Monday, April 5, 2010

Kids in the garden (And I ain't talking about goats)

What? You mean Rob doesn't sit on the porch telling the neighborhood goonies to "stay the hell off my yard?" Sorry to disappoint, but no. I firmly believe in educating young 'uns in my hobbies.
One way to ensure a hobby grows is to get kids involved. That way, when there is an interest, the future of the hobby will go on. Now short of 4h and FFA clubs, which we did not have the advantage of when I was a little Rob, What can you do to ensure the interest of your kids to garden??

First of all involve them. Pick easy things for them to grow. Radishes are a great pick, because of their short growing period, children get instant gratification. Or start some pumpkins on a sunny window- they are easy to start, require little maintenance besides some water every now and then. Some kids might even desire their own tools fitted for their own little hands.

This is not necessary to spend $12- $16 on a child;s garden tool set, I have seen garden tools at the dollar store that are more than satisfactory for your "little John Deere wannabe". The important thing is make sure your little farmer has gloves, a cultivator, a planting spade, And if you are really serious maybe a carrier to hold them in.

But basically, let them get involved and make some decisions. When I was little, my dad let me have a space to plant a garden in. Right out in the front yard. When that space got too small, we made me a bigger garden in the back yard. And our neighbor, Mr. Wilson, who grew one of those large gardens you see on Martha Stewart or Victory Garden would listen to all my questions, and try to answer them simply. That first knowledge was appreciated. My first garden had radishes, carrots, some onions and few tomato plants. And I was proud of it.

Today we have the Obama's and the Whitehouse garden setting an example. We have Alice Waters an the Edible Schoolyard. Alice's program, not only teaches how to plant a garden, but how to cook out of the garden, and how to maintain the garden as well. My friend, Cheap Vegetable Gardner often involves his daughters in many of his gardening experiments.

For Ideas, try making a sunflower house with your kids or making a child's garden out of their old kiddie pool, reusing it instead of throwing it away! If space is limited why not try a garden in a planter? One of those large tubs for kids toys and such would make an excellent large planter for a salad garden.

I feel it is important to get kids interested in gardening, and helps teach them where their food comes from. And who knows? Maybe your child will sit on the porch and yell at his friends to get the hell out of his garden. Snnnf... it would make Rob proud.

Seed Collection and Tools for Kids:'s Guide to designing a Children's Garden

How to design a children's garden video

1 comment:

The Cheap Vegetable Gardener said...

Some great advice Rob. Though much shorter here is a post I wrote a couple years ago (wow been blogging that long) about some tips for gardening with kids. You hit some of these but a couple new ones as well.