Micro Gardens for Kids
Every spring without fail, I host a gardening-themed storytime at Richland Library Northeast. Watching seeds sprout, buds open, and flowers drop away to reveal a tiny green bean or tomato is inherently exciting and educational, and let’s admit it – kids love to play in the dirt. But gardening is even more important in our urban and suburban community, where children are rarely exposed to food in its original state. Good nutrition is easier to encourage when your child is involved with the process, witnessing the magical transformation from seed to plant to lunch.
Still, I felt my event was lacking. I read families beautiful books, planted lovely container gardens at the library, and sent participants home with a bean seed planted in a paper cup. But wait - how often did those children see more than a sprout from that bean? Almost never. Growing a bean plant in a paper cup is just not possible – it needs to be planted in the ground and tended for over two months, which would be at best challenging for apartment dwellers and young children. So this year, my program will be different.
We will still share beautiful picture books, talk about how vegetables grow, play in the dirt, and maintain the library container garden. This year children will grow a nutritional bunch of baby greens in a re-usable mini-garden ready for harvest in about two weeks. No need to plant the seeds outside, and no need to “babysit” them for months. Success is motivating, and this year the children will succeed. And in the process, they will see that it can be easy to grow healthy food at home, even for someone with no more than a small patio or windowsill.
So mark your calendars for 11:00 on Saturday, May 4th, and come to Richland Library Northeast for a delicious new gardening event!