Teaching My Baby To Read

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Learning in the Garden

It’s the middle of May and it finally decided to be sunny today.  We get a lot of rain where we live, so it was a big treat to be outdoors.  Bruce has been responsible for planting almost our entire garden this year.  I can’t say that I tie as much science into this as I should, but he did understand the concept of crop rotation when we were reading a Kid’s Discover magazine about the Industrial Revolution.

Notice our various compost contraptions in the background.  The tumbler on the left is by far my favorite.  Perhaps this could be a science project this summer? Which one works best?  I’ll need to clean them all out first.

Getting our garden to the state that my six year old can do so much of the work on his own, has taken a lot of advanced planning, money and elbow grease.  A couple of years ago we bought the raised beds, although I’m not too happy with them so please don’t copy me!  Raised beds in general are excellent, just these ones, not so much.  We also had to buy tomato cages and the composters.  The pea fence was a gift from my MIL and is so convenient!  Three or four years ago we planted the asparagus and artichokes, and have since added rhubarb and Jerusalem artichokes.  All of our strawberries need to be taken out because the raccoons get them.  Having perennials on the periphery is nice, because then we only have to actively cultivate the three raised beds.

Jenna’s contribution to the garden right now is mainly as an eater.  I have to keep my eye on her because today I saw here eat fresh spinach from one bed (great!), but then immediately try to eat a potato leaf (poisonous!!!) from the bed next door.  Rhubarb leaf is also extremely poisonous.  It will get easier this summer once the raspberries start, and then she’ll stay over in that part of the yard and forget about everything else. 

When people talk about vegetable gardening as a great way to save money, I laugh because a garden can suck up and extreme amount of cash in the beginning.  But once you have your beds built, the equipment in place, and a nice set of perennials growing, then your expenses aren’t very much.  The best part is that your family begins to think more closely about where food comes from and gets excited about eating fresh fruits and vegetables.


  1. Colleen says:

    Thanks for sharing your link! Very encouraging! This year is our 1st attempt at gardening, I too included my son in every aspect. We started some seeds inside, he was invovled in the building of the raised beds, and then in the planting. He is excited about all the veggies we have planted and can’t wait to start eating!

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