Gardening with kids – one perspective from a non-gardening enthusiast

Personally, coming from an Asian family, my love for gardening is not that great. However, my brother and mother would not support this view as both of them love their gardens.

Growing up, I did not appreciate the garden.  My excuse was it was very hot outside every day, the soil was dirty with worms and many other earth insects, plus it was much easier to buy our vegetables from the market than planting ourselves.

That was my mentality, and it still has not changed much since I moved to Australia. However, that does not mean I don’t have a vege patch. In fact, I do, but a small one.

I am starting to appreciate the fun of seeing my vegetable garden expanding, my vegetables sprouting and growing, and the joy of harvesting my own vegetables that I planted. Yet it does not diminish my dislike of having to weed, water and “ferterlise” so very often and the time I have to put aside every week to maintain my vegie patch.

The reason for writing this post was I could see the benefits that come with gardening with your children or grandchildren. When my children were younger, we lived in an apartment, but we had a very small vegie patch.

I introduced chilli and tomato plants to them. We planted from seeds and they watched the plants slowly come to life. It gave them much joy with the process from daily watering and seeing the seedling spouting to gradually becaming tomatoes and chillies that we could harvest.

However, being the gardening non-enthusiast in me, I did not actively pursue this activity with my children. However, I know gardening with kids would yield much benefit. If you don’t have a yard, plant them in the pots – they will still do the same job!

Therefore I would like to encourage you, whether you are a parent or grandparent, to consider setting up a small vege patch, whether in the garden or in pots for yourself and your children. Start with a small patch and work your way up.

Here are some good reasons why you may want to consider setting up your vege patch with your children/grandchildren:

  1. Children learn new skills from being hands on – they learn about science and nature of how plants grow as well as the process of planting, such as the seeds, watering, weeding, mulching etc.
  2. Children will gain much pleasure from serving their food directly from garden to plate – it is so much healthier to consume our food from the source we know, i.e. your own garden.
  3. When they see their own creation – they will gain pride and confidence, as they showcase their own creations that they created (planted) themselves, i.e. achieving their goals.
  4. Your child will prefer to eat what they planted, as they are more invested and connected (food empathy) in their own creations and know where they come from.
  5. It is a great way to connect and have fun with your children or grandchildren through working in the garden together.
  6. Instead of spending time in front of the TV or computer screen, wouldn’t it be healthier if your child/grandchild spends time in garden, feeling more in touch with nature?

Have fun with your children in the garden!

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