While We Wait . . .

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It can be hard to wait for the seeds to start sprouting, whether you decide to try winter sowing or  you decide to wait until the soil and weather are ready for direct sowing in the ground. In the meantime, show the kids what is happening underground after you plant the seeds by making a seed viewer.  We used a pea seed for this. It should take about 6-7 days in a sunny windowsill before you start seeing some action, and then each day you will see miraculous growth continue to take place. It's fun!


The old scout motto "Be Prepared" is a great life lesson, one of the many lessons Mother Nature can teach us when we partner up with her. Towards the end of February, every once in a while here in the Midwest we are blessed with a calm, warmer day in the 50s, a sure promise that spring will indeed come soon! Since planning ahead is essential to any gardener, start to teach your children about the importance of taking an inventory of your supplies during those occasional spring-like days. Clean out the garage or storage shed, lay out all the stakes, trellises, and garden tools to make sure you will have everything you need as soon as spring arrives. The kids can help with the sorting and the sweeping, but they will tire of the chore long before you do. Never underestimate the value of modeling for your kids. By completing the task, you will be proving to them that to enjoy the fruit of our labor, we indeed need to "Be Prepared."

Day 2: Winter Sowing Series

Enjoy today's video for the next step to take in How to Winter Sow. However, for safety reasons, please make sure YOU as the ADULT do this phase without the kids. Please make sure you read yesterday's post first, as all steps are sequential. Tomorrow? Winter Sowing Day 3.

 

Fairy Gardens -- Not Just for Girls!

I am all about creating memories with kids in the garden. I feel it is how we "embed" the "gardening code" into their lives so that they will grow up wanting to garden someday. One of my favorite memory-creating activities with my grandkids is providing a space for them to have miniature gardens, or as they are commonly called, Fairy Gardens. I put together a 4-5 minute video below to get you started. January and February is the perfect time to start planning for these miniature gardens and gathering what you need. When a nice warm day arrives in March or April, the kids will want to get outside to set up their gardens. Here are links to lihe resource books I mention in the video: Miniature Gardens by Katie Elzer-Peters; Fairy Gardening 101 by Fiona McDonald; Fairy World Crafts by Kathy Ross.

 

Dreams of the Spring Garden

A few weeks ago, I had my grandkids look at a few seed catalogs I get every year. One got the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds catalog and the other got the West Coast Seeds catalog. I asked each to pick out five veggies they would like to grow this year. As expected, my granddaughter gravitated to the beets and peas section of the catalog, while my grandson went straight for the berries! I love that they each have their favorites (don't we all?) and that part of building the anticipation of gardening in the spring is this "dream" stage.  I mean, what else can you do when it is snowing and 30 degrees outside in January?

Have you had a chance to go to the Tools and Resources page of the website yet?  Check out information that will help you, especially if you are a beginning gardener. Today, I just posted a new resource, a quick 4-5 minute video on When to Plant Seeds.  Head on over to find your growing zone, frost dates, and links to growing guides, as well as calendars and other how-to videos in a beginning gardener series.

 

Start Gardening with your Kids!

I'm SO GLAD you joined me today! Whether you're a new gardener or an experienced one, I hope this is a place where you'll find some fun and easy ways to help you garden with your children! This is my first blog entry, and you may read it shortly after I launched this new website. I hope you will return often as I continue to add new entries, gardening resources, and great ideas on the topic of gardening with kids.  

I suspect you are already interested in fresh, organic food and try hard to serve healthy meals to your families! Great! You probably attend farmers markets or belong to a *CSA. If so, I encourage you to choose this year to take things to the next level by sharing the joy of growing YOUR OWN organic food with your kids! 

  • What could taste better than to grow fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs at home or as a part of a community garden?  
  • What better way to show kids where food comes from than to walk outside and pick it?
  • What better way to encourage our kids to embrace healthy eating habits than to model for them how much fun it can be to grow food together as a family?

That's how I started -- in my grandmother's garden (see About page for my story). I now garden with my own grandkids, and believe me, if I can do, YOU CAN DO IT! Today is January 3, and here in the Midwest, it's freezing cold. But it's time to start planning for the growing season ahead.

Sooooo, are you ready? Let's get growing?

*CSA (Community Sustained Agriculture)