This April is so different from what most of us had expected out April to be like. I know I had not imagined our world turning upside down like ti has. What has given me a sense of calm and hope is watching the gardens bloom, hearing the birds singing sweetly in the morning and know that nature has not changed at all. It is the same as it has been every year. I was looking back at previous newsletters and decided to use one I wrote a few years ago. What I wrote is the same -- gardening brings us hope of what is to come. We have faith that the seeds will grow in to plants, that we will have joy watching our flowers blossom and that there is pride in our accomplishments.
FROM April 2017
Ours was an “eating garden” not the “canning gardens” they ran through when visiting the relatives in Ohio. It was there for them to experience the joy of growing something, to see where some of our food comes from, and to be able to taste the goodness of their harvest (if we could keep the raccoons and birds from experiencing it first!) We would take pictures of their two corn stalks and send them to Great Grandpa – I am not sure who was prouder of their corn. When they got to high school they both took horticulture. The teacher came up to me one day and asked if Joel and Nick had gardened when they were younger. I said they had and she replied, “I knew it. They have such a respect for living things.”
It is so important to let little ones nurture things from nature. They develop an empathy and a respect for living things when they garden, as well as a knowledge of where food comes from, experience the science of growing seeds, patience while waiting for their plants to produce something to eat or look at, and pride in what they have accomplished. This love for nature will stay with them. Joel and Danielle have been working on the garden at their home Wedgewood. Nick does not have garden space but he likes to read books on gardening and loves planning a menu to eat all the things that Joel is growing! My Grandfather would be so proud of his little gardener.
I am glad we had, and are still having, fun digging in the dirt together. Children love to see the plants and see where food comes from before it gets to the grocery store. Take them to a blueberry or strawberry farm and let them pick some fruit. Then let them help prepare the food for a family meal. You know where food comes from but to them this is a new and exciting adventure. Take some time to get dirty with your child – or just visit the pea patch and see what other people are doing in the dirt.
Some of the children have already had the opportunity to plant seeds in the garden at preschool. We will all be planting soon. We will encourage the science of gardening while we set up experiments outside and have fun digging in the dirt at preschool. Be sure to check out the garden area when you are at school: the raspberry plants are leafing out, the hummingbird is visiting daily, and the slugs are enjoying our primroses. There is a lot going on in the preschool garden, and more to come!
Our Wildlife Habitat Garden has attracted the birds this winter and soon the butterflies will return. The garden is a place that allows the children to experience nature and encourages habitats for the animals in the area. When we encourage children to be a part of nature they develop a caring attitude toward nature that develops their ability to nurture – plants, animals and people.
You have the chance to plant a seed of something very special in the hearts, minds, and spirits of your children as you garden together.