Family Garden Party

As parents, we’re always looking for teachable moments and opportunities to do fun and meaningful things as a family.  These activities can be even better when they can make a positive impact in our little corner of the world.

Now that the weather is warming up, if your space allows, consider laying the groundwork for a family garden, and be sure to involve the kids in every step of the process.  Begin by talking about things like climate, soil quality, growing seasons, crop heartiness and the importance of locally sourced foods. Be sure your kids get a vote in deciding what to plant and when.

Include them in the actual process of planting as well. Now is a good time actually start preparing the ground, with some tilling, mulching and working to keep sunlight away from the weed seedlings. Start introducing natural composting to your garden area, so it can begin to decompose and be ready to do its work by springtime.

When it’s time to start planting, a family garden is also a great way to teach responsibility, while providing some all-too-rare family binding time. Watering, weeding and picking your home-grown fruits and veggies can be a good way for kids of all ages to learn the importance of teamwork and holding up your end of the work. Even exposure to the disappointing aspects of growing, such as droughts, floods and critters can be a good lesson in resilience. And then of course, there’s the payoff.

If you don’t use chemicals in your garden, your kids can sample the efforts of their hard work right off the vine. And imagine the pride and warm glow they’ll experience, when they get a chance to share food they’ve grown with neighbors, family and friends.