Thursday, June 12, 2014

Lettuce Begin

We are loving our new house and, especially this time of year, we are loving our new backyard. I don't think I realized how much children love the outdoors until I had a bit of the outdoors to let my children have access to, anytime they want. When they get fussy I just open the back door and they are instantly transformed by the fresh air and one million objects to look at, touch, and displace at their will.

One thing I wanted to try with our new space was gardening. I've never grown anything at all, and I thought it would be a fun way to learn, with my girls, about how to grow things, especially food. Penny is a pretty picky eater (though we're getting better every week) and I wanted to plant some vegetables and herbs we might eat. It might give the girls a better understanding of where their food comes from. So for Mother's Day, I asked for a raised bed. Last weekend, Mr. Jones assembled it and this week the girls and I did some planting. Here's the evidence of our first garden! Even if it all ends up in not much, I'm still really excited to do it.

First, Penny moved around some freshly cut grass, and learned some hammering and building skills with Daddy:

She always stops to smell the roses (and in Portland, the City of Roses, that's a lot of stopping!)

Then, mid-week, we planted. I went to this amazing nursery with Lulu one day and told them I'd never grown anything, that I have a toddler and a baby, and that I would like some "instant gratification" gardening. What could I plant that might yield results? They were great with advice, and I came home with starts (not seeds) of basil, broccoli, chives, coriander, and lettuce.  Penny helped me plant all of it. We also threw in some wildflower "bombs" to see what happens.

We got her some sweet gardening tools at a local shop, but she liked her new watering can best, by far. Apparently she's seen a book or video of Elmo with one, so she knew exactly what to do (thanks, Elmo!). Lulu watched her fill it up at the spigot over a dozen times, and march over to the raised bed for watering. It really never got old.

I'm looking forward to the days when both of the girls can participate, but until then every job team needs a Supervisor, and we have a pretty cute one.

Once finished, Penny and I  gave a big "Hooray!", we all hugged, and Penny requested we get out the backyard slide. Job done!

We've been watering the raised bed every night, as it hasn't rained much here in Portland lately. I'm sure Penny has no idea that what we've planted can be eaten, but I can't wait to show her, once it's grown a bit more. I hope gardening is an activity the girls and I can continue for many years to come.


Joanna said...

Hurrah for you! I think it is so important to get children interested in growing early on, and to teach them that food does not actually begin life in a shop. Your pictures (and your girls!) are just gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

Hi Holly!

Wow, that looks so fun! It reminds me of when I was gardening with my parents and I found some centipedes, millipedes and other bugs. Speaking of which, did you know that centipedes eat millipedes?