Our neighbors in the back who moved in this summer have two small boys. Their cousins visit on weekends— bringing the total up to 7 children playing in the yard. I was talking to all of them not long ago and the oldest girl, who will be 13 this month, asked me where the flowers were.
I answered her without showing surprise —- but I WAS surprised that a 13 year old — especially one who lived in a rural area—- didn’t know that flowers (the great majority of them anyway) don’t bloom in the dead of winter here in Virginia.
Her question was still better than the one a young man of 20 something asked me years ago about growing tomatoes in a pot. He wanted to know if you have to change the soil (that the tomato is growing in) during the growing season.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because unfortunately a good part of the population knows nothing about the hazards of the food they eat that comes from big agribusiness. So why would they know anything about growing food —- or much less growing flowers.
The majority of folks don’t give much importance to the very thing that sustains our life: the food we eat.
There may come a time that some will be forced to take up gardening to provide food for their families. Those who have had parents who garden — most especially parents who were wise enough to involve their children — will have a great advantage.
It’s sorta like riding a horse. Those who have been around and on horses since they were babes have a comfort zone around horses much greater than any who take up riding late in life.
Being around anyone who gardens is helpful for children, but the real benefit comes when they’re allowed to participate in what’s being done.
If you have kids you already know how anxious they are to “help” and imitate everything you do. The more fun and exciting you make it seem, the more participation you’ll get from the kids.
You really don’t have to make much of an effort for this because it’s your everyday attitude of loving to garden that kids pick up on. They learn all that’s necessary from the subtleties.
What you teach now (by doing) about how to eat and how to grow food — will stick with them in later years.
A child who has experienced all that goes on growing food from seed and getting the results to the dinner table, will have an understanding of gardening that is far greater than a child who has never experienced it.
Even with this hands-on-experience in the garden, not every child will want to be a gardener. But you never know what life will bring to your children.
Gardening teaches so many good principles that it’s well worth your time to teach by involving your kids whenever you’re given the opportunity.
Other Posts about Kids and Gardening:
Organic gardening is easy, efficient, and effective —- and it’s a lot healthier.
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