I want my children to grow up with a healthy relationship with food. To me that means understanding where it comes from, as well as how to cook it and the effects (good and bad) that it has on our bodies.
We tried to grow some herbs and vegetables last year with mixed success – the herbs grew well, and because we had them on the kitchen windowsill the kids would often add then to their own food, which I loved. The vegetables were less successful – we planted them too late and then a few weeks later Sophie had great fun emptying the pots onto the patio floor while my back was turned.
Still, Sophie is a year older now (and I recently got a raised, covered trough like the one below* that should protect our plants from any inquisitive toddler fingers). So we’re trying again 😊.
At the end of the Christmas holidays I took Will and Vic shopping to pick some seeds to grow. We came back with:
- Hyssop (I’ve never heard of this before but it looked pretty and apparently is a bit like rosemary)
- Tomatoes (small cherry ones and a larger type)
- Melon (not sure how well this will do!)
- Green beans
- Salad leaves
Looking at it now that’s quite a list! We haven’t got a huge space to grow them so my plan is to plant a few of each, maybe planting a second batch of some of them later in the year, or even next year as the seeds last a while).
The herbs will be indoor plants. I’m looking forward to having some fresh basil and coriander for cooking – I love their flavour and use them quote a lot in the warmer weather.
I picked quite a lot of salad veg because we all like them (well there’s no point in growing food we don’t like the taste of, is there?). The salad leaves, radishes and beetroot will grow quickly so I’m hoping they will hold the kids’ interest. The green beans are a patio pot variety, ideal for growing in a small space and I’m hoping to grow enough tomatoes to make soup with later in the year. The melon was the kids’ choice, i’m not really expecting any fruit off of it 😀.
Last weekend we had time to plant some of our seeds (I’m going to wait until it gets a bit warmer to plant the quicker growing veg). My children love digging in mud so getting the chance to do it in the house (it was way to cold to plant them outside) and with mum made this a great activity for them.
The kids each took a pot and chose what they wanted to plant – cucumber for Jess (aka Snow White), melon for Vic and Will picked the Hyssop.
They took it in turns to scoop compost into their pots (we filled them to the inner rim, a few cms from the top, pressing the soil down gently). Then the girls placed 3 of their larger seeds onto the soil. Will’s seeds were much smaller seeds he poured them into his hands and scattered them around his pot. Then they added a good covering of compost.
Afterwards they coloured in name tags to stick onto the pots so they don’t get mixed up. That gave me chance to plant some of our other seeds and sweep up the mud that had escaped all over our kitchen floor.
Finally I gave the pots a good water before putting them on the windowsill (not that they’ll get much sunshine this time of year but at least it keeps them out of the way!). I’m going to try my best to remember to water them at least once a week. Wish me luck!
Will you be growing your own fruit and vegetables this year? What have you chosen?
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