Is there anything more natural than a child in a garden? There is such wonder, such delight to be found. Such messes to make. And good things to eat. Every season brings with it new delights.
I have been gardening with my children since they were born. I would put them in a carrier and go out and tend the garden. Of course, some things had to wait until they were napping, but you would be surprised at how much you can do with a baby on your back.
They loved it. The movement, the fresh air, seeing new things, being close to mama. Sometimes I would just wander around the garden looking at things and thinking while I carried them.
I also would set them loose to crawl in the garden, keeping a close eye on them. They loved to go after the strawberries, even when they were still white. Once they learned what was good to eat, they would go back every chance they got.
As a toddler, Graysen could strip the gooseberries off the thorny bush with his tiny fingers like an expert. And I could hardly get the Juneberries in the house because he ate them so fast.
Then he discovered the cucumbers. He liked to pick them and eat them like an apple. Cherry tomatoes didn't stand a chance. He was also generous and liked to share what he picked with me and any other kids who came by.
We had a small sandbox in the garden where he could dig to his heart's content while I worked nearby. He loved to play with water from the rain catchment barrels.
As he and...
I had a teacher in Pennsylvania sign up for my Green Thumb Course the other day. He's teaching gardening to an ecology class but he is neither an ecologist nor a gardener, which is why he signed up for my course.
I am beyond excited to guide him as he teaches this supremely important subject and skill to his class.
It is truly one of the most important skills kids can learn for the health of their future and the planet.
Here's 13 reasons why.
1. Children learn that they are a part of nature, not separate from it. What happens to nature happens to themselves. Everything is connected and there are no "bad" guys in nature.
2. Children learn to nurture nature and build soil, and are able to grow food anywhere from scratch.
3. Children are connected to the cycles of the seasons, birth, growth, death, and rebirth are all equally valuable and important.
4. Children are empowered by providing food for their class or family.
5. Children are grounded by their connection to the earth, providing stability in an unstable world.
6. Children absorb beneficial microbes from the soil through their contact with the soil and through eating the raw vegetables, healing their guts and helping them be healthier.
7. Children are more likely to eat food they have grown themselves, and are exposed to new vegetables they may not have eaten before.
8. Children release stress and anxiety through gardening.
9. Children appreciate good...