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Chosen as one of the Top 30 Organic Gardening Blogs – March 2018

Making a Difference with Your Kids and A Reader’s Story

I wrote a post in January of 2011 that is even more relevant today than it was then, since it tells of how the basics of human existence have escaped most in our society. (And I don’t think “most” is an exaggeration.)

The majority seem clueless about where food comes from and don’t really see a need to know.

The very sustenance of life (our food) has been entrusted by most to that “unseen” someone. And the belief that “they (whoever they might be) would not sell it if it were bad for you” is very widespread.

This lack of education in the basics has been going on for decades and as you might imagine, it’s not uncommon for kids to know nothing about gardening or growing food.

Who Makes the Most Difference?

Bill and I worked with and loved more than 50 kids over a 30 year period. Those kids now range in ages from 20 to 50! Unbelievable!

In spite of the love, time spent, and our best efforts we were able to influence only for that short time. Hopefully, they still carry with them some of what we said and did that will make a positive difference as they go through life.

But the bottom line is: parents have the most influence. And that’s just the way it is.

I’d guess that grandparents are next in line after parents and then aunts and uncles.

Including your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc. in the processes of growing food and fixing food is the kind of teaching that will enable them to make better choices as adults.

Jack’s Story Proves the Point

A Teacher’s 1/2 Hour Lesson on Gardening from a 6 Year Old

Through the years, Bill and I enjoyed many wonderful stories and pictures from friend and reader, Jack, telling various stories about his granddaughters. Some I’ve shared with you. Long time readers will recall the delightful 24 second video of then 18 month old, Ellie, checking over the broccoli in Jack’s garden. A priceless video!

Ellie, now about 6 years old, and her younger sister (2 years old) spend as much time as possible with Jack. Both girls are right at home in Grandpop ’s garden.

Recently Jack shared another great Ellie-story.

He wrote:

“At school, as her class was going out for morning recess, her teacher asked for 2 volunteers to plant some flowers in raised beds along the sidewalk to the front door. Of course Ellie stuck her hand up.

They took the plants out and as the teacher was giving instructions how to plant them Ellie listened, then advised the teacher that they first needed to get all of the weeds out first. (He wasn’t going to bother).

As they were getting ready to plant she explained how she and Grandpop plant things and told him of ALL of the different vegetables and fruits I grow here.

She went on to explain that the weeds, if left, would fight for the nutrients in the ground and the plants might not do so good because they wouldn’t get as much energy from the soil.

She asked him how big the plants would get when they were full grown, but he didn’t know so she gave him the spacing speech, explaining that they need space to grow right and couldn’t be planted too close together.

She had his full attention and was on a roll from there when she figured he didn’t have a clue what he was doing…..

And (went on to explain) how I never ever use chemicals, how I mulch the top of the soil with shredded leaves to keep the soil from drying out and to feed the worms etc…

The teacher was so impressed he sent a note home to her parents explaining how knowledgeable she is and about his 1/2 hour lesson on gardening😁😁😁

Does my heart good to see that she has such a grasp on how real food is grown at such a young age. She knows more as a kindergartner than I did when I was 50 years old when I first started learning how to garden organically!”

Final Thoughts

Thanks to Jack for letting me share such a delightful and encouraging story!

If you have a great story about engaging your kids in the garden, please share it with us.

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Related Posts:

The Basic Knowledge of Feeding Yourself Well

Gardening with Kids – Workin’ Over the Brocolli

Consider Variables When Determining Spacing Between Plants

Information to Think on Before You Purchase Food, Hydroponics, Afocafo Meats, Vitamins and Grain for Your Animals You Might Think is Organic

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All content including photos is copyrighted by TendingMyGarden.com. All rights reserved.

6 comments to Making a Difference with Your Kids and A Reader’s Story

  • Tammy

    First I want to thank you for having this heart to teach the younger generation. May they desire to get back to their roots. So many things are becoming a lost art.

    I have 5 grandkids. 4 boys and 1 girl. Girl being the youngest (4) and boss of them all..lol… she loves working in the garden with me and starting this winter I’m going to begin teaching her how to sew.

    I’ve been working with them all on cressy greens, in creek catching crawdads, and different weeds that are edible and medical. They all know if they’re hungry they can eat dandelions and clover very well. Their mom tells me all the time they say “mom can we eat this weed” lol.

    They know if they get an insect bite or scratch go find some plantain and bruise it and put it on their “booboo”.

    Jazmine will let it be known “I planted the beets, lettuce, and zucchini” real quick.

    I’m a very proud grandmother and God has blessed us just this year. With the perfect property to expand on this teaching as well as with wildlife around here.

    Oh, and the day I first let the boys milk the goat and gather the eggs, Jazmine had helped me do that before so she was the big shot in teaching the boys what to do. So funny actually!

    My daughter and her husband fostered these kids for 3 yrs. And they finally got them adopted this past November. Except for one boy who is my son’s child.
    So from me, Jazmine, and as she says: “my boys”, thank you for your heart and teachings.
    Sincerely Tammy

  • Theresa

    Thanks for taking time to share your story Tammy. It’s truly wonderful what you’re doing for your grandkids.

    I’m sure they will hold the time spent with you very dear throughout their lives — and of course, they will be way ahead of most on some important basic knowledge.

    Thank YOU for what YOU’RE doing.
    Theresa

  • Julie Martin

    What fun stories to read! Thanks…
    Julie

  • Pam

    Hi Theresa!

    Love your post about children and gardening. I have a funny story that is sort of related to that subject, but probably not what you had in mind for sharing with all.

    It happened on Saturday morning. Our granddaughters were here, having spent the night. The eldest, Aubrey, who is 4 loves to help with everything I do. She especially likes the garden and loves getting in there and getting her hands in the soil too. Dave and I had to attend a hospital fundraiser that evening, a Gala, and I was trying on my dress and shoes so I could pick out the accessories. Aubrey was very into it and making suggestions. After we chose the jewelry I asked her how it all looked. She looked me up and down and said “Great! Now let’s get the dirt out of your nails.” So much truth. 🙂

    Thanks for all of the encouragement in the garden and in life. I’m reassured that I’m helping my children and grandchildren appreciate Creation and it’s provision for our well being. Besides, it all tastes so much better! We had the last of the asparagus and the first of delicious Swiss chard for dinner this evening. I’ve tried growing chard unsuccessfully for a few years now. This year it is gorgeous! Yummmmm.

    Happy June garden days to you,
    Pam

  • Dona Lee

    Theresa, You are so right! I’ve had the opportunity to work with 4th and 5th graders at a local elementary school over the past 2 years through a collaboration between the 4H Program and Master Gardeners here in Arlington/Alexandria, VA. We worked with them over 10-weeks planting, harvesting, eating, and maintaining 5 raised beds with lettuce, kale, radishes, and peas initially. We followed that with squash, cukes, pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, and beans to be harvested over the summer. We taught them about soil, the seeds for each kind of vegetable, parts of plants we eat, and growing from seeds and transplants. The enthusiasm was delightful and their willingness over time to get their hands dirty and try new things. One young boy surprised his grandfather with his bag of greens.

  • That’s what homeschooling looks like 🙂

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