We have started a garden! As the kids say, “It’s a baby garden!”
About a month ago, we bought a seed starter kit and let the kids pick out vegetables they’d like to plant so we could eat them once they grew. We ended up with pole beans, sweet peas, carrots, tomatoes and sweet bell peppers. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen seeds for carrots, tomatoes or peppers but they are tiny! Couple that with the fine motor skills of our 4 year-old and 2 year-old and it made for an interesting seed-planting event. But the kids were so happy to garden! And now this plant nursery is sitting on our kitchen table in front of the bay window. The kids were elated when the first green nub popped up over the soil and now their plants are so tall they are beginning to lean on each other without stake support.
So, now we must prepare the yard for our baby plants. Spring is finally here for good it seems, so the danger of frost has passed. We have 36 plants and our garden bed is about 8×10- big enough to have a nice crop but not so big that the garden can “get away” from us! We wanted this garden to serve two purposes. Obviously, we wanted food from it but more importantly, we want this garden to be the kids’ garden. We want them to have pride in what they grow, we want them to respect the land, we want them to have sustained interest in eating and enjoying vegetables and we want them to see the beautiful growth cycle that God created.
The nice thing about eager little ones is that they want to help…really want to help. The kids want to dig in the dirt so bad it’s killing them. And they had a field day when they saw the tools Mommy brought out to prepare the garden space. A rake?!? a…shovel?!?! and some rolly, pointy thing that pokes holes in the dirt. They were going nuts wanting to help…so they did. And it turns out, they are good helpers. We scalped the grass off the space, leaving beautiful, dark, worm-filled dirt that’s just begging for vegetable plants. All the grass (and weeds) were piled to the edges of the garden and our two little helpers, gloves on their hands, began picking up the piles of debris and tossing it into the wheel-barrow. They even helped pick the straggling grass and weeds so we are now left with the footprint of our garden. Soon, we will add dirt to replace the bit that we removed with the grass and then it will be time to give our baby garden it’s new home.
With any luck, the vegetables from our little garden will be on our plates each dinner throughout the summer!