gardening. in spring. i don’t even know where to start. just because it has been a huge new thing to me somehow.huge in the way of giving me so much in different aspects.gardening has been like school to me.well, actually more than that, ’cause i’ve been the person that unfortunatly never really learnt that much in school.gardening has been like an intense seminar to me.practical in every way.teaching me so much about going with nature’s circumstances and times.teaching me patience.showing me amazment and the little surprising – out of nowhere arising – joys, that children know all so well.it taught me to keep going/ stick with it and to not give up, even though some seeds and processes died or didn’t last long.it showed me to rest and enjoy.it made me cirious for more.it also taught me that i can’t have it all right now, when i want it.it taught me to let go and trust.i can’t influence the hours of sun and the hours of rain.gardening also taught me to step out and ask for advise, to be brave to ask older wiser gardener for their wisdom and experiences.
most of all though spring gardening taught me the most through my girls.because i’m a stay at home mama and the girls don’t go to their forest/mountain kindergarden yet, they are with me.all day long.and they join me wherever i go and whatever i do.so in march i got myself some books from the library about gardening with kids and just randomly flipped them through.our beloved neighbours told me that they are planning a community gardening field for everyone who’s interested from our little village.oh i knew right away that i wanted to join.also, because i didn’t really have a clue about gardening.we just started with lots of herbs, rhubarb and berry bushes last year.and because i knew that our neighbours have a clue about gardening and are growing lots of their own vegetables, i knew this was the best.to learn from our demeter farmer neighbour and to have someone there to ask, whenever i’m coming bye.they prepared the field with the best eco organic soil (greatest dung ever) and we started pretty late, also to make sure mr.frost won’t surprise us, which he likes to do so in the mountains. to use our neighbours field had different advantages, also that we didn’t have to bother with snales.why? because they have chicken running around and outside of the field, which pick and eat the eggs of snales.so no snales around.
the girls always joined me and helped me with everything.they helped me sow and weed the garden.sometimes they were just running around the little paths, collecting stones and placing them somewhere.
they were all eager to first discover that the radishes are ready to harvest, ’cause all the sudden there were red dots between all the green.to harvest the radishes and realize the different colours of them fascinated them so much.they were eating them right away with all the dirt and didn’t mind the spicy taste at all, which i’m sure they would have, when presenting them the radishes normally on a plate.
just yesterday they discovered their joy and happiness while digging their shovels and hands deep into the soil and scoop the earth.they discovered that they’re not scarred of worms anymore and just that fact made them so proud.to see them grow and develop while hanging out at the field with me, makes my heart beat faster.
so what i learned over the past couple of month in spring, when it comes to
gardening with kids
- is to just take them along with me.all the time.also that they can see and witness the process and development of our plants growing.
- to provide a space/workingspace for them, where they can play, create, mess around and explore is really helpful and neat for different reasons.it can be a place where they can dig holes and open their imaginary kitchen e.g.it can be ‘their’ own place where they can work uninterrupted without adults telling them what to do or what not to do. in our case, that space kept them busy for long periods of our mornings or afternoons.
- my girls always wanted to help me and felt so approved and ‘big’ when i would let them weed the garden/field with me.that way they learned so much about our plants and vegetables we grow.they can tell me how the radish, zucchini, fennel, kohlrabi and carrot plants look like.
- on the field we have lots of stinging nettles and the girls of course had a view ‘auah’s’.buckhorn is also growing on the field and so little buckhorn compresses were made during our garden work to minimize the pain.gardening with kids is not just sowing,planting, watering, harvesting. its often about the things that occur around them and that teach us.
- to hand our little gardening helpers some tools, is also a huge thing for them.we had a few old enamel shovels and tools. and my friend gifted the girls new ones, which are used now all the time.
- yesterday the girls digged a hole for me on their own little patch and asked me to put in a plant now, ’cause everything is prepared.i knew its so so important for them to really go and look for a plant now to plant in there, so they know that they are really doing a good job and that i see and honour their work.
- one day i sent them out to look for bigger stones on the field, that we can use to mark the rows where we put the seeds in.it’s worth to think about little tasks they can do.it might take longer and you need to be prepared to spend more hours gardening with the little ones, but its so worth it.
so worth, because it then will not only be your garden or gardening project, but it becomes theirs as well.they automatically start to identify with it and don’t want to ever miss out one walk or time there.i’m pretty sure that your kids will eat most of the vegetables you grow there just as mine do.and thats the magic of gardening with kids.not that they just know what grows there, but also that they wanna try and taste themselfes.
now get ready for a photo boom.i took tons of pictures.the field is and was our happy place this spring.we spent so many hours there and always, always returned happy and balanced.we can’t wait for the summer and for the time, where we gonna harvest more, so there’s probably a part two following this blogpost….summer gardening.
i hope you enjoyed reading and my thoughts and experiences with a new hobby i/we discovered.