Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gardening with baby

Welcome to the May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Growing in the Outdoors

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared how they encourage their children to connect with nature and dig in the dirt. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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Those of you who regularly read my blog know that I'm very excited about starting to garden. The baby is enjoying it, too -- he's always borrowing my trowel and poking around, or scratching in the dirt with a stick. He always comes inside with dirt on his face and hands!

Personally, I encourage scrabbling in dirt, eating dandelions, and getting sunshine, so my son is doing exactly what I would like. As a kid, I remember poking around in our large yard, building fairy houses and trying (and failing!) to grow dandelions. These are my best memories of growing up. I want Marko to be an "outdoor" kid, not an "indoor" kid with a pale face, poor health, and a video game habit! Nothing's better for kids to do than to play outside, and all that's required is the (negligible) sacrifice of giving up what I'd like to get done and going and sitting out there with him.



No worry about me getting bored, though, with my garden to tend. Nothing very exciting is going on at the moment, but I have been gathering grass clippings to mulch my beds and pulling weeds. Look how everything's growing!


My sage plant went and grew these lovely flowers!

The Cherokee Purple tomatoes, which I bought at the farmers' market and planted two weeks ago, are leafing out very nicely. A few leaves have holes in them; I blame some kind of bug. My beefsteak tomatoes, which I started myself, are settling in and look fine too.

The biggest tomato plant

I never showed you my raspberry bush yet. I found it at Aldi for $5 and was surprised to find that it actually showed signs of life. So, after much debating with myself, I bought it and built a bed in the backyard for it. I fertilized with a few kitchen scraps and some homemade bonemeal, and it seems to be doing well. I hope it has enough sun where it is -- the whole backyard is shadier than I'd like.

The raspberry plant is alive!

Just this week I planted some green beans around the raspberry bush. I hope it isn't too late to plant them, since our spring sprang a long time ago, but I didn't want to wait for fall.


Trying out the wild onions he helped forage in our yard

What I'm looking forward to the most is getting to pick the first juicy tomatoes, warm from the sun, and letting Marko chomp into them and get the juice all down his chin. There's nothing better than a fresh tomato right off the vine!

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!


Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:



  • Get Out!Momma Jorje gives reasons she doesn't think she gets outside enough and asks for your suggestions on making time for the outdoors.

  • How Does Your Garden Grow?The ArtsyMama shares her love of nature photography.

  • We Go Outside — Amy at Peace 4 Parents describes her family's simple, experiential approach to encouraging appreciation of nature.

  • My Not-So-Green Thumb — Wolfmother confesses to her lack of gardening skills but expresses hope in learning alongside her son at Fabulous Mama Chronicles.

  • Enjoying Outdoors — Isil at Smiling like Sunshine describes how her children enjoy the nature.

  • Five Ideas to Encourage the Reluctant Junior Gardener — For the rare little ones who don't like to get their hands dirty, Dionna at Code Name: Mama offers tips for encouraging an early love of dirt (despite the mess).

  • Connecting to NatureMamapoekie shares how growing your own vegetable patch connects your child to nature and urges them to not take anything for granted.

  • The Farmer's Market Classroom — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction shares how the Farmer's Market has become her son's classroom.

  • Seeds — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment's hubby Ken shares his perspective on why gardening with their kiddos is so important . . . and enjoyable!

  • Toddlers in the Garden — Laura at A Pug in the Kitchen shares her excitement as she continues to introduce her toddler and new baby to the joys of fresh veggies, straight from the garden.

  • Nature's Weave — MJ at Wander Wonder Discover explains how nature weaves its way into our lives naturally, magnetically, experientially, and spiritually.

  • Becoming Green — Kristina at Hey Red celebrates and nurtures her daughter's blossoming love of the outdoors.

  • Little Gardener — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis looks forward to introducing her baby girl to gardening and exploring home grown foods for the first time.

  • Cultivating Abundance — You can never be poor if you have a garden! Lucy at Dreaming Aloud reflects on what she cultivates in her garden . . . and finds it's a lot more than seeds!

  • Growing in the Outdoors: Plants and People — Luschka at Diary of a First Child reflects on how she is growing while teaching her daughter to appreciate nature, the origins of food, and the many benefits of eating home-grown.

  • How Not to Grow — Anna at Wild Parenting discusses why growing vegetables fills her with fear.

  • Growing in the Outdoors — Lily at Witch Mom Blog talks about how connecting to the natural world is a matter of theology for her family and the ways that they do it.

  • A Garden Made of Straw — Kelly at Becoming Crunchy shares tips on making a straw bale garden.

  • The Tradition of Gardening — Carrie at Love Notes Mama reflects on the gifts that come with the tradition of gardening.

  • Gardening Smells Like Home — Bethy at Bounce Me to the Moon hopes that her son will associate home grown food and lovely flowers with home.

  • The New Normal — Patti at Jazzy Mama writes about how she hopes that growing vegetables in a big city will become totally normal for her children's generation.

  • Outside, With You — Amy at Anktangle writes a letter to her son, a snapshot of a moment in the garden together.

  • Farmer Boy — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter shares how her son Joshua helps to grow and raise their family's food.

  • Growing Kids in the Garden — Lisa at Granola Catholic shares easy ways to get your kids involved in the garden.

  • Growing Food Without a Garden — Don't have a garden? "You can still grow food!" says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever the size of your plot, she shows you how.

  • Growing Things — Liz at Garden Variety Mama shares her reasons for gardening with her kids, even though she has no idea what she's doing.

