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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Gardening With Kids - Gardening Gives Food and More

I left off in the last post talking a little bit about harvesting produce with kids from the garden. The garden provides nutritious and delicious food for us to eat....and also preserve if you have abundance.

There is nothing like a fresh garden meal in the summer!
Picking your vegetables right out of the garden and using them in your meal - you can't get any fresher than that!

You might make fresh salsa from your tomatoes, peppers, onions, and cilantro in your garden.

You might enjoy stuffed peppers.

Sweet corn is always a delicious summer treat with any meal.

You might have a wonderful crop of green beans and can them to enjoy during winter.

Of course, picking fresh lettuces, spinach, radish, and green onions for salads is always refreshing.

Allow your children to cook meals with you. Sometimes its hard with little hands, but you might be surprised what they will eat knowing that they helped prepare it from what they helped grow and harvest.

Sometimes room is not available to grow everything you would like, such as fruits, where several plants are needed to pick a larger quantity. Look for local u-pick farms in your area and take your kids there to experience picking at a specialty farm. We go to a blueberry farm and strawberry farm every summer to pick bulk amounts of berries to freeze and make jam from. You might want look for local specialty farms in your area to pick strawberries, blueberries, apples, peaches, pumpkins and more.

For your kids to see these large specialty farms puts a whole new perspective on how and where produce is grown. For example, we just went to a u-pick blueberry farm and driving down the lane to where we would pick, my son said "These are ALL blueberries?!" They can see acres of one type of plant growing. I explained to him that the blueberry farm has workers to pick blueberries for customers to pick up or they can come and pick them themselves. Seeing these specialty farms helps put the whole idea of farm size into perspective. Kids can see that your backyard garden feeds your family. There might be some abundance of certain vegetables that you can share with others. Large farms, such as berry farms or pumpkin patches provides for several families, sometimes several hundred to thousands.

Gardening with kids has several advantages and provides such wonderful experiences.
- It educates them on where food comes from.
- Showing them planting to harvest and getting them involved is a great way to share the farm to    fork process.
- It teaches them what it means to live a sustainable and healthy life.

I hope you will show your kids where food comes from and enjoy the farm to fork process!

This post is sponsored by Indiana's Family of Farmers but all opinions, photos, and ideas are mine.


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