Gardening With Kids

A woman discovers gardening with her children teaches them to be self-sufficient.

Jacqui Coming And Kids

Jacqui Coming realizes that gardening with her kids teaches them important life lessons as well as feeds them good food.

PHOTO: JACQUI COMING

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MOTHER EARTH NEWS’S Garden Essay Contest, titled “Why We Dig Gardening,” prompted many responses — here is one of our favorites!

My four children are involved in a myriad of activities that keep us busy year-round. We have an extensive organic fruit and vegetable garden — a rarity in our situation where fast food is the norm. Why do we do it? Initially, it started as “Mom’s hobby,” but over the years, I have realized something important: It gives my kids an edge. Feeding my family healthy, organically grown food, while others rely on convenience foods, makes my children healthier, smarter and stronger. This is a highly unscientific statement, but I have the attendance records, grades and medical records to prove it. Combined, my four children have missed fewer than 10 days of school. Their grades are stellar. I grudgingly reveal my secret to the readers of MOTHER EARTH NEWS … I believe it has a lot to do with our organic garden.

The thing I dread to reveal is the ongoing state of my garden. In this hectic lifestyle, there is minimal time to keep my precious garden weed-free, pest-free or immaculate. Our garden typically is a mess! Thankfully the veggies still tend to grow. Our garden is not very pleasing to the eye, but we don’t let it stop us!

Jacqui Coming
Double Oak, Texas