Saturday, May 10, 2014

Gardening With Kids

Hello Fellow Gardeners!

My kids love to help me garden. If you haven't had your kids help with gardening yet, I highly recommend it! If you don't have kids, go babysit some. I guarantee there is a tired mom out there who will jump at your offer. You might want to bathe them when you are done gardening with them, though, or that tired mom will visibly get more tired looking at her filthy child.

See what I mean? Kids love dirt so much they will eat it, roll in it, throw it, waller in it... You get the idea.

If you add some water, that's even better! This child got so dirty that day, he looked like he was wearing a ghillie suit! When they are done you can grow your own mobile chia pet! Just kidding! (Sort of...)

Kids will dig all kinds of great holes in your yard! They'll keep you on your toes and your ankle doctor in business. If you want dirt patches in your yard, this is the way to go!

Kids have awesome stamina when it comes to this job! But really, if you have a grassy patch you want to plant in the future, I'd give them some garden tools and let them have at it! Bermuda grass shermuda grass, it's no match to digging children!

Kids will check to see if your seeds are still there in your freshly watered bed so you don't have to! They may even pull some out for you! They'll at least be sure they're well-stirred. Did I mention this baby loves mud?

Kids will help you water your plants. Little Buddy is a plant-watering professional! He loves to help nurture our plants.

Kids will also keep you from planting every square inch of your yard. They'll remind you, by footprints in your garden beds, that they still need a place to run and play.

Kids will help you weed and harvest! Little Buddy is holding some red leaf lettuce trimmings to go with dinner. Need weeds gone? No problem! Baby Brother is a weed pulling machine. Why, just the other day I was going along pulling weeds out from between my pea plants. When I looked behind me, my sweet little chubber was holding out a handful of "weeds" I had missed. That's OK, his proud, sweet smile was worth the cost of admission.

Kids will be enthusiastic about any project you have going on. They'll be right there in the middle of everything wanting to help with every little detail and asking you "why" all through the process. Really, take that time to show them and teach them. They hunger for your knowledge and the age of you being their Einstein is very short. Enjoy it while you can!

Kids will help to be sure your work is solid and done well. Baby Brother had to shake the daylights out of my potato tower to check for sturdiness. I was shocked that it held!

Kids will be sure you are thorough and have you redo your work on occasion. Baby Brother is doing a great job removing all the loose straw. Now if I could just get him to put it back. He may be destructive, but he sure is cute about it!

Well, I hope you enjoyed my tongue-in-cheek post about gardening with kids. But I hope you were able to pick out the important bits too. Sure, kids may slow you down, get in your way, mess things up, and generally be a nuisance. I get it. I totally understand. But if you look at it from their point of view, do you want your kids to see that they are being a huge help and a great gardener, or a burden and in the way? So what if you lose a few (or several) plants? Is it really worth crushing that little servant's heart? Don't get me wrong...I have many a day that I just want to do what I want to do without anyone underfoot or having to explain everything. Usually when that happens, one of them will do something that is extremely thoughtful and/or helpful and I know it's God's gentle reminder not to embitter or exasperate my children (Ephesians 6:4 and Colossians 3:21). I don't want to discourage those sweet little servants' hearts by making them think their work isn't good enough. It's hard for me to remember that. The memories they make will last a whole lot longer than those plants.

I hope you all have a Happy Mother's Day!

Jen Hen

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