Teeny Tiny Carrots: Gardening with Preschoolers

Let me just preface this by saying we are not great gardeners.  It’s pretty much amateur hour at our house.  BUT we do try, and we want our kids to appreciate how things grow as well as the time and resources that go into the production of our food.  We keep a small kitchen garden and have mainly grown some squash and peppers.

When we first bought our home, we wanted our son, then just two years old, to participate as much as he could in the gardening.  I took him with me to the nursery to pick out some plants, and he decided he wanted to grow strawberries, something I had absolutely no knowledge about nor inclination to attempt.  Well, if you’ve ever tried to talk a two-year-old out of something in a public place, you’ll probably understand why we ended up bringing home a couple of strawberry plants.

That first year, they produced one berry, which he instantly gobbled up.  Then one of the plants died.  The second year, the surviving plant got eaten down to twigs by some vagrant deer, miraculously recovered, and yielded about a half dozen berries.  This year, we’ve gotten a couple of modest bowlfuls, and our son is finally allowing other people to eat them.  So, progress all around.

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However, this year he decided he wanted to grow carrots.

*sigh*

What do I know about growing carrots?  Nada.

So we bought some carrot seeds and started from square one.  We did some reading, planted them, and have been pleasantly surprised at how hearty and happy they are.  When we thinned them recently, some of the thinnings were already looking like teeny tiny carrots.

I wouldn’t say that I always love when my kids push me out of my comfort zone, but listening to them and letting them make the call now and again has led to some great new experiences for all of us.  People often don’t realize this, but when you homeschool, the kids aren’t the only ones learning.

Try something new today.  It may lead you to an unexpected bounty.

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