Monday, March 11, 2013

Gardening With Kids

Update 4/4/2013: This blog post was merged to "Daddykirbs Farm Blog". Please reset your bookmarks so you don't miss any super exciting updates to my garden and orchard!

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There are times when it's challenging to work with kids. I have said in the past that getting your kids to help is the easiest way to double the time it takes to do a project.  I don't always do a perfect job at whatever I do, but I really want too. It's the desire to have things "done right" that makes inviting the kids to help difficult.  Yes, I admit it... I don't always welcome the kids to my projects, but I'm getting better at it.

This year I have let down my guard. I am intentionally inviting the kids to come in and do some garden work. This has been done in the past but on a much more controlled and limited scale. Two 4'x4' raised beds have been built specifically for two of my kids. In these beds they have planted what they want. They won't be perfect... by any means, but they are fun.

I know my kids need to learn how to do some of this stuff. Gardening is something that everyone should know a little bit about. Growing food is so fundamental. There is a connection to who we are in this world that we GET when we grow our own food. Maybe that's a weird way to say it, but it's how I feel. 

Not all of my kids care to be in the garden... that's ok. The two who really love it are a real joy. I love coming home and finding my little girl in the greenhouse singing as she is watering the little sprouts. She loves to tell me how many came up while I was at work.

My 15 year old son is autistic and he loves to plant things. He comes in with his service dog, Herry, to work with me as we plant new needs and potted plants. There are a few things he really enjoys in life: Frech Fries (crispy well done), Driving (he really wants a golf cart), Chin Hair and working with Dad!

Whatever my kids are learning in this process is good. Just plain good. There are times I think that "they need this"... and I'm sure they do, but really... I need them. I need this. They joy they give to me is far greater a reward than any harvest my garden will ever physically provide. I'm sure my improperly spaced pepper plants will be fine. My Tomatoes that aren't planted quite deep enough will grow. I'll survive my Lemon tree not producing as many Lemons because my little girl couldn't resist picking those pretty flowers in the Spring. ... All those things are nothing next to the blessings of sharing in the joy of gardening with my kids. :)

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  1. Nice post, agree gardening with kids a bit challenging but definitely rewarding. It is much better they do something outdoors in the garden than plaing video games, TV, facebook etc.

    1. I certainly agree. Kids would be thinner, healthier, stronger and happier if they did more in the dirt and less on the couch.


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