Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Best Gardening Assistant

Meet Sophia, my best gardening Buddy.  Sophia has been gardening with me since shortly before her 3rd birthday.  In the photo on the left, she is inspecting the new raised bed we put in this year.  We had so much fun with the original bed, we wanted to expand this year!  Sophia is very serious about our gardening, and she reminds her mother and grandmother every Saturday morning that she needs to come over to garden.  You can tell how serious she is by those fabulous gardening Wellies she's sporting!  In the photo on the right, she is showing off how well our grape tomatoes are doing in that same bed.
When I asked Sophia what her favorite part of gardening is, she said it was the planting.  Don't get her wrong, she loves watering the gardens, and enjoys harvesting too, but like me, she loves getting her hands in the dirt, planting the seeds and seedlings, and finding bugs, and determining if they are good bugs or bad bugs for our garden.  We had loads of fun this spring finding worms to put into our new garden bed.  We found one that was at least 8 inches long, and chubby as he could be.  Sophia likes worms, lady bugs and butterflies.  She doesn't like bees, but she understands how important they are for our plants.

Here's another shot of Sophia (with her Great Uncle Vito - my second best gardening buddy) harvesting zucchini this morning from our new bed.  She is not particularly fond of eating vegetables.  I had hoped she might be willing to try some of the ones she grew, but right now she would much rather give her crops away than eat them, and her parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles are always delighted to get some delicious treats from Sophia.  She might not like many vegetables, but she loves fruit, so this year we planted strawberries, blueberries, melons and pumpkins.  Sophia is delighted each week when she can pick a few strawberries.  She and her Uncle Vito enjoy them very much!  We can't wait until next year when they spread, and we get even more strawberries.

Sophia and I wanted to share a fun project we've done with our pumpkins.  A few weeks ago we carved Sophia and her baby cousin Owen's names into the skin of two of the pumpkins, and we are having fun watching how their names are getting bigger as the pumpkins grow.  Here is a picture of Sophia standing in her strawberry patch pointing out the pumpkin with her name on it, and a shot of Owen's pumpkin. 

Sophia and I enjoy working and playing hard in the gardens, and we would love to hear some of the things others who garden with young children do in the gardens to help make it a magical experience for the kids!

1 comment:

  1. I so enjoyed your post. Thank you! The idea of carving a pumpkin "before its time" is super fun! I have not had a big or healthy veggie garden for a long time but a neighbor has shared some raised boxes with us this year and it is magical to watch everything grow in its own special way. I would lovce some recipes for summer squash. When we had our little veggie garden in recent years our plants often got blossom end rot and so we got little yield from the squash plant; now, oh my. I have lots of ripe summer squash and blossoms to fry and adore this veggie but think I need more recipes. Thanks again, Martha Perry