The garden is one of my favorite class rooms. Beyond the obvious botanical lessons, the opportunities for learning and understanding some great life lessons are right before you!
Reminding the grandkids that we will harvest what we plant is a yearly ritual that seems to get sillier as time goes by.
Grandma, “Hey, M, this corn seed will give us some great melons, don’t you think?!”
M, giggling, “No. But the corn will be really good!”
Grandma, “Are you sure? Does that mean we can predict what is going to happen by what we do?”
M, “Yeah. That is how it works.”
Grandma, “Okay. I guess we’d better be careful what habits we plant!”
At six and seven years old, I know they only understand part of the conversation, but it is a life lesson that will stick with them.
Teaching about the importance of consistency and follow-through is so easily done with plants. If you don’t weed, water, or tend to things as needed FOR THE WHOLE SEASON, you won’t reap what you took time to sow. Stopping half way through or trying to play a frantic game of catch-up in August is no way to get good results!
As learn about the needs of different types of plants, you can increase your yield. Peas need cool weather. Melons need consistent watering. Peppers and hot peppers need to not cross-pollinate! People are much the same way. If you take the time to understand how they “tick”, you will often get much better results! Sometimes they need to be fussed over. Some prefer alone time. Some thrive in the lime light. Others want to be in the background helping others shine. Help your children see the differences and appreciate them!
One of the most difficult life lessons for just about anyone to learn is best illustrated by gardeners. Dung is a necessary part of life. It helps plants grow. It adds vital nutrients to the soil. And it invites the worms to come and break up the hard places so that roots can grow down deeper into the soil. Our challenges are the same way. We all have times when we have to deal with things we would like to avoid, but the growth that comes from making the best of what we are dealt creates a person who has more to give.
And the lessons go on….