Gardening for kids has many benefits. It teaches them hard work, responsibility and how to be self-sufficient.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS’S Garden Essay Contest, titled “Why We Dig Gardening,” prompted many responses — here is one of our favorites!
When we think of “gardening,” we think of earlier years when America was sustained by the family farm. Each family member was important and shared a common goal of providing for the survival of the family. Although nutrition is of vital importance to us, the training of our children is probably the most important reason to garden. Just as seeds need to be planted in the best growing medium, nurtured along the whole process of growth and tended carefully as individual plants, so it is with children.
As we garden together as a family, we continually see the parallels between cultivating plants and raising children to be healthy, confident and productive members of society. Gardening together gives each of us, from the littlest to the oldest, a sense of belonging and purpose. As we share this common endeavor, we are tied together, each contributing as able to the overall goal: the productivity of the garden.
Character is instilled with the challenges of hard work and planning and researching individual plant needs.
As we sit around our table enjoying the tasty, nutritious fruit of our labor, we think of a time soon to come, when we shall also rejoice in the fruit that has been developed in each of our children. When we see the end product, we will know that all the hard work will have been worth it. Gardening is one of the most wholesome, rewarding and productive pursuits in this life.
Dan and Kelley Siefka