"There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again." ~Elizabeth Lawrence~
All three of my children have been introduced to the garden very early in their lives. My four year old , for example, is working the family garden for the third consecutive year now. The point that I am trying to make is that there has always been a value placed on gardening in our home. Caring for the land, self-sufficiency, eating healthy and simply spending time out doors are just a handful of the character traits we are hoping to pass to the next generation. Now that we home school gardening has taken on new meaning in the aspect that we are actually able to create curriculum out of it!
This year we decided to focus on the concept of local foods and where they come from. We buy maple syrup and eggs from a farmer outside of Delhi, honey from Unadilla, free range beef from Deposit and free range chickens from Guilford. The vegetables, herbs and fruits are our responsibility, thus the "From Seed To Table Project".
All three of the children helped prepare trays with coconut fiber and we started nearly 125 different seeds for this years experiment. Everything from heirloom tomatoes to moonflowers, thyme and eggplants, there were even a few luffa thrown in for good measure. This of course creates the basic understanding of exactly how much work truly goes into providing a meal. Hopefully it will bloom into an acknowledgement that a meal is much more than filler for the stomach but rather a sacrament of sorts. It is a gift of the soil and the sweat of the brow. Then again maybe that is just how I see it and they will just think it's "cool" that their seeds ended up sprouting.
This is not only an opportunity for success but also a lesson in how to overcome obstacles and how to deal with potential failure, as we all know Mother Nature can sometimes be a cruel teacher.
So from time to time I will keep you up to date on our families little experiment in the dirt. Hopefully we can all learn together.
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 https://www.facebook.com/seedtoharvestbossyhenhomestead/ 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 https://amileinhershoestalesofastayathomedad.wordpress.com/