23 February 2011
Nature as Teacher
One of my favourite things in the world is to immerse myself in the garden. Getting my hands dirty, building up straggly soil with chook poo and mulch, companion planting, and the whole circle of nature thing where things pretty much coexist in perfect balance...
As a homeschooling parent, I feel it is a privelege to spend the morning in the garden with my kids and call that science, design and technology, sose...whatever, it's a top-notch education.
We planted the corn stalks in the picture after a trip to mitre 10 for seeds. We have watched them shoot and grow into semi-mature plants, and one day soon they will be ready to pick and eat. This will give me a chance for a casual chat with the kids about the benefits of growing and eating food locally.
We also grow cherry tomatoes, capsicum, eggplants, carrots and silverbeet....not prolifically, but we're working on that aspect. We keep chickens so have eggs and a supply of manure, which is a solid grounding in concepts of food production, and gives an appreciation for food that I think can only be experienced by having a go at growing your own.
Freida, my 2 year old gets so excited when the plums and passionfruit come each year, waiting for them to turn from green to purple, and rejoicing when she can finally pick them. Having a carrot fresh from the ground, washed off with the hose is also a real treat for my littlies, they're so sweet it's almost like eating fruit.
Unfortunately, the birds enjoy our vegies too...we discovered yesterday that a bird family has nested in the tree next to the vegie patch. They pick our chillis and cherry tomatoes as soon as they're ripe. Jay's solution is to make a scarecrow and we've been swapping lots of ideas today. Will put scarecrow-making plans into action tomorrow....wish us luck! I have a sneaking suspicion that our 5x4 metre vegie patch will resemble Mr McGregor's garden by the time we're through. Will keep you posted :)
Talk Soon, Cynthia x