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Start Your Own Vegetable Garden

by Sesame Lane Admin on 16/02/2017 11:47:22 AM
How to start your own vegetable garden (that children can maintain)!
Kids and vegetables. Nightmare, right? Is there ever going to be a way to get your children enjoying the vegetables you put in front of them?
We’re here to tell you that there is. By getting them involved in the plant to plate process. Kids love everything to do with the outdoors. Any chance to get down and dirty with soil and they are in. This article will show you:
  • The benefits of creating a vegetable garden
  • The best (and easiest) vegetables to grow in your garden
  • How to get started with a vegetable garden (that your kids can maintain)
  • The importance of kids knowing plant to plate (how to get them excited about vegetables)

The Benefits of Creating a Vegetable Garden

Having a vegetable garden is a win-win situation for you. Not only will it get your kids excited about nature, planting, caring for and harvesting vegetables, but it’s a great opportunity to have outside bonding time with your little ones.
It also helps your kids really appreciate the beauty of nature by using all of their senses in the process of planting vegetables. Also, the process of plant to plate has a pretty quick turnaround meaning your kids will stay invested and interested from germination to cooking and eating their veg.


The Best (and Easiest) Veg to Grow in Your Garden

If you really get into the business of planting and growing your own veg you could consider having a Spring, Summer, Autumn, and even Winter, garden. Planting different vegetables with each season. But let’s start simple. There are some really easy fruits and vegetables to grow in your garden, no matter how much space you have.
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Herbs
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Beetroot
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrot
  • Spinach
To find out exactly what to plant and when have a look here. It is a great resource on which vegetables to plant depending on the climate of your particular area.
Get Started with an Easy to Maintain Vegetable Garden
But setting up a vegetable garden takes loads of time, and money, right? Not necessarily.
Over time you may decide to invest in a bigger and better vegetable garden, but it’s more important to have a small one than none at all. Plus, growing your own plants will actually save you money in the long run. Once you’ve paid for the equipment and seeds you won’t have to buy those vegetables from a store again.

#1 Figure Out Space

Do you have a couple of windowsills, or a few feet of soil in the garden? Figure out how much space you have so you can pick which fruits/vegetables/herbs you’d like to start with. A smaller, well-tended garden can be better than a poorly-tended large garden full of weeds.


#2 Pick Your Spot

Now you’ve picked your vegetables, how much sun or shade do they need? Again, checking out this resource will help.
Make sure you can easily water your plants, as most vegetables are pretty drought intolerant and will need more water the drier it is outside. Get as close to a water source as possible.

#3 Get Good Soil

Having moist, well drained soil full of goodness (aka compost or peat moss) is what you need. Your vegetables will do really well in this environment.

#4 Prepare the Soil

Dig your soil up nice and loose before planting the seeds. Smooth with a rake and water, then give it a couple of days before you plant anything.

#5 Keep an Eye Out for Weeds and Pests

Weeds compete for your plants water supply so regularly turning over the top soil will help reduce the risk of this. And it’s another great learning experience for your little one.
If it looks like you have a serious pest problem you’ll need to do a bit of research together to find out what’s going on and what to do about it. You can do that here. But if it’s as simple as removing creepy crawlies you can do this by hand (an exercise your kids will love).

Plant to Plate: Why is it So Important?

Trying to get your kids to eat vegetables can feel like a battle, so it’s easy to give up before you’ve even tried. What’s the point? They’re just going to kick up a fuss and not eat, so why waste the food?
As award winning chef, Linton Hopkins, puts it: “Kids pursue deliciousness... the definition of deliciousness is that food is healthy. There’s a goodness to it, and people can taste goodness.”
Having a vegetable garden teaches your children the invaluable process of plant to plate. In today’s world kids don’t have the access to this knowledge as easily anymore. Mum goes to the shop, she picks up fruit and veg and voila, it’s a meal. They don’t know (or care) how it got to the shop in the first place.
There’s a huge part of the puzzle missing, and having a learning garden is the perfect way to educate your kids on where their food comes from. Kids are inquisitive and curious little creatures so they will appreciate all the different aspects of planting their own vegetables. Learning the process of plant to plate teaches your children:
  • Responsibility and love for nature (and themselves)
  • Self-confidence and self-reliance
  • Cause and effect (the importance of water and what happens if you get weeds)
  • The  science of growing fruits and vegetables
  • Cooperation
  • The basics of nutrition
They will become inherently drawn to fruits and vegetables that are full of colour and goodness.  And learning about the correct soil the use, when the water it, how much sun it should get means their fruits and veg will taste better. They will link the care they’ve put into growing the plants to the taste of the food. It teaches them patience, care and a little bit of chemistry.
Once they’ve planted, and tended to a fruit or vegetable you will be lucky to get the soil washed off before they wolf it down.
You can then move onto showing them how to prepare and cook their vegetables. Teaching them the whole cycle. They will revel in having this plethora of new and exciting information. It takes them away from the idea that their parents magic meals out of thin air and teaches them the importance of self-sufficiency and respect for food, their bodies and the natural environment.

Nourish Your Little Cabbage Patch Kid

Nothing but goodness comes from having your own vegetable garden. Literally. You don’t need to have acres of land to create a beautiful little patch for your children to tend to. And the benefits are endless.
Your kids will learn the importance of patience and care for the living, breathing things they are planting. They will know where their food comes from, how to harvest it and prepare it for a healthy and nutritious family meal. And you get endless bonding time out in nature.
The mental and physical health benefits of having a vegetable garden are proven. It will take next to no time to set up but will give back to you and your family for years to come.