Growing your own food is a great lesson for kids. Over the past couple of years I have watched my kids learn about growing food, and learn to love the food they grow. Growing food does not have to be elaborate, and can happen in an number of types of spaces too. For many years, we grew only herbs in containers, a practice that we still enjoy every summer (see our post on Container Herb Gardening).
After a pretty successful attempt at a fall garden, we are VERY excited for spring and summer gardening. Our fall garden brought us tons of greens like kale, swiss chard, spinach, lettuce, and broccoli. We ate a lot of radishes and carrots too. Our winter here in Virginia was so mild that we were able to let many veggies keep growing right into spring!
In the past we have tried raised bed gardening, (see our posts on Our Squarefoot Garden). Raised beds are a great way to get started with gardening in a small space. There is very little upkeep and weeding which saves a lot of time. For us the raised garden was not a huge success, due to the spot we chose. We have one raised bed by our pond, and discovered that it is too shady for many veggies, but stawberries, parsley and basil grow fairly well. The kids and I spend last weekend with my mother preparing that bed, and plan to just grow those few items, along with beets.
We have been slowly cleaning out the last of the fall garden on the side of our house. A couple of weeks ago we planted some cherry bell and icicle radishes, and they are already coming in nicely!
We cleaned up and weeded around the swiss chard, and noticed that it has really taken off since the weather has warmed up. We have planted more lettuce, arugula. We also started some seeds indoors, mostly tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. We will transplant these in a few weeks.
My friend Cheryl shared a great resource, Sprout Robot, that gives a planting schedule based on your zipcode. We have found it so helpful this year.
We will continue to post about the garden throughout the spring and summer and would like to try canning some of what we grow. Stay tuned!