On a recent evening out, kids started to quarrel over the music playlist they wanted to hear. We passed by a small nursery, and the little green caught my attention. This prompted me to have a discussion on gardening between the four of us. I gave them 5 mins each to come up with what they think about garden and what does it teaches us.
After the lapse of 5 minutes Anaya sprouted with the first thought. A garden makes the house look pretty. Yes a well-manicured garden does add to the visual appeal of the house and raises its intrinsic value.
“Seeds take time to grow into plants, so we should not get angry on them, we should show patience”, added Sparsh .How true if we can inculcate patience and manage our anger we would surely become a better person.
“Plants give us fruits and vegetables, which are a source of vitamins and minerals, hence we should grow more plants and eat healthy”, said Anaya. Also they give us herbs for medicines (like I take tulsi juice when I catch a cold), she added. “Yes mom, remember you had put freshly plucked basil leaves in our soup the other day”, commented Sparsh. Having a vegetable garden, and taking care of it introduces children to eat fresh and healthy. A freshly sprinkled seasoning adds to the taste and satisfies the tummy too.
“Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen which is essential for life, hence every house should have a garden” said Sparsh. It also reduces air pollution and helps to save the planet, he added.
“Wait Mumma, plants teach us how to care. When we sow a seed we have to make sure it gets enough water and sun light to grow. So it makes us more responsible and kind “, screamed Anaya in one breath.
This time it was my turn to add. Planting seeds and maintaining a garden teaches so much about the soil quality. Just like we need to have a strong foundation in terms of values, upbringing and education, plants also need a rich and fertile soil to grow. And because we don’t want fertilizers in our garden, composting comes handy. We can reuse, reduce and recycle kitchen waste and add nutrients to the soil in the most effective way.After all every trash is not a waste. Sparsh had organic farming on grade 1, he explained the importance of a good composte as well. It also teaches us about climate and seasons not all seeds grow in the same weather conditions. (I was remembering my basic geography lessons from school).
“We can also measure the growth of a seed into a plant, I know how to measure”, added Sparsh. (I had not thought of this angle, well thought Sparsh). Introducing basic measurement and maths is indeed so easy like this.
“Apart from these, a garden helps us to embrace the imperfect. No two leaves are alike, no two flowers bloom together. It teaches us diversity and how we can live in harmony with one another. Where butterflies and bees help in pollination and ants and insects find relief. A garden houses all.” Having diversity in plants and beneficial insects create a healthy and vibrant garden, while monoculture depletes the soil and makes plants vulnerable to disease and pests. The same can be true for us. If we were all the same, there would be less innovation, less inspiration, and less freedom, “added Rajat.
A garden activity improves sensory and motor skills in a child. It builds immunity and fosters growth. It is a fun activity for children which help in boosting self-confidence. It is a great stress buster and encourages family bonding. The life cycle of a seed teaches the value for life. And lastly I would like to add “you reap what you sow”. If you sow cucumbers, you get cucumbers. If you sow carrots, you get carrots. Similarly if you show kindness you get kindness in return. Sow healthy habits/values and reap good heath/stronger values when you grow.
The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature.
To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul. ~Alfred Austin
Next sunny morning we took out our collection of seeds and planted two more varieties. And now we shall take care of our seeds and watch them bear our fruits of labour.
Happiness and sunshine 🙂
Disclaimer : These are pictures of our vegetable garden. Kids experiment with various seeds under the able guidance of their grandparents.