Friday, January 20, 2012

The Joy of Gardening

Juliette picking Swiss chard for dinner
Tonight was one of those evenings when nothing is planned for dinner. It was just Juliette, my daughter and I here for supper and neither of us wanted anything too heavy.

At times like this we say, "Let's just get something out of the garden and have that." All that was available for us this evening was Swiss chard, a few carrots, radishes and a couple of eggs from the chickens (ok, not from the garden).

We sauteed the veggies, (in our butter) added rice and poured in eggs from the hens -- Farm Fried Rice for Two. It was just right.

Juliette and I spend a lot of time together in the garden. I am usually working, and she talks and sings to me. Sometimes she brings her books out and does her school work out there with me. She laughs a lot and she works in the garden too, a little here, a little there. For her that works, for me too. I know she is picking up the right things out there. She is watching and learning, and she just likes to be out with the plants.

It's the best way to learn, to make it a part of yourself.  And that is what kids will do if given the opportunity.

Gardening at Novellas Farm Days

Most children who come out here to Novellas Farm will basically play in the garden, and that is fine and good.  They should like to be in the garden first, and then start to look around and wonder what is happening.

That is the way I teach gardening. I start doing things, and the kids come over and participate or not, but usually they do, at least for some time. After a few times they begin to consider trying it themselves. If they are put to "work," it becomes nothing more than a chore.

Whenever any of my kids can't find me during the day they know to come out to the garden. That is where I wander when I have a few spare moments. I do a bit here and a bit there. It is a part of my life.  It is not a chore. I don't consider it something I have to do, it is just something I do, like walking or breathing.

That's how I hope Juliette will garden. That is how I hope all the kids who learn to garden here get, I hope they feel the joy of the garden, and want to learn how to grow plants and discover the pride of producing something as important as food.


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