Gardening with kids is a joy, but often it feels like double the work. Its more messy and exhausting. Now that it’s summer and my son is out of school, it will be hard to get all the work done in our garden plot. While I focus on my gardening tasks, I need to keep an eye on my son. He will wander off from our plot, visit our garden neighbors and chat with a busy gardener or experiment with a hose nozzle that is not ours. He forgets that he can not hurl sticks and stones in the garden or cut the grass near the plastic deer fence. He is just too busy to help me weed, plant, or pick. Except for yesterday, when he watered his garden bed and created a mud pool at our plot entrance.
All the chaotic and frustrating moments gardening with my son are tolerable when I remember the many priceless life lessons he has learned while at our plot. Yesterday, I gave a bag of our swiss chard to the community gardener collecting donations for our local food bank. My son asked me, “What is a food bank?” I explained. He asked more questions until I had no more answers. I picked a bagful of Romain lettuce, gave it to my son and told him to give it to the “food bank” woman. He carried the bag past several plots and hundreds of distractions to the right woman and cheerfully gave her our lettuce.
What lessons have your kids learned while gardening with you?