We’ve tried gardening a few times. Generally speaking, we’re not too good at it. When we purchased our new home, we inherited the previous owners’ garden. It was the end of summer so we pretty much only got tomatoes, a bit of basil, and too much mint. Our girls thought it was so fantastic picking tomatoes and watching things grow. We thought finally we could end the picky eating and get them to try some real food! After all, they were “gardeners” now…..wrong!
They tried all of two tomatoes, none of the basil, and basically only smelled the mint. Then, this spring, they kept talking about the garden and wanting to choose what to grow and plant things and be gardeners all over again. Since the raised bed was already there and you can’t really say no when your kids are actually interested in something worthwhile and “fruitful”, we got some plants and started digging!
Our oldest chose every large, vine plant available. She wanted pumpkins and watermelons and squash….all in a 2×4 foot box. Not so she could eat any of it, she just loved the idea of it. Not happening. We reigned it in and purchased a green cherry tomato, a “black from Tula” tomato, a jalapeno, a habanero, a “chocolate” bell pepper, and a golden zucchini, all from the Iowa Food Co-Op. The hot peppers are all Matt’s. Trust me, no one else is eating those. Everything else was chosen because I figured I could easily sneak it into my children’s food.
Our oldest wasn’t happy I nixed all of her ideas and told me that I “never let her pick” (shouted in the best whiny 5-year-old voice you can muster) but I did let her and our second pick out flowers to add a bit of color and fun to our garden. They chose marigolds and petunias. Our oldest also brought home a pack of sunflower seeds from preschool, some kind of national sunflower thingy, so we planted those as well. Let’s be frank here: I stated above we aren’t good at this garden thing. The flowers are totally a backup in case everything else dies.
We got our plants, rounded up the two garden tools we own and dug in…..the dirt. The two oldest girls found several worms and got completely distracted by the neighbors after all of 5 minutes of planting while the baby cried most of the time we were outside because, well, she’s a baby. All-in-all, it was a success.
The plants are planted and nothing has died yet! We have yet to enjoy any fruits of our labor but they’ll come in time. Maybe I’ll even get my kids to try some of it! Or maybe I’ll just sneak it into their food and we’ll all pretend it’s jelly beans.