When I was a child, there was a teaching catch phrase called: “Lifelong Learners.” The idea was to instill the love of learning so much within a child’s psyche that he or she would continue to search for information and ideas throughout his or her life. Now, my children are growing up, and it’s a bittersweet time. Two are teenagers and nearly gone, while one will still play in the dirt with me, but soon she will move on too. That’s how we’re made, and I now realize the time is very short for me to have any further influence over them.
I hope I’ve given them enough foundation so that they can soon spread their wings and fly.
I do know this: they know how to care for flowers and vegetables, because, I hear them tell other people (like their teachers) information about soil, flowers, and how to prune. I also know the Diva loves roses. Bear likes vegetables which grow beneath the soil like carrots, potatoes and radishes. ASW, well . . . he likes video games, but he also knows how to care for a garden because I let him dig in mine with his trucks when he was very small.
In this technological age, how do we grow gardeners? I’m not certain, but I think we start when they’re very young. So, I will encourage you with a contest. The nice folks at Botanical Interests seeds have graciously offered their Children’s Garden Seed Collection. It contains Bean Bush ‘Purple Queen’, Sunflower ‘Mammoth’, Russian organic carrot ‘Baby Little Finger’, Pumpkin ‘Little October’, Corn ‘Strawberry Popcorn.’ Tomato ‘Grape Jelly Bean’ Red & Yellow, Pea ‘Super Sugar Snap.’ This is a super, fun collection for a little guy or girl, placing him or her on the path of gardening adventure.
Won’t you take their little hands and come along?
To help, I’m going to throw in a copy of The Family Kitchen Garden: How to Plant, Grow, and Cook Together, by Karen Liebreich, Jutta Wagner and Annette Wendland. Timber Press sent me this book for review, and it’s a great one for jumping off into the vegetable and fruit garden with your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. If you have no children, use your neighbors’. This book begins with the basics of soil prep, raised beds, and garden tools. Then, with headings like “Do Now” and “Harvest Now,” it gives sound monthly advice. Growing specific vegetables and fruits are also explained. You may find you want to take it with you into the garden, but don’t get it wet. The pages will stick together. I know this from personal experience.
Now, for the rules:
- In a comment, give me some suggestions to entice the next generation into the garden. Be creative and think about what children love best. Hints: dirt, butterflies, scent . . . you get the idea.
- Make sure you give me your name and a valid email address in the comment form. If you win, it’s the only way I can reach you.
- Double Bonus Points (brilliantly lifted again from my friend, Kathy at Cold Climate Gardening): “Tweet this giveaway on Twitter and in a separate comment include the link to your tweet. (Click on the date stamp of the tweet to get a url you can paste in your comment.” That way I can find your tweet.)
- The giveaway ends at midnight on Saturday, February, 20, 2010, at Midnight CST.
- In order to give me time to read all the entries, the winner will be announced on Wednesday, February 24, 2010.
- I will then contact Botanical Interests with the winner’s information. BI will ship the seeds,and I will send the book directly to the winner. This contest is open to persons in the United States and Canada.
The most important part of this contest and gardening with children is to have fun, so let’s do both. I can’t wait to see your ideas.