Gardening with children has been one of the great pleasures of the unexpectedly early spring of 2012 that came to Pennsylvania. This is the first year where both of my youngest children are finally old enough to spend time together in the garden where they can be handled sufficiently by one parent. As either of my wife or I help the children play and learn about the garden, the other can work on bigger tasks like weeding or moving compost. After spending much time whispering the gardener’s lament, “There is always next year.”, the garden is finally in a place where we will have what we want while also increasing the amount of quality time we have with our children.
The fun part about having the children out and gardening is how naturally they take to it. Whether they are digging for dinosaur bones, our very own pair of Dr. Scott the Paleontologist, or helping to transplant strawberries, they don’t need encouragement.
Having spent time volunteering with a local community organization helping to build garden space in Harrisburg, children’s desire to be out, garden, do hard work, all while learning amazed me. Not only with my own children, but also with those children from the city, there was little need for support on my part. They only required instructions to start the project and they jumped right in including planting apple trees, hauling mulch, or shoveling manure,
If you want to teach children to garden, the job is made easy for you. Lead them to a space where they can dig, plant, and grow. With a little guidance along the way they will take care of the rest.