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.
“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!”
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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