show row spacing, and distance between plants.
*Let them help in the selection of seeds and blossoming plants at the nursery. Let your child do the money calculations.
*Depending on your kid's age, let him/she dig, weed, or watering. This is a great way for your child to explore.
*Get them their own gardening tools. Nothing will motivate your little gardener more than having their own little shovel, gardening gloves, watering pail, and colored rubber boots.
*Plant some quick growers to keep the child's interest or purchase plants from garden center
*Watch plants grow and enjoy time together in nurturing nature.

Gardening with children can benefit both children and adults and it's all about having fun and learning. Gardening and nature are great stress relievers, enhance the environment, develop individuals, and build communities.

Gardening provides different forms of engagement for children, including designing, planting, and maintaining gardens; harvesting, preparing, and sharing food; working cooperatively in groups; learning about science and nutrition; and creating art and stories inspired by gardens.

When third to fifth grade students who participated in a one-year gardening program filled out a survey of life skills, they showed a significant increase in self-understanding and the ability to work in groups compared to nonparticipating students (Robinson & Zajicek, 2005).


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