Gardening with Children: What You Get for the Price of a Turnip Seed

| 9/17/2009 4:09:08 PM

A photo of Shannon SaiaMy three-year-old daughter has been my steadfast partner in the garden from the get-go. I really want her to learn what food actually is, and where it comes from, and I want her to enjoy being outdoors, getting wet and getting dirty (no problems there). So I really try to incorporate her into the daily garden chores as much as possible, for as long as I can maintain her interest. That said, there are days when the heat, a sinus headache, and my own gardening anxieties get the best of me.

Case in point, I made an early morning of it recently, trying to get our fall transplants in the ground while it was still cool, and while I still had the energy to do it. I have had a few of the seeds come up that I planted a few weeks ago – turnips and daikon, and it looks like some chard or lettuce – but not nearly as many as I had hoped.


After the weedy, sprawling mess that my spring/summer garden has become, the blank slate of a fall space comes as something of a relief.

Spring garden picture.

New beginning! Fresh start! A second chance!

10/4/2009 9:47:48 PM

Your so right to bring them to the garden when they are young and to teach a child to garden is one of the greatest things you can do -she'll remember it forever (I did) vickie

Cindy Murphy
9/19/2009 7:37:39 AM

What a sweet post. It brings back memories of when my daughters were younger; they always had to have their hands in whatever I was doing - which most of the time involved having them in dirt. My oldest daughter, now a teenager, couldn't care less about gardening....but she's very appreciative for the beauty of nature, and is always ready to point out ways our family can reduce its carbon footprint; she's become a "tree-hugger". My youngest is my gardener. Always eager to "plant something", she's always the first to harvest too - she's got to pick the first blueberries, blackberries, grapes, and peas (those are her favorites). Sometimes her eagerness gets the better of her, and the harvest is a little on the green side. But it's all good - her sweet smiles outweigh a few sour grapes. Those early days covered in dirt developed into two different interests, but it's neat to think those interests started with little seeds planted in their heads.