Teaching children how to grow food in a garden leaves them with many invaluable lessons. Some of which are appreciating the food that’s put in front of them (as moms, we all know how expensive produce can be and don’t want to see it be wasted) and fills them with a sense of pride in knowing that they grew it.
They learn about the different things that plants need to grow; sunlight, water, the right amount of shade, spacing. They learn when to harvest. They learn about fruits versus vegetables. This time around my kids even were able to learn about how a plant (cucumber) is able to prevent itself from being eaten (or at least decrease the chances) by growing with miniature spikes on them that even poked us when we touched them. This led to a discussion with my children about how these cucumbers were different then the ones bought in the store. We also noted that they were growing underneath the leaves (protection probably from the sun and animals).
One of the nicest things though, of growing food in your garden with your children is that because your children are now more involved with where their food comes from, they are more willing to eat it. This could be a great way to get picky eaters to try new foods. Thankfully, my son’s plants started doing much better than they were in my earlier post when he had only noted two cucumbers, and we were able to harvest five, while noticing that there were at least four more growing currently. Next year we will end up needing to plant more than we did this year with how quickly the children ate the cucumbers that were ready.
What about you: have you tried gardening with your children? If so, what have you grown? Has it encouraged them to try any new foods?