If you like to talk to tomatoes, if a squash can make you smile, if you like to waltz with potatoes………
…then you might be a gardener! Bwahahahahaha!
Sometimes I just can’t help myself. *grin*
It is January and all gardeners have one thing on the brain, dirt. Beautiful, crumbly, rich, deep brown soil. Can’t you just feel the warm earth under your feet? Ahhhhh. Oh, how I look forward to getting my toes and hands in the dirt.
I have my Seed Savers and Bakers Creek heirloom seed catalogs, my graph paper, notepad, pencil, ruler and companion planting book assembled together and have gone straight to work on planning our spring gardens.
As I pour over the artfully arranged pictures and descriptions of so many yummy vegetables and fruits, I dream of a garden that is not just full, but overflowing, with bounty. There is no tomato in the world that compares to one grown in your own garden and picked by your hands.
As a home schooling mom I see our gardens not only as opportunities to feed our family healthy raw vegetables and fruits, but also as a chance to teach the children many lessons.
What lessons come with planting a garden? Many!
In science: seed germination, seed identification, root growth and function, plant organs, photosynthesis, pollination, the formation of fruit, and the amazing living soil that it all grows in.
In history: the “path” our heirloom seeds have taken in their journey through time to us, and the importance of farming throughout the history of our country.
In geography: where our seeds come from. So many of the veggies we grow are not only from other regions, but also from other countries!
In math: when planning our gardens we fully include the children. We set before them the budget we have for buying the seeds needed, soil amending, watering and such, and we determine what and how much of something we can buy.
I have a great appreciation for the ingenuity gardening fosters in the kids. We are always focusing on reducing what we spend and buy new, reusing what we have already, repurposing items to give them new life in our garden, and recycling to produce less waste. They come up with some pretty great ideas.
The kids learn the value of being diligent and working hard. Their reward? The satisfaction and absolute yumminess of homegrown food that is free of chemicals, fake fertilizers and GMO plants! Seeing the excitement on their faces as they race out to harvest fresh food, watching them enjoy the taste of fruits of their efforts, and the delight as the juices of life drip down their chins is more than reward enough for me. Though, I will be more than happy to bite into a huge tomato sandwich with salt and pepper. YUM!
Always in God’s mighty hands,