Sunday, May 02, 2010

Veggie Tales

I know not everyone is into growing vegetables, but believe it or not, this is how most children become interested in gardening.  There are so many cold crop vegetables that grow in short periods of time, the results are watchable almost daily and most can be put on the table to taste or eat.

Not only is the growing a first class science experiment, but the preparation and cooking integrates language, math and science.  Think of some new words to learn such as germinate, soil, fertilizer, even photosynthesis and phototropism (even young children can be introduced to these terms and an explanation of the meaning - remember this is an introduction, not mastery).  Growing veggies is such a great way to get children to try new things, especially if they grew it and nurtured it into adulthood and finally to the table.

I began growing veggies at age eight on a thirty foot city lot in Chicago.  I probably would have begun earlier but I lived in an apartment in the big city.  Neither of my parents were gardeners, but my aunt was, my mentor who I followed around the garden on my hands and knees learning about each plant as we hobbled along.  As I mentioned in a previous blog, my first crop was carrots.  I have carrots growing this year layered in between the lettuces.  They seem to be doing just great, but my radishes have lots of little nibbles showing, don't think I planted them at the time recommended by the Farmers Almanac!

I love the Red Rosie lettuce, so dark and mysterious, Oakleaf Panisse is a brighter green than any other Oakleaf that I have grown.  I have already planted two Celebrity tomatoes because they are determinate and do not take over my small garden.  I had to have a Beefmaster but still have not received my Brandy Boys and peppers from Burpee.  I did add some hot banana peppers,  jalapenos, mild banana peppers and basil.


Jim Groble said...

Pat and I grew peppers and tomatoes in pots last year. This year we move up and will tiy an in the ground veggie garden. It will be on a raised bed. Should we do anything to the wood? Thanks for the rabbit comment. jim

garden girl said...

That was definitely my experience too Eileen - my interest in gardening started as child. We lived in a 3-flat on the north side, and our landlord had a vegetable garden. When I was ten my parents bought our first house, and planted our first veggie garden that first year, and every year after that. My siblings and I grew up helping in the large garden, and I've been gardening ever since.

Your veggies look wonderful!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Jim, I have a stone raised bed now. I did have a wood one at a previous home. It was natural cedar. I don't think you want to treat it as the chemicals can leach into the soil. I know they make resin raised beds also.

Sorry about the rabbits, the kids love them, but they just about destroyed my daughters garden. Check out that Plantskydd Critter product. It is non toxic to plants and animals.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Garden Girl,

We lived in an old two flat that still had a catch basin. This is where I planted my carrots. My dad said they were the best ever!


Diana (Di) said...

Your vegetables are bright and beautiful! We have had many salads of red leaf lettuce, mesclun and radishes and everything else seems to be coming along. However, our temperatures have been about 10 degrees below normal, so I'm still cautious about putting too much more out. We did put out a few tomatoes and you can see the stress.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Di, we did have a salad last night with all of the goodies from the garden. It was delicious! I have put out a few tomatoes so I hope we do not get a surprise.


beckie said...

Eileen, I learned about gardening from my grandparents veggie garden. It was a serious garden that provided not only fresh veggies to eat in the summer, but veggie that were canned and preserved to eat during the winter months.

We worked in the garden some at least every day. Whether it was weeding, watering or harvesting, we were out there a lot. But, oh,did we eat well! And when I was a new bride, on of the first things I did was palnt a vegetable garden and I have canned many a vegetable since then.

I am teaching my granddaughters about flower gardening now as I don't plant vegetables any more. But I do tell them of the joys of eating what you grow. Maybe one day theu will try it for themselevs.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Beckie, I thought my children would never be gardeners when they were young because they both seemed disinterested in taking care of what they planted. However, as adults they are both obsessed gardeners.


Indoor Fountains said...

Gardening was something I grew up around. My mother was always out in the yard and working on her garden. Her mother was the same way as well. I remember being young and helping my mother in the garden. I certainly will pass this joy on to my kids as well

Gatsbys Gardens said...

My mother was not interested in gardening, but my aunt was. As long as you have someone for a mentor as a child you have a good chance of enjoying gardening as a adult.