Planting is Bringing Hope into the Future
I have to apologize for me recent long hiatus. My family and I were in a season of change. We had a rare opportunity to relocate to my family home. This place is very special and dear to my heart. It is a weird thought to be moving back to a home that already holds such wonderful memories and to have been gone for such a long time. The moment though we moved in it was as if I never had left. It is funny how fate sometimes work. You have a path in your mind of what you will do as a child etc but then Fate steps in and she has other plans for you. For me this has been always a dream to once again be back in the little country village that I grew up in, but never thought it would happen. Anyhow my long story short is it has been a very intense last few months packing up our old Victorian home and moving to our cottage home in the country.
One of the first things I did after moving in was get the garden soil mixed up and plan out the garden blue print. I knew that no matter what needed done that I was going to enjoy my summer garden. Something about walking outside and picking a fresh egg plant or squash and then carrying it back in the house to make a delicious meal with does give you the feeling of self reliance. I feel that since before modern day convinces made life a little easier, that its almost human nature to make sure that one self has an ability to eat. One of our primal instincts. Well after planting the main garden I looked around and decided maybe we needed a few more. So five separate vegetable gardens later I now feel accomplished. This brings me to the main reason for this blog post “Planting is Bringing Hope into the Future.” I know I spent many days planning and digging and building just to be able to put that small helpless plant into the ground. I was putting this little plant into the soil to let it grow and become something of its own. Maybe it will grow big and produce lots of amazing fruit. Maybe it will need some help. I still planted it though with all the uncertainty. I know that some years crops are amazing and other years not so much. The simple fact that we take that first step to put the plant or seed in the ground is having hope for the future.
We look forward to the time of year when we can start getting our seed packets out and organized. The kids love gardening. In general they like that they can get dirty and I actually encourage it. In the early spring we like to get certain seeds started indoors. The kids look forward to it because they get to dig in the dirt and it isn’t frozen solid. When the weather starts to warm up a little more than we like to start planting the rest of the seeds outside. I want to share some of my tips and tricks to having fun while gardening with your kids. I have said before but we are a homeschooling family so I take every opportunity I can to try to teach them something even if it is very informal.
Tip 1: Get ready to have some messy kids. Between digging in the dirt and then watering the dirt this can become a mud mess (to me that is the best part) but for some not so much. We always have a “cleaning station” set up so that when we are all done before we go in the house we can clean off muddy feet and hands. I usually just put some old towels and a bucket of sudsy water with a old rag in it. Then I have the kids stand in it while I wash their feet and then dry them off. They love it to because who doesn’t like the idea of getting bubbles everywhere.
Tip 2: Make sure to have a plan in mind. I like to organize my seeds since some will be started inside and some will be directly seeded into the soil. I also like to have the kids help me lay out what seeds are going where and putting them in the appropriate row etc. Since this day usually ends with a hose squirting contest I like to accomplish what needs done first.
Tip 3: Plant what you are going to eat (if you are planting an edible garden). BK (before kids) I would plant all of these lovely vegetables that my husband and I would eat. Then came kids and sometimes picky eating habits so now I plant things that I know are a hit and then occasionally add some extras since I can sometimes get them to try it since they helped create it and that is neat to them.
Tip 4: Incorporate a fun little science experiment while you are at it. The kids love learning about how things grow from such a tiny seed. It is also fun for them to imagine when it will start to sprout out of the ground. They love when we start seeds inside because they can watch them form from out of egg cartons. We also do fun measurements and “observations” of what we think will happen next and what won’t. Since gardening to our family at least is a learning curve, it is nice that the more they do this the better they will get at it.
Tip 5: As I had said in my last blog Plant for the Future . I do believe that when we are planting we are planting for the future. The small things we do now can make a big difference down the line. Think about yes we will plant this flower now but in a few years it will become something even more wonderful.
Tip 6: Composting fun. We compost and reuse a lot in our home. It is fun for the kids to put kitchen scraps into a bowl and than at the end of the day take it outside to our compost pile. When are compost is ready to be spread around our gardens and planting containers filled with it the kids love finding the worms and making sure “they have a good home” in the new area. Composting is a great skill to pass on to the next generation since it is great for the Earth and your gardens.
Tip 7: If all else fails and all the planning ends up being nothing but a garden full off weeds, crops not growing right, loosing plants etc just remember that you and your kids had fun in the process. There is always next year with more new ideas.
My house that I grew up in I would plant gardens everywhere. I grew up in a very rural area with an abundant soil that needed “my touch.” I put in ponds too in hope that it would bring in more wildlife. I remember picking this sad sapling that had grown in my parent’s ditch. It really was sad it had a crooked stem and was soon going to be sacrificed during the yearly mowing that the county did since it was close to the road. I remember picking that tree out of the ditch one day and telling my mom I was going to plant it near our one pond. I think she even took pity on the tree knowing it wasn’t long for this world. It had very little leaves. I planted that tree. I cared for that tree. I would sit by that tree. I would paint by that tree. That tree grew, and grew, and grew. Now that tree is massive. My daughter has named it Mommy’s Tree. My daughter the adventurer now has chosen this to be her favorite climbing tree when she is at her grandparents house. I tell her that story of where this tree came from and how it got here. The funny thing is if I didn’t do what I did all those years ago there would be no climbing tree there. That tree would have just been mowed over and forgotten. Something that could have been seen as so insignificant would one day bring such happiness to a child. As I had said in my last blog post that planting is the hope of the future. You might not realize how much something can make a difference in someone’s life. But I am happy that I did pull that tree out of the ditch and give it a new chance at life. I look forward to spring to be able to continue our gardening traditions. My children every year help get our vegetable garden ready for a new harvest year. I look forward to seeing their hands covered in dirt and knowing that they are learning such a valuable lesson in life. That is to plant for the future.
Picture was taken in the garden. The flowers look like thin pieces of paper.
For us Spring is not really near but I can be positive, instead of saying months, I will say weeks. I look forward to spring all the gardening that I worked hard on the year before becomes even more mature and beautiful. I love seeing trees I had planted years before be big enough to actually use for shade. My children love helping me tend the garden. I think it is an important lesson to teach children. That you plant for the hope of the future. Yes today it might just be a seed but in a few weeks it becomes something until one day you can pick that vegetable to eat.
I love winter and all that the season has to offer. It is natures time to rest, we celebrate the joy that winter brings to us. As I am typing this it is gently snowing outside. The silence…… (if I listen carefully I can hear snowflakes being blown onto my window). The promise of spring though is the energy that wakes the Earth up from her slumber. Even though my whole yard is covered in snow I can look beneath it and see glimpse of what the future months will bring. Life and rebirth. The once slumbering trees will slowly have opened up their buds and show new leaf. The grass will slowly green and all my carefully planted gardens will awaken. The night won’t be as dark and the air won’t be as cold. Even though I will miss my comfort of snow and dark nights I look forward to new season of change and all the amazing wonders it has to offer.
My picture was taken the day earlier, it really was the clam before the storm. A bright sunny day though cold still had patches of snow on the ground. I was able to find a small little plant attempting to peak through the leaf floor.