Lessons in the garden

As parents to three little boys, Josh and I not only wanted to have a garden for the benefits of the fruits and veggies it will produce but also to spend time together as a family and to teach some lessons along the way.

We have spent a lot of time in the garden this summer as a family. Typically we are a big time camping and boating family but this summer the garden has taken our time, love and priority. I love to put on my garden boots and go there once an evening, at least to visit and check on the growth. Some nights we are there for hours. Our 3 boys are young, adventurous and curious to say the least. Lessons can be taught and learned in math, science and good old hard work and sweat. Here are a few things we have been able to teach them, in our family garden. (Hunter and Deacon are 6 and 4 this summer. Wyatt is 1 and a great observer.)

1. Some basic math concepts- Josh taught the boys how to plant the seeds along the straight line, the depth and to also to cover them up. To start, we were measuring 50 feet with a measuring tape and spacing and planting seeds every 6 inches (green beans), 12 inches (okra) and 3 inches (carrots). Our older boys helped with all of this on June 1st.

Planting 1 tiny carrot seed 1/2 inch deep, every 3 inches for 50 feet was time consuming but our boys helped and hung in there! Having them involved and invested from the beginning has helped to keep their interest all summer long.

2. Digging holes and planting the tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, squash, zucchini, broccoli, melon and pumpkins from tiny plants that they helped pick out from the nursery

3. Plants need healthy soil, sunlight and a lot of water to grow. A farmer friend told us that a garden can never have too much water.

4. Weeds take away the nutrients in the soil, which is why we have to pick them.

5. Worms help produce healthy soil. Caterpillars eat the leaves and are a pest!

6. The leaves help prevent sun scald on all fruit and veggies, especially on our tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins and melons.

7. The hard work of picking weeds and the gratification of picking fresh crops off the vine

8. We taste and try all veggies from the garden, make new recipes and enjoy all crops except the super hot peppers, those are for Daddy.

9. If God gives us too many at once, we will get to donate fresh veggies and fruit! Deacon already wants to give his “girlfriend” Lynnlee a watermelon. ❤🍉

10. Be careful not to touch or step on the flowers in the garden. When the bees pollinate those flowers, they will turn to fruit and vegetables!

From the Cape May County Zoo

11. It is important to document progress and take photos often. This way you can remember and learn lessons for next year! We are not expert farmers but have learned a ton already and hope to sharpen our gardening skills more as we grow!

July 24 harvest

Josh watering the garden

Preparing a salad and BLT’s

Thank you for following our family gardening journey!

Photo by Hunter

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