The Next Generation

“Let Nature be your teacher.” – William Wordsworth

It took me a few years not to fall for natures prank. I know the good weather can't last forever but it is still hard not to get excited when you can finally step out of your home nestled deep in zone 5 only wearing a sweater.

Yesterday was such a day. Along with my three children we began early preparation of the main garden. Shovel full by shovel full we turned last years crop under the soil. It was a day of discovery for the kids as well. We homeschool our children so every activity embraces a level of learning. The kids found the skeletal remains of a radish and some kohlrabi quickly decaying. Our first worm was discovered and quickly covered back up. They were most excited by the jackpot of pumpkin seeds they found under a thin blanket of composted squash.

We worked fresh organic matter into the ground and checked the raised bed full of garlic. There was still plenty of time for everyone to make mud pies and for our 1 year old to chew on an old corn cob she found in the garden. Gross, I know.

Part of the material that we use for our kids education is the Oak Meadow curriculum. It is nature based and arts oriented. A section of this weeks lesson was starting seeds indoors for your garden. How cool is that?

We also put up two new bird feeders and talked about habitat. Recently our village destroyed a large portion of wooded area by our home to put in trailers and we have noticed foxes, raccoons and skunks wandering the neighborhood looking for place of their own. We also talked about how the birds will help us in return by eating pest over the course of the summer.

My two oldest wanted to take yesterdays lesson to a level higher though so we spent the day preparing a list of seeds that we have available to send to friends, over 51 varieties and counting! Then we worked on making recycled envelopes to put the seed in and eventually even created a little label that we will put with each little "order".

I feel privileged to have a garden for a classroom. The next generation of great minds are digging in the dirt.

Tobias Whitaker blogs for Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine. Click on the Mother Earth News logo at the bottom of the page for all of his post. You can also find him on Facebook at Seed To Harvest: Bossy Hen Homestead which is a central location for his homesteading blogs and his homeschooling blog, A Mile In Her Shoes: Tales Of A Stay-At Home Dad found here


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