Teach your kids the value of growing their own food by making a snacking garden. It's a great way to get your kids in nature and learn some gardening basics to harvest their own organically grown food to munch on.
Prepare the soil
The foundation of success for any garden, and even for plants growing indoors in a large pot, is the quality of the soil. Always use natural and eco friendly products to mix and mulch so that toxic chemicals and pesticides won't pollute the soil and plants that you and your children will eat. Good soil will become a ecosystem for worms, mushrooms, and other beneficial bugs and bacteria that will keep your garden healthy and in balance.
Find a ratio that works for the type of soil you start with and the climate in your area. It's good to have a mix of vermiculture, activated charcoal, and dry and green organic matter.
Go Dense and Plant
Go dense and wild with planting! Fill your snacking garden with roots, leaves, berries, fruits, and vegetables that your whole family loves. Don't forget to put in some pollinator-attracting flowers too.
Get your kids to chip in with ideas on what plants to include. Even if a plant they want is not necessarily suitable for your climate, or not a great companion plant for other species in your eco organic garden, allow them to plant it anyway and let them experience and observe nature's way of handling different plants growing together from seed to harvest.
Suggestions for your Snacking Garden
White clover and Peanuts
These edible plants act as nitrogen fixing living mulch and ground cover.
Much healthier than regular potatoes and come in a variety of colors and tastes. Kids will love them as chips, breads, baked, roasted, or even cutting off the tops to add in tea and lemonade.
Kale and other leafy vegetables come in many colors to add different nutrients and vitamins to your snacks, and visual appeal to your garden.
Carrots are not just orange. Plant a variety of rainbow heirloom and wild carrots in your garden. The tops resemble the ornamental plant, Queen Anne's Lace.
A gardening tip for beginners, place tomato seeds and organic seedlings in nursery pots where they can grow stronger before carefully transplanting them into your outdoor garden.
Berries grow on bushes that can double as a perimeter fence.
Trees will take years to grow, but in time you will be able to sit under its shade and enjoy organically grown, crispy, juicy apples.
Sunflowers and Marigolds
These pollinator-attracting plants are edible and will bring bees and butterflies into your garden.
Written by Jan Dizon
About the Author
Jan is a travelling yoga teacher and writer who advocates spiritual growth while leading a conscious, earth-centered lifestyle, as close to nature as possible. She currently lives on an island in the Philippines surrounded by tropical jungles and white sand beaches. She and her partner conduct sound meditations and journeys while advocating sustainable and organic gardening practices.