  • MomentsUK Mummy Blogger explains how the great outdoors provides a backdrop for her family to reconnect.

  • Condo Kid Turns Composter and Plastic Police — Jessica from Cloth Diapering Mama has discovered that her young son is a true earth lover despite living in a condo with no land to call their own.

  • Gardening with Baby — Sheila at A Gift Universe shows us how her garden and her son are growing.

  • Why to Choose Your Local Farmer's MarketNaturally Nena shares why she believes it's important to teach our children the value of local farmers.

  • Unfolding into Nature — At Crunchy-Chewy Mama, Jessica Claire shares her desire to cultivate a reverence for nature through gardening, buying local food, and just looking out the window.

  • Urban Gardening With Kids — Lauren at Hobo Mama shares her strategies for city gardening with little helpers — without a yard but with a whole lot of enthusiasm.

  • Mama Doesn't Garden — Laura at Our Messy Messy Life is glad her husband is there to instill the joys of gardening in their children, while all she has to do is sit back and eat homegrown tomato sandwiches.

  • Why We Make this Organic Garden Grow — Brenna at Almost All The Truth shares her reasons for gardening with her three small children.

  • 5 Ways to Help Your Baby Develop a Love of the Natural World — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama believes it's never too early to foster a love of the natural world in your little one.

  • April Showers Bring May PRODUCE — Erika at NaMammaSte discusses her plans for raising a little gardener.

  • Growing Outside — Seonaid at The Practical Dilettante discovers how to get her kids outside after weeks of spring rain.

  • Eating Healthier — Chante at My Natural Motherhood Journey talks about how she learns to eat healthier and encourages her children to do the same.

  • The Beauty of Earth and Heavens — Inspired by Charlotte Mason, Erica at ChildOrganics discovers nature in her own front yard.

  • Seeing the Garden Through the Weeds — Amanda at Let's Take the Metro talks about the challenges of gardening with two small children.

  • Creating a Living Playhouse: Our Bean Teepee! — Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings shares how her family creates a living playhouse "bean teepee" and includes tips of how to involve kids in gardening projects.

  • Grooming a Tree-Hugger: Introducing the Outdoors — Ana at Pandamoly shares some of her planned strategies for making this spring and summer memorable and productive for her pre-toddler in the Outdoors.

  • Sowing Seeds of Life and Love — Suzannah at ShoutLaughLove celebrates the simple joys of baby chicks, community gardening, and a semi-charmed country life.

  • Experiencing Nature and Growing Plants Outdoors Without a Garden — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares some of her favorite ways her family discovered to fully experience nature wherever they lived.

  • Garden Day — Melissa at The New Mommy Files is thankful to be part of community of families, some of whom can even garden!

  • Teaching Garden Ettiquette to the Locusts — Tashmica from Mother Flippin' (guest posting at Natural Parents Network) allows her children to ravage her garden every year in the hopes of teaching them a greater lesson about how to treat the world.

  • Why I Play with Worms. — Megan of Megadoula, Megamom and Megatired shares why growing a garden and raising her children go hand in hand.


11 comments:

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

It's so fun to get a peek into other people's gardens! I'm glad you said you're in Virginia, or I'd be worried at how much punier my garden sounds than yours so far in the cool spring weather we've had in Seattle. Wishing you a happy harvest!

uk mummy blogger said...

lovely post; I completely agree; there is nothing more tasty that a sun warmed tomato fresh from the vine. I hope you have a great harvest and I'm left with the lovely gift of the image of your LO with dirt on his hands and face :)

Nena said...

Your LO is too adorable!! And my mouth is watering at the thought of garden tomatoes!!! It is so wonderful that there are parents who encourage outdoor play! It is so important for the future generation! I am really looking forward to the warmth returning to Saskatchewan so that we can spend more time outdoors! Thanks for this great post!

Sheila said...

Yes, Lauren, we've had 90 degree days already, so that's why everything's growing so well! Though several of my tomato plants have only a couple of leaves ... I only pictured the nicest. ;)

Too bad I didn't get an actual picture of Marko's dirty face. I'm always too busy trying to stop him from eating all my dirt to take a picture. (Yes, I'm more worried about him messing up my garden beds than about the germs ... this is good, nutritious soil here!)

Garden Variety Mama said...

I love what you said about your kid being an outdoor kid instead of an indoor kid; I think that's so important! I love the pictures of your little guy digging and enjoying wild onions! Thanks for sharing this.

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said...

Would you like to come over and help me with my garden? ;) I have the best of intentions, but my thumb isn't quite as green as I'd like. One of our other carnival participants mentioned a "gardening coach," I think I'd benefit! Thank you for sharing your garden with us!

Jessica | Cloth Diapering Mama said...

Marko is such a little gardener...he looks so adorable and so serious getting ready to eat that wild onion!!

Great job, Mama, you are CERTAINLY leading by example and letting your mini farmer make a great connection with the earth.

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Meredith said...

That picture of him holding the trowel is ADORABLE! I'm so happy you can have your own garden now.

Jessica Claire (Crunchy-Chewy Mama) said...

My son (now five) loves looking a photo of him at age one pointing at the tomato plant and saying (as I told him he did "toe! toe!" I didn't have it as together back then and am impressed by your efforts. We're still figuring it all out, but he sure does love to water plants!
I'm in NoVa, too. Have we met?

Sheila said...

Not that I know of! Unless you're in my LLL group. I don't know everyone's names yet.

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