There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place
where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning
more fragrant than ever again.- Elizabeth Lawrence
Anyone who remembers the gardens of their childhood realizes that every child deserves to have the experience of gardening. The smell of the warm earth after a rain, the feel of dirt under the fingernails, the taste of peas right out of the pod tugged fresh off the vine...these are memories imprinted upon a child's memory and soul.
Gardening with children provides endless possibilities for learning and growth, both physical and emotional. Learning how to grow ones own food could very well be a valuable survival skill. Gardening involves all the five senses, and when the senses are engaged, holistic learning happens.
While digging, planting, caring for and harvesting food is a magical activity in and of itself, kids also love crafts, science experiments and imaginative activities. In this space, we hope to share some cool ideas to add to the fun of gardening.
The Bean Tipi
So easy to do! The most difficult part is finding the poles. We used saplings culled from our property. Once you've located poles, form a tipi and fasten with rope at the top. Make sure the tipi is secure and will not fall. Using string, wind string around each pole of the tipi leaving about 12 inches of space between rows (though closer spacing will work if you like) Leave an open space for a door. Plant pole beans and morning glories at the base of the tipi. As the vines grow, train them around the structure. Over the summer, the vines will cover the tipi creating a hideaway for the kids.
Above: Our bean tipi early in the season. We planted summer squash around the base and trained the vines around the outside of the tipi. Cukes will also climb the poles.