Hudson Valley Parent

HVP June 2019

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 20 of 35 n Hudson Valley Parent 21 Growing fresh veggies at home also allows you to tap into the massive variety of vegetable plants out in the world and experiment with colors and foods kids aren't used to seeing or eating. "There are yellow tomatoes, purple and yellow carrots and purple green beans," Ndiyae says. "There are even edible flowers. You can have a lot of fun with all the variety, and it always blows kids' minds." Older kids love gardening too For kids who are a little bit older, there are tons of opportunities for sneaky science, math, and art lessons while they're weeding and watering. From breaking the garden up into square feet, to studying the water cycle and soil to figure out an optimal growing environment, they'll always be thinking and learning. "You can add in deliberate observation like measuring growth, and watching how buds form and open," says Lerner. "But keeping a garden journal, drawing, and collecting are good first steps in any naturalist's journey." You don't need a yard to have a garden For families who live in apartment buildings or other types of homes without much yard space, or who are concerned about committing to a full-blown garden, containers are the perfect solution. Set up a container on a balcony or windowsill and tend to the plant the same way you would if it were out in the backyard. "You can grow tomatoes, microgreens, or flowers," Ndiyae says. "Herbs are also a great option. They smell and taste really good, and your children can help you cook with them." To recreate the experience of a full garden, Picciano and Weiner recommend buying large tubs, or food-grade barrels, to sit at the back door or on your balcony or deck. "Put basil at the base of a tomato plant, put cucumber up a trellis in the second barrel, and plant bush beans in the third barrel," they say. Soon, you'll practically have grown a full salad. Whether you're growing a handful of herbs in a small container at the window or planning to harvest a yard full of crops, there's no doubt that gardening takes work, and there are key maintenance steps to be aware of. "Water deeply - an inch of water per week," Picciani and Weiner say. "Get a rain gauge to measure, and supplement rain water with a sprinkler or hose." Gardens planted in the ground need to be weeded regularly, and it's good to research how long your plants take to germinate and what they should look like. That way, you can ensure your plants are growing correctly and don't accidentally harvest a plant before it's ready. Despite the work, if you involve your kids and let their interests guide your garden, you may discover a fun, delicious new hobby the whole family can enjoy together. "I think there can be a misconception that kids aren't interested in gardening," Ndiyae says. "Kids are fascinated by gardens. Checking on the plants, watering them, getting to eat foods that they planted and have watched grow, it's all really exciting to them." Elora Tocci is a freelance writer from Newburgh. Let kids help you choose what to plant! Choose colorful, yummy vegetables or beautiful flowers.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Hudson Valley Parent - HVP June 2019