Wednesday, September 16, 2015

If They Grow It They Will Eat It; Getting your kids in the garden!

Gardening isn’t just an enjoyable pastime; it’s a way that many people feed themselves and their family. It’s no surprise that there are a lot of kids out there who don’t like eating their vegetables (I’m an adult and I still struggle with it). But, if you get your kids involved in the gardening process they are actually more likely to eat the vegetables. I've been a witness to it and Cornell University did a small study on it in 2012.

Brandon, age 12 (photos provided by C. Killian)
Rylee, age 9 (photo provided by C. Killian)
Here are some suggestions to get your kids interested in gardening:
  • Give kids their own gardening space.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Involve them in the planning process and allow them to choose a few varieties they would like to plant.
  • Allow them to dig in the dirt and actually plant some seeds.
  • Have them help with watering throughout the season so they can see the plants growing.
  • Grow interesting plants like sunflowers, corn, pumpkins, beans, tomatoes and strawberries.

Here are a few of our kid-friendly favorites to keep in mind for your 2016 garden:
Teddy Bear Sunflower (what kid can resist the name!)
Compass Bean (perfect for small gardens, and can even be grown in a container)
Glass Gem Corn (they’ll love the fun colors and it makes a delicious popcorn! 
Golden Bantam Corn (a sweet corn they can eat right off the cob)
Half Pint Pea (full-sized peas from petite plants)
Knucklehead Pumpkin (perfect for carving)
Jack Be Little Pumpkin (perfect kid-sized pumpkin)
Lizzano Tomato (another great vegetable for small spaces with a wonderfully sweet flavor) 
Rainbow Treasure Strawberry (beautiful in a hanging basket, and the berries will keep the kids coming back for more)
Blueberry plants (a tasty bite-size snack)

Author: Mel R.

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