Let's Talk: Gardening with Kids, What Will You Grow this Year?

The following post is by editor Kara Fleck.

This Spring we”ve been talking a lot about gardens and green things growing.  Last week I ran a post about creating garden spaces for your children by contributor Catherine Way.  This week I”d like to ask what are you and your kids are growing in your garden spaces this year? 

A Few Green Resources

Gardeners, like knitters, are eager to share what they know.  Luckily for me, I happen to know a few people who are more successful gardeners than I am so I have smart folks to bounce ideas off of and ask questions.  Between my Dad, my uncles, my brother Nate, and my sister HanaJean I”ve got a lot of living green resources to help me in this gardening adventure.

The good people here at Simple Living Media are a good gardening resource, as well.  Did you see Danny Bourque”s raised bed tutorial on Simple Bites?  And definitely don”t miss Simple Homemade”s (formerly Simple Organic) Gardening 101 series.

We love the books by Sharon Lovejoy for gardening with children as well as the practical gardener”s guide series.  I have the kindle version of Indiana“s on my smart phone.

Our Plans

We have a simple raised bed system in our backyard and a few containers on our patio.  We keep things pretty simple around here, in no small part because, while I have an adventurous gardening spirit, my thumbs online casino canada are pretty black.

digging in, and de-rocking, after the long Winter

This year our plans include:

  • Growing as many different colors of heirloom tomatoes as we can
  • Expanding our raised bed system
  • Start more plants from seed – I love Christen”s egg carton idea for seed starting
  • Growing the ingredients for salsa, a family favorite
  • Growing a morning glory fort for the kids, a la” Sunflower Houses
  • Our neighborhood has been hit pretty hard by the economy, we”ve got empty lots and abandoned houses that could use some cheer, so Jillian and I are hatching some sort of Miss Rumphius-style gurrilla flowering gardening plan.  Exactly what we”ll do, I”m not quit sure yet, but we”re in agreement we want to do something for the little neighborhood we love so much (stay tuned!)

Let”s Talk: What are you and your kids growing this year?

Whether a small container garden in a sunny windowsill or acres of land, let”s talk:  I”d love to hear what you are growing in your gardens this year. 

Do you have any suggestions for our neighborhood Miss Rumphius-style flower project?

Have you ever participated in a neighborhood or community gardening project?

What is your garden space like?

How old are your kids and what kinds of things do they like to grow?

Is this your first year having a garden, or are you and your family old hats at this?

Let”s talk! The comments are open for discussion.

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at KElizabethFleck.com.

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  1. We have dabbled a little with gardening for the past couple of years, but due to moves with the military, my own black thumb, and my fear of putting too much $ into something that will not grow we havent produced much. This year we are determined to be successful though because #1 we are here for good (3 yrs), #2 Hubby built a lovely raised bed for me out of reclaimed wood from my various walks with the kiddos, and #3 http://www.sproutrobot.com a site I found on Pinterest that allows you to plug in your zipcode and tells you when and how to plant seeds and what to start indoors. I’m totally psyched!

  2. I do a large vegetable garden that the kids help me with when they feel like. We also have a small bed beside the kids sand box where they can plant whatever they want. I would love to plant a tipi with vines growing up it this year for the kids.
    Marci´s latest post: Lorax Inspired Truffula Trees in Girls Room

  3. We will be doing purple carrots this year. They are a favorite of my almost 4 year old, and anything that gets her to eat veggies makes my list. So also purple sweet peppers, shelling peas, spinach, and rainbow swiss chard. Then of course pumpkins and watermelons. We are looking forward to getting into the dirt. The hot weather last week was such a tease! Now we are back to 40’s…and colder…this week :-)
    Heather´s latest post: hanging laundry again!

  4. I saw your post and realized that I had a perfect Miss Rumphius inspired project to share. That book is such a favorite at our house! I threw together a quick blog post about it and made a free PDF of the tutorial: http://tinyurl.com/c56k6eb

  5. We’ll mostly be doing old favorites from last year…dragon carrots, pumpkins, sugar snap peas in our small raised beds. Pots with tomatoes (mostly cherry for the immediate satisfaction of picking and eating) and strawberries along with herbs or other things that strike the little person’s fancy. We just planted some raspberry canes that (knock on wood) are looking happy so far. Biggest challenge is to find a netting solution that will keep the squirrels from eating everything (they decimated our winter garden broccoli) but still give the girl access to the plants.

  6. As far as edibles go, we’re planting peas, lettuce, cucumber, squash, beans, tomatoes, peppers and pumpkins.

    Last year a bunch of our vegetable seedlings were eaten by a groundhog. (Can I call it a varmint? If you live in an area where you can hear coyotes at night, are you rural enough for the word “varmint”?) We’ve reinforced the fence, so hopefully we’ll be luckier this year.

  7. We’re just doing some small scale container gardening…mostly herbs, some tomatoes and some flowers. I just added Miss Rumphius to our library list the other day and I’m excited to read it with the kids!
    Krissa´s latest post: Herb Gardening

  8. I have never successfully grown anything. Ever. Black doesn’t even begin to describe my thumbs. But my kids are 3 and 1 now so this year WILL be different! We’re also relocating to rural Kentucky in May so I’d imagine there will be some good community resources to help get us going. I would like to start small — snap peas and butternut squash (two favorites) — and see where we go from there. My kids adore strawberries but I’ve heard they’re temperamental so I’m a bit nervous.
    Kate´s latest post: The Secret to Getting Dinner on the Table

  9. We live in the city, where we only have the window boxes to create a little bit of green. But I have loved walking out onto the stoop with my two-year old every day to water the plants. He finds such joy in the work- and is proud to help mommy. It’s also been a great opportunity to talk to him about why and how things grow and the special care that living things require to thrive.
    Angie´s latest post: money talks

  10. I love to garden with my kids. They like things that show results quickly, so lettuce, radishes and peas are favorites. We also plant tons of tomatoes because we bottle them and make spaghetti sauce for the freezer. Herbs are another favorite. My little kids will go out to the garden and pick sage leaves, chives and mint leaves to chew on while they play in the sand box. Their friends are always surprised when they see them bite on the chive flowers. (And they feel a bit like Tigger when Eeyore offered him a thistle, “OOOO, Hot!”)
    Jen@anothergranolamom´s latest post: Hiking Lower Spring Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park

  11. i just posted some of our early spring garden work this morning!


  12. I love the idea of growing your own salsa ingredients! We may try that out in containers! We have such a short growing season, that I have not done much gardening since we moved to an area that still gets some snow in May and June sometimes and frost in September. We really need a nice pop-out window for some containers! I grew up gardening and as an adult joined a community garden too. I miss it.
    One of these years I will figure something out!!! Thank you for the great post!
    Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site´s latest post: How To Handle Your Toddler’s Teeth Grinding and Clenching During Sleep

  13. Hi Kara – Thanks for this post! Very fun to get your ideas – and they encourage me to stay simple! My garden doesn’t have to be out of “Better Homes & Gardens” – my girls will be impressed with the wonder of any growing thing! One word of caution on the morning glories – are they native in your area? Here in the northwest, they are invasive, and if my neighbor planted morning glories I would react with absolute horror and fear. Once they start here, they are impossible to tame. Just a hopefully helpful note about them, but maybe they are native in your area and not a problem? Thanks for the wonderful article!

  14. Tomatoes, various squash, basil, and we’re trying to sprout a moringa tree seed, just to experiment. I know we have some other seeds planted, but I don’t know everything my husband pulled from the seed stash yet.

    My kids are old enough now that they will be responsible for a lot of the weeding this year. It’s a good chore for them.

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