Owen and I have been working with a tiny garden.
We are growing peas (basic English, in a pod) and carrots (danvers and rainbow, I like nantes but the hardware store didn’t have nantes seeds right then, we’ll add some later) in a big plastic pot in our yard. Historically, I’ve liked real terra cotta, but we’re making a concerted effort to save water, and terra cotta helps dirt evaporate away a lot more of its moisture than plastic does. And we’ll save and reuse these for a long time. (Also, we move a lot, and terra cotta is heavy and I tend to break it when we move.)
Owen loves peas and carrots, as well as some other vegetables, but this batch is easy, he can pick whenever he likes, and every couple of weeks we can sprinkle carrot seeds into bare patches. We have to plant it well into our front yard rather than back because it needs to be in a sunny spot and convenient to water, as well as away from the carrot-loving dogs, who would dig up their own snacks. We’ll irrigate it with a sprinkle can, I think, with both fresh and occasional water left over from household use.
One reason we’re doing this, aside from, oh …
- I think it’s good for people in general to grow food
- I think it’s good for kids to see where food comes from
- It’s science
- It’s fun
- It involves dirt
- I’d like Owen to increase his variety in vegetable-nomming, and I think growing them is a good way to do that
…is that I’d like to find ways to help Owen learn about water conservation, and giving him ways to practice it in daily life is a good way to do that. We can turn off water while brushing teeth, and not refill the tub immediately after a long soak, and turn off the hose when we’re done playing outside, but I think actually using water to make food grow, watching the process every day, is a solid, practical water experience. I love that he’s old enough not to want instant gratification with the seedlings sprouting, and the carrots and peas ripening.
I’m just not sure I am!