Gardening is the Answer . . .

Posted in Abrupt Climate Change at 8:40 pm

What is the single most effective thing you can do to help your kids learn to respond to a global crisis? Teach them to grow a vegetable garden.

Name that Crisis

  • Problems with the economy are causing food bank shortages? Teach your child to grow food to donate to the needy.
  • Weather patterns cause a crop to fail? Americans won’t starve but the replacement food they buy will come from somewhere and the original customers might have difficulties. Your own food supply can help.
  • Avian Flu? Having fresh vegetables can cut down on trips to the grocery store.
  • Storms cause flooding that disrupts food transportation? Again, a source of food in the backyard can be a nice safety cushion.

Gardening can make a significant difference – during WWII victory gardens supplied 40% of the US food requirements during the summer months, freeing up fuel to use in the war effort.

Guiding a toddler to plant carrot seeds – even if they all end up rather closer than you might plant them, can give a child a huge sense of accomplishment as they thin the growing plants and see the progress of the carrots. Older children can make a significant contributionto the family table.

My then three-year-old son never complained about the long hours I would work in front of the computer – he just would come in and invite me to go out and dig with him – not in the sand box – in the garden. He almost always succeeded.

Now is the time to sit with your youngster and plan just how you might maximize the produce from a small plot – broccoli planted soon, lettuce, amongst the tomato plants, and finally, fall squash. (That’s not necessarily an optimum plan – just the things I like and have time for.) Take a soil sample with your child and discuss the science behind pH, then start to adjust if necessary.

If best-comes-to-best and the disaster never occurs? Maybe your child will just acquire a lifetime hobby. This is bad?

1 Comment

  1. Lisa said,

    03.27.07 at 7:32 pm

    Teaching your child to garden is a fantastic way to teach them about many other things. Great idea.

    Here via the carnival of family life.