Fall. My favorite time of the year. I actually “fallify” my entire home right down to the bales of straw on the entry table topped with wild looking pumpkins to the multicolored fresh leaves trailing down the staircase. It is also an amazing time of the year to plan your gardens with your children and create a start to finish plan that requires sharing, creating and learning. Here are some ideas for accomplishing this and enjoying the wonders of the season:
STEP ONE –
Head on out to the nearest pumpkin patch or find a local store or nursery where you can buy organic pumpkins. Have the kids draw or use their favorite trinkets to decorate and then carve.
This is a great time to start talking about saving seeds with your kids, where our food comes from and planning your garden together for Spring. You can also plant some things that like the cooler weather, like garlic. It is a great opportunity to teach your kids about the variety in the plant world and how plants require different conditions to grow.
STEP TWO –
Bring your children into the garden and decide where you will be planting it next year. It may be a large plot of land or a simple box garden, or containers scattered throughout the yard. Ask them what they want to grow next year and how they will use that vegetable, fruit or flower.
Over the next several weeks you can collect books at the library, videos and online ideas for planning your very own garden. Then start your seeds indoors and be sure to follow directions and water! This is a great way to engage your kids in gardening activities all year round. You can even let them take responsibility for caring for the tiny plants.
In the meantime you can sow your Fall/Winter gardens and enjoy the bounty of their harvest. My list of plantings for next year’s season are quite simple, kale, garlic, spinach, lettuces, carrots, brussels sprouts, broccoli, beets & chard.
STEP THREE –
Put a little “garden” book together with your children letting them color, design and write in it. Be sure to have plenty of crayons, coloured pencils, stickers or any other knick knack that they will enjoy creating with. Together you can talk about which seeds will sprout and where you will place the seeds in your garden. They can also make little labels and name each item.
STEP FOUR –
As your seeds begin to sprout both indoors and out be sure to track progress in the “garden” book. In my experience, once children are engaged in all of these activities they start to dream. They want to know where their food comes from and how and what they can grow. They become empowered and they’ll ask questions and be willing to taste numerous things that they might not have otherwise. They are alive and eager to learn.
Take advantage of this incredible time of the year – FALL.