How Growing A Garden Can Teach Kids Respect
Matthew and I decided to start a garden the year our first son, Graham, was born. He is now five and enjoys helping us with it each year. We originally started the garden in order to provide ourselves with fresh food and save money. What we are discovering is that this garden is providing us with much more than just nourishment. It is supplying our children with an appreciation and respect for the environment and for where our food comes from.
We are blessed to live on family land that provides over 40 acres. Behind us is a family farm that is in its third generation. They not only farm, but they have their own produce stand and greenhouse. Graham and my almost 2 year old, Davis, both come with me to the produce stand whenever I go because I want them to see how the process works. They know the farmers and they see them working hard every day. I love that my children understand that food does not come from the grocery store, but from the ground and from hard work!
Our little garden gives both of them a chance to really see everything unfold. Because Graham is older he helps us with just about every aspect of the garden. Davis enjoys helping us water it (or maybe he just enjoys being watered)! Every thing we do in the garden we make sure to let Graham know the why's and the how's of it all.
One afternoon Graham was playing in our yard near the garden when he stopped and stared and said, "Mom! Come quick! I think we need to make some of our special spray because the bugs are starting to eat the garden." He knew that we made our own environmentally friendly bug spray and he knew it was time to use it. I love seeing it all sinking in with him. Beyond that, it is giving us a chance to do things together as a family which is so important on many different levels.
The best part of it all is when the vegetables start to come in.
Graham has such excitement to pick them and wants to eat them right away! Not only is he learning the value of working for something, but he is also eating his veggies (I like two for one deals). He has even started making the connection that the food we pick up in the grocery store has come from someone's farm and just maybe from the farm behind our home!
How do you instill a sense of respect for our environment with your kids? I believe it is the every day small things that make the biggest difference.
Jul 12, 2012 | Felicia
Jul 11, 2012 | SarahMars
Jul 11, 2012 | Posted by: Niri