Last month, I have published an article for newbie bloggers about the challenges we face when we start a blog. All newbie bloggers had the opportunity to write about their favorite subject related to gardening.
I received many great and interesting articles and I decided to post as many articles as I can, so that you will have the opportunity to read amazing stories and to find other great and creative garden blogs.
Let’s see challenges as opportunities!
Here is a great article from Christina 🙂
You may find more about her on Little Sprouts Learning.
Gardening with Kids
My name is Christina and I live in eastern Oklahoma.
All of my life I’ve wanted to be able to grow things like my mom and grandma did. I coined the phrase black thumb to describe myself because I could successfully kill anything. Nineteen years ago when I began providing childcare in my home, I had the dream of growing vegetables with the kids. For my first garden I chose a nice shady spot next to our house. I seem to have no natural instincts at all when it comes to growing things. Obviously that garden was less than stellar. A few years later, we moved to a house we purchased and we grew a few things in the gardens that we inherited. Bugs took over or it would get too hot in our Oklahoma summers for me to want to water anything, and those gardens met their demise as well. A few years ago I got super serious about growing food with my kids, so we bought a cheap little strawberry bed and filled it with bags of topsoil. We grew a good amount of okra and a few other things in it, but the next year it was so full of Bermuda grass, that it choked out whatever we planted. Weeds were too much for me, I decided, so the next year I bought a bunch of five gallon buckets, filled them with potting soil, and let the kids plant leftover seeds that I had…that I had stored in the garage over the last year…where it gets almost 100 degrees. So, obviously you know how that turned out. Nothing germinated. Shocking, I know! So I found a little spot along the fence line that didn’t have any grass growing in it and the next year the kids and I planted a little Winnie the Pooh garden. It was slowly coming up in the shady spot I gave it when the neighbor sprayed herbicide down the fence line and killed it all. I was devastated and I said, no more growing stuff for me. I have two black thumbs. I give up.
Fast forward to three years ago when I heard from a friend about a class on gardening with your daycare kids. Sign me up! My friend and I attended together and I was enamored with all the wonderful information the teacher had to offer. I learned so many things that I was doing wrong and I was on fire! As part of the class we got a 3×10 raised cedar bed to plant in, with dirt, seeds, and a few plants. So we planted. We tended. We weeded. We loved our little garden! During these past three seasons, we have learned from so many mistakes we’ve made. And we have expanded our space. And we have gotten better at growing things. Now I have kids as young as one that can plant seeds and seedlings on their own with just a few words to guide them. None of our gardens are perfect, but they are ours and we are getting something to eat from them each day. We have planted and grown and tried a multitude of fun and interesting new foods. And all of us have learned to like a lot more variety of things than we did before the garden. Healthy foods that are good for me and my kids. We get exercise in the garden, fresh air, sunshine, sensory experiences, and so much more!
At this time, we are working on adding more perennials to the garden that will do more of the tending on their own, such as asparagus, herbs, Jerusalem artichokes, Egyptian walking onions, and things like that. The garden is full of miracles and it’s a wonderful place to be! I don’t know what I did before gardening was such a big part of my life. But I know that the kids and I are better off for learning about it.