Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

Yesterday Ontario became the first in North America to create some regulations surrounding bee killing neonictinoid pesticides.  It seems like a good time to talk about ways us city dwellers can connect with nature in our own backyards and balconies.  Gardening is an activity that is often boasted as a healthy hobby that can help relieve stress, increase heart health and dexterity in your hands as you age.  It is also something that can be enjoyed whether you're a kid or an adult, which is why this year we got the minions involved in the planning, planting and maintenance of our backyard garden.  As we taught them about planting it became quickly apparent that gardening offers a variety of things beyond health.   Some of my fondest spring and summer memories from childhood come from selecting, planting and caring for flowers of my own alongside my mom and of course picking raspberries in August for desserts or "sampling".

father and daughter planting flowers in the garden
 Molly and dad getting the soil ready for planting.

Gardening Teaches Children....

To be patient
Whether it's fielding requests from your pre-schooler daughter about why she isn't allowed to pick the flowers immediately after planting them or explaining the reason why tomatoes don't magically appear two days after being planted, gardening grows patience and an appreciation that good things come to those who wait.

About where real food comes from
We all need to eat more real, wholesome food.  Plus how cool is it to eat food from your own garden?

The important role that worms and bees play
A lot of creatures aren't celebrated because they aren't cute, gardening provides teachable moments about the roles and impact humans and other creatures have on the environment.  To learn about planting a bee friendly garden click here for tips from The Honeybee Conservatory.

A practical life skill
You can use your green thumb all your life.

About work required to reap reward
Flower and vegetable beds need to be weeded, watered and harvested, yards need to be mowed and someone needs to teach that pesky raccoon a lesson!  Gardening provides a sense of pride and accomplishment while you eat your dinner salad, carve your Halloween pumpkin or enjoy that pie filled with berries from your yard.

A deeper understanding of famous literary characters
If you've ever tended a garden you can relate to why Rabbit gets so annoyed at Tigger or why Mr. McGregor has it out for Peter Rabbit.

That we can find joy in little things that let us slow down and quite literally smell the roses
Just don't pick them yet..okay Molly?

toddler playing hide and seek in a garden
Post planting game of hide and go seek.

To read my 10 tips on doing yard work while minding toddlers click here.

To read about ways to get your little ones involved in the kitchen click here.

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