Gardening alongside children can be one of the most rewarding experiences a parent can have.
Gardening alongside children can be the most rewarding part of your family garden. Whether it is your children, grandchildren, or the neighborhood children, you will find a great amount of enthusiasm, interest, and participation. At the end of the bottom page is several photos of children constructing, planting, harvesting, and giving vegetables to a local food bank. Check them out! Many hands make light work.
Gardening in a School Environment
My experience setting up gardens in schools is how I introduce a variety of concepts to the kids. Children must understand what is about to happen.
Before the bed construction, a few points need to be addressed.
Safety – working with garden components (straw, alfalfa, compost), tools (shovels, rakes, trowels), raised bed construction (wood, concrete blocks, containers, fasteners, drills, ratchets, nuts, bolts), fertilizers (biological components (bacteria and fungi), water, manufacturing) pesticides (neem oil, cayenne pepper), organic life (snails, slugs, worms, insects)
- Elementary Biology – good and bad (bacterial, fungi, worms, insects)
- Water – conservation, retention, application, collection
- Plants – the purpose of plant(s) tomatoes, marigolds, companion planting
- Pest – insects, biological organism, birds, people, pets
- Planting – which plants to plant first, location, density, shady, sunny, soil temperature
- Tending – plants, watering, weeding, sequential planting, removal, and disposal of diseased plants
These and many more points and experiences are processes I used when gardening with children. When you lay the foundation of gardening with children, you set them up for various experiences that will last a lifetime.
The way you expose children to The Tuxedo Gardening system will result in exploring and interpreting the effects on the plants by insects, pathogens, fertilizers, and plant processes throughout the plant’s life-cycle.
Children are total body and visual learners. You have them working with their hands, body, and mind to set up a set of rules and processes they can repeat over and over with success.
Writing words on a chalkboard, piece of paper, or your $600+ tablet really doesn’t work all that well. Rote learning doesn’t give you understanding. You need to define a term, use it in the garden experience, and let them explore what the term means to them. Once they get the-hang-of-it, the next term gets easier to understand and explore.
If you teach them how to find the best site for the garden bed, what growing medium to use, how you inoculate the growing medium with your army of bacterial and fungi to defend your plants, what to plant, when and where, how to harvest the fruits of the plant without hurting the plant and what fresh from the garden tastes like.
Gardening alongside children has taught your children a better way of life. Your children learned about biology, astrometry, math, working with tools, construction, selection process, identifying good and bad insects and symbolic relationships, and how humans working with all these different sciences can make you and them a better life.
On the other upside, you have them outside exploring and not sitting behind a display device playing games or watching negative programs (rock-em sock-em cartoons, eat junk food, watching unhealthy commercials, and on and on).
Gardening with children provides each child with something to brag about. They love to tell anyone how their garden grows.