This is my first reason for gardening with kids: so they don’t poison themselves.
One thing I love doing with the children every year, is grow our own vegetables. I grew up rather ignorant to what pretty much any plant looked liked (ok, I could recognise a tree and knew what a flower was), but landed in hospital aged 5, because I ate “beans” from the garden in our newly purchased house. They were not “beans”, but a just a bean like “fruit” that a bush in our new garden grew. As a reward, I got to throw up all night in a paper bowl in the chlildren’s ward. And when ever I see said bush (it has a bright yellow flower), I always think about throwing up. Nice. Especially since my parent’s lived in that house a total of 35yrs and that bush always stayed there.
I learnt my lesson.
I would prefer for my children’s lesson to be a bit more pleasant.
So we grow things. Or at least try to with varying degrees of success. It is still great though and so far the children like it (they are only 4 and 2 – they like everything I do)!
So we grow:
- Tomatoes (usually the most successful, though sometimes they don’t turn red, so we make Green Tomato Chutney)
- Carrots (usually rather small, non the less they are fun to pull out of the ground)
- Strawberries (tons of them and keeps the kids happy)
- Blueberries (we don’t actually have to do much, save for say “ooh and aaah” and then “mmh”)
- Lettuce (though I have given up on that, no one eats it)
- Courgettes (I love courgettes and we have grown monsters. Still a bit hit and miss though)
- Spring Onions (for daddy)
- Beans (though I regularly fail)
- Potatoes/ Jerusalem potatoes (though not every exciting, they take forever and it is all underground! And we first started these when we were challenged by innocent to grow jerusalem potatoes)
And now at least we know what the above plants (roughly) look like! And I warn the children regularly about the perils of eating things unknown.
Reasons to garden 1: don’t poison yourself.
Great reasons to get gardening with kids, don’t you think?
More good reasons to come soon!