Kitchen gardening with children
Including your children in the cultivation and preparation of homegrown food is not only a wonderful life skill to teach them but at the same time encourages them to care about the environment. Kitchen gardening with children can be a fun time to bond. It creates a platform for healthier eating habits with no chemical pesticides or herbicides.
The simplest way to begin this process is by starting small with a kitchen garden. Carve out a little space in the corner of your garden or alternatively, set up a container garden of sorts in your courtyard or on the patio. Even if your kitchen garden only consists of a row or two of tomatoes, runner beans and a few herbs to start, the process of sowing the seeds to harvesting the fruits of your labour will be both exciting and inspiring for children.
The most constructive way to teach anything to children is to do, so be sure to encourage your children to participate in every step of the process with your guidance.
How to Get Going with a Kitchen Garden to make it fun for children
The most essential piece of equipment you can have in your arsenal is a relaxed attitude. Gardening with children will take longer and be more imperfect than you’d probably like it to be, but that’s okay. Go with the flow and find the joy in it with them.
Keep it fun
Depending on the ages of your children, try to keep the gardening sessions focused on the task at hand and take little breaks in between the tasks. If you notice their attention wavering, it’s time to find another activity. Gardening should be a fun and engaging experience for children rather than a tedious chore.
To start your kitchen garden, you first need to plan your crop. A trip to your local nursery will not only be a super adventure for everyone but the knowledgeable staff will be able to guide you on what produce will be the easiest to practice on. They can help with what will grow well in the different seasons, what plants will most suit your soil or containers and can also advise on what crops will thrive in the available light in your designated space. How to plant and maintain your garden is also important advice.
While you’re out shopping, don’t forget the tools. A little spade, fork and a watering can are pretty much all you would need. If you get your child a pair of gardening gloves, it will make them feel a bit more like a gardener. They may also be handy for some children who might not find digging in the dirt quite as thrilling as others.
Planting your Kitchen Garden
Generally, the easiest crops to grow are tomatoes, baby marrows, green beans, spinach, lettuce and radishes. Herbs are also a winner. That said, it always makes the best sense to grow herbs and vegetables that you know your family will eat and enjoy. You may also like to plant some Marigolds among your crops. Not only do these make for a pretty show of colour but they help to attract pollinators to your garden and discourage pests.
Keep it manageable
It is always preferable to find the reward in a small garden than be frustrated by a big one so rather avoid planting more than your family could possibly eat. Another great tip is to stagger the planting times of your chosen herbs and vegetables too, so you don’t land up harvesting one big crop of a particular herb or vegetable all at the same time but instead get to harvest smaller crops over a longer period.
As with most things in life, starting with a solid foundation is often the key to the greatest successes. Adding some nutrient-rich Bokashi Bran compost to the soil before planting any seeds or seedlings will ensure that your crops get off to a great start and grow up to be stronger, healthier and packed with goodness.
Visit www.bokashibran.co.za/shop or call us today to find out more about how you can get started with your home kitchen food waste to compost recycling program and make a significant and positive impact on the environment while cultivating a kitchen garden to be proud of.