Screen-free week 2018 gives us a chance to explore and try new things like gardening! We’ll be growing something good this summer thanks to my friend Rosie and her introduction to gardening with kids.
I do not have a green thumb. I’m trying, though, for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is watching my father explore his own love for gardening when I was growing up.
Dad really loved tinkering in his roses, and despite the perennial battle with squirrels over his strawberries, he enjoyed growing the red fruit, too. He understood the value of time spent working a patch of earth and watching it blossom.
It’s only lately that I’ve been able to appreciate that fact.
Gardening is a beautiful alternative to screen-time because of its benefits for parents and kids. Gardening
- Lowers stress levels
- Creates a sense of accomplishment
- Provides an opportunity for exercise
- Fosters community involvement
- Reduces environmental footprint
- Creates an appreciation for God’s creation
An Introduction to Gardening with Kids
I don’t see myself as a future homesteader, but I have great respect for those that do. My friend Rosie at A Blog for My Mom lives in a 19th Century farmhouse about an hour and a half away from me. Together with her husband and children, the family runs Peregrine Hills farm. It’s a beautiful, relaxing homestead in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, and I’m excited to share Rosie’s experiences with you today.
How did you find your way toward Peregrine?
I always gardened with my mom as a child, then started a garden when we bought a house about 5 years ago. We moved to a farm and have expanded the garden significantly!
Describe your work/life balance. How do you attend to your vocation as a wife and mother while pursuing your passion at the same time?
The kids all help out, and I do a lot when the baby is napping or asleep for the night… It’s a lesson in detachment – there’s no way everything is going to get done perfectly, or done at all, so I have to prioritize and give it to God!
What’s your philosophy on screen time? Does it have potential benefits, or is it something you try to avoid altogether?
We try to avoid it as much as possible because it turns one of my children into a total monster. The kids get about an hour of TV with Grandma on Mondays and Fridays, and that seems to work pretty well.
How do you share your passion with your children? What do your children think about what you do?
Everybody chips in! They read seed catalogs and choose the ones they want to grow, choose seedlings from the nursery, plant their own little gardens, and help with weeding, watering, and planting. They all LOVE it, mainly because it means they eat well 😉
As a homeschooler and homesteader, Rosie finds lots of ways to combine her children’s education with life on the farm.
One of their favorite activities? Watching a seed take root!
- Plastic sandwich bag
- Dried beans of your choice
- Paper toweling
- Scotch tape
- Fold a section of paper toweling into a rectangle. Thoroughly wet the paper towel and place it in the bag.
- Add a few beans to the bag, making sure they are all flat against the damp paper toweling. Seal the bag.
- Find a sunny window. Use a section of tape to secure the bag to the window, bean side out. Over the next few days, observe your bag to see what happens. You should begin to see the bean sprout and grow roots.
If you want to dive into full-time gardening, there are plenty of opportunities for that, too.
I cover our own experience with growing our own food in this post, an overview for the beginning gardener. If you’re still not sure, take a look at Rosie’s fantastic post, 7 Reasons to Start a Garden. She’ll encourage you to get started, for sure.
Want to learn more about Rosie and get a behind the scenes look at life on Peregrine Hills Farm?
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