Gardening with Children (eBook)

Gardening with Children (eBook)

SKU# 077789

A Hands-On Guide from Planting to Harvest

Beth Richardson

PDF eBook

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  • Product # 077789
  • Type PDF eBook
  • ISBN 978-1-60085-451-4
  • Published Date 1998
  • Pages 160

Gardening with Children is the only book written for parents about involving children in the family garden. In it, Beth Richardson offers time-tested techniques for balancing parenting, work, and gardening.

You'll learn how to make each stage of gardening--from planting to harvest -- a fun, hands-on activity, allowing children to add their energy and enthusiasm to a project that benefits the whole family. A special feature of this book is the variety of family garden projects you and your children can make. You'll build year-round excitement in and out of the garden with these activities, which include:

  • creating a pizza garden
  • researching and building a heritage garden
  • making a scarecrow
  • personalizing pumpkins
  • saving seeds for next year
Table of Contents

SECTION 1: Including Children in Daily Gardening Activity

1 What to Plant

2 Laying Out the Garden

3 Building the Garden

4 Preparing the Soil Organically

5 Planting the Garden

6 Tending the Garden

SECTION 2: Making Gardening Fun for Children

7 Theme Gardens

8 Family Garden Projects




Until just a couple of years ago, I had never even thought of combining gardening and parenting. Gardening was all mine, one of the few things -- unlike my breakfast, jewelry, clothes, lunch, home, car, and dinner -- that I simply didn't want to be drooled on, painted in primary colors, or taken into the bathtub. The same is true for many other parents who like to garden.

Gardening is a time for quiet and calm, order and beauty -- an opportunity for personal reflection and creativity. Parenting, on the other hand, particularly of small children, is often a time for chaos and noise. How, therefore, can you thin out a row of arugula or contemplate a fresh tomato-and-basil salad while a 3-year-old rips the cover off a sippy cup and pours the juice down your back? Many parents often decide they can't do both. Given the fact that the children are a permanent part of their lives, a garden regrettably gets the heave-ho.

But even though I am the mother of two very rambunctious boys who require a lot of my time and attention, I love gardening too much to give it up. So one summer, I decided to make parenting and gardening work simultaneously. I wanted to create a fabulous family garden, hoping my children would view gardening as a wondrous adventure and the garden as a playground and laboratory. I wanted my children to work and dream and feel accomplished, to learn the delicate balance of nature, to gather an appreciation for sustenance, and at the same time, to have some pure and simple fun. I wanted my children to feel that their gardening activities were the heart of the garden's beauty, without feeling overwhelmed and responsible for the whole garden. I wanted, quite simply, a satisfying balance for all.

With these things in mind, I began looking in books for ideas on child-centered gardening activities to include in a family garden. I wanted to integrate my children into the garden, not abdicate the garden to them. Unfortunately, the only information I found was how to create a child-centered garden that depended on an adult--abdication, not integration. This book was borne out of my desire to give other parent-gardeners like me information on how to create an adult-centered garden that included and celebrated children.

Just as I thrive to create beautiful gardens that will delight my children, I have tried to create a fascinating and enjoyable book for adults that will help them introduce children to the delights of gardening. I read gardening books and cookbooks like others read captivating novels. I devour them, become part of the experiences they describe, taste the complex flavors, and smell the fresh herbs while turning the pages. In this book, I have tried to offer you the very same experience, though you may smell peanut butter and jelly mixed in with the fresh basil.

But don't expect a lot of "kid speak" here. This is most certainly a book for adults. You will find no large block letters or recitations of the gardening alphabet. What you will find are delightful photographs, intricate plans, honest conversation, and information aimed at including the children in your life in the gardens of your life--all in a way that will satisfy your need for contemplative time in the garden and nurturing time with the children that you so love.


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