Gardening Vivian | 06 Jun 2011 11:52 am

Little Gardeners

Ever since our daughter was old enough to walk, she loved helping us garden. We’d give her pint-sized gardening tools and a spot to dig in and she couldn’t be happier. It didn’t take long before we created a vegetable patch just for her. I would take her to the nursery where she could pick out what she wanted to plant. We didn’t always plant from seed because sometimes it just took too long for her to see results, so we’d often pick some plants that were already on their way.

Everyday we’d go out to the garden to see what was new and there was always something to water or pick. My favourite kid-friendly veggie is the cherry tomato because they are great to just pick off and eat, and there is always a new one ripening so it’s a great learning experience and adventure.

Last year we planted strawberries and both kids had a great time watching them grow and then tasting what a fresh berry tasted like. My two-year old found it difficult to be patient so he ate most of the berries before they even remotely resembled a strawberry frustrating his sister who probably only managed to salvage one or two ripe ones the entire season.

This year, we’re trying to come up with a few new ideas for our every-expanding veggie patch. Just by adding or changing our garden line-up each summer, our kids learn so much about how things grow, the importance of being good to the earth, and best of all, how great things taste when you can pick them and eat them from your very own garden.

My kids are also learning where fruits and vegetables come from and they now ask questions about the origins of a new fruit or veggie when we are at the grocery store, or serving it at dinner, which I love. In our fast-paced world, I can’t think of a better and more enjoyable lesson to teach than where our food comes from, and I don’t mean the local grocery store.

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