Have you ever visited a family farm and noticed how well behaved their children are? Teaching children the value of home grown food instills early American values that seem to be disappearing in today’s society. Getting your child outside, in the dirt, digging vegetables may seem like a challenge that the 21st century kid just isn’t going to partake in, but if you encourage them by using these tactics you will be well on your way to raising a self sufficient family.
Tips for Gardening as a Family
The best way to get kids involved in gardening is to get them out there in the soil as early as possible. Children as young as two years old are capable of digging holes; they can plant bulbs and smaller pots with assistance. As kids get older they can be taught to identity ripe vegetables by color. Once children reach the age where they understand which fruits and vegetables are their favorites have them help plan the garden. Ask kids to plan what goes into the dirt. Take them to the nursery with you and also have them identify seeds they want to plant by marking them in your seed books or online by adding them to the shopping cart. By doing these things you are letting them know their opinion matters to you and their voice will be heard.
Once kids learn about money they want to find ways to earn it independently. Allowing them to earn money by selling fruits and vegetables from the garden to family and friends is a great way to not only teach your child about agriculture practices but the responsibility of working hard for the dollars we earn. To encourage independence even further you can block off a part of your garden for your child’s business adventure. Let them decide what goes in the plot, takes care of it, harvests and sell to grandma, auntie and his friend’s parents.
By including your family in vegetable growing, your kids are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables. In my own family, my son is not a big vegetable eater but is more likely to eat something he chose to grow. Each year we plan what goes into our plot, not everything I grow he’ll eat but he’s got his favorites like purple or rainbow carrots, melons, cucumber, Swiss chard and corn.
Here are more tips for gardening with your kids.
More Gardening Tips:
- How to Get Started with Composting
- 3 Ways to Start Composting
- How to Start Square Foot Gardening
- Top 10 Organic Fertilizers
- How to Make a Straw Bale Garden
- How to Start a Plot Garden
- Companion Plant Gardening
- Vegetable Container Gardening
- Tips for Attracting Bees to your Garden
Emily is passionate about growing her own food, crafts, sewing, developmental disabilities and blogging. She holds a bachelors degree in psychology with a secondary in human development from Washington State University. She also holds an associates degree in horticulture from Clark College. You can often find her blogging over at Emily’s Frugal Tips, a frugal blog dedicated to teaching families how to live with more for less money.