Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How does our garden grow?

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We have had some amazing weather the past few days.  AMAZING.  As in 70 degrees, sun shining, birds chirping, open all the windows and get the heck outside weather.

This, coupled with the fact that my daughter has roseola, has kept us close to home to enjoy this nice weather. (I don't want to share the love with other kids.)

I decided that some yard work was in order.  Since we bought this house in late fall, we have no idea what is planted in our yard.  The woman who once lived here was an amazing gardener who clearly had a most amazing flower garden before she became too ill to tend them.  There are many weeds and dead, dried grasses that need to be removed, but every once in a while we get a surprise from her:  

The only way you are ever going to get anything done in a garden with a toddler and without having a gate and living near a busy street is to involve them.  I have a million reasons why you should involve your kids in gardening, and to not need to chase after them constantly is one of them.  Free labor is another.

When you are only 25 inches tall, climbing into the garden box may be necessary.

So what do you teach your 13-month-old about gardening?

Since these flower boxes will soon be vegetable garden boxes, everything is being torn out.
Lesson 1: Tear out the dead stuff.  (I realize that I will inevitably regret this the day we learn the difference between tearing out dead stuff and tearing out the vegetable plants...)

We worked on vocabulary: stick, seeds, bird, soil, plant...

... and worm!

At some point it dawned on me that the last time the weather was this nice, V. wasn't really crawling. She's never really had the opportunity to explore outside.

I love teaching, and part of being a teacher is having plans and structure.  At first it was challenging to sometimes sit back and just follow her, or even "ignore" her so that she can build that knowledge on her own and define the world in her own way.  Once I started to just observe, though, I found it to be endlessly entertaining.

She was petting him through the door.

She showed all her discoveries to the cat.

Then we visited the goat next door, because after hearing him bleating all day, V. was very anxious to see him.

And that is how toddlers garden.

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