Vegetable gardening is a great hobby for the entire family. Not only will everyone eat healthier and spend quality time together, but there are lots of life’s lessons to be learned. Children will learn responsibility in watering the plants regularly, patience while waiting for the vegetables to grow, and then a sense of accomplishment when picking the vegetables and showing them off to others. Gardening also gives kids a chance to get outdoors and do something that is fun and productive.
If possible, give children their own raised bed or area to plant for themselves. Take lots of pictures of them working on the garden, as well as the plants and vegetables grow. Encourage them to write in a journal to document growth or any changes in the plants. If the child is interested in cooking, even include pictures of a salad or dish that is prepared with their veggies. You could also plan a theme garden with vegetables they enjoy eating – like a “pizza garden” where you grow tomatoes, peppers and basil or a “salsa garden,” with parsley, onions, jalapenos, cilantro, tomatillos, basil and green pepper. Carrots, spinach, broccoli, pole beans and lettuce are also popular for family gardens.
For younger children, consider starting small with a nice size pot or bucket, where they can plant a cherry tomato plant, pepper plant or herbs.