Last July my husband Jack and I went on a belated honeymoon to the NW coast. We flew into San Francisco, rented a car, and hit the coastal highway. We made an inland jog to the Mount Shasta area, and while there happened to go to the headwaters of the Sacramento River. Located in the City Park of Shasta City, the waters flowed from a crevice in the Earth and flowed downstream to eventually gain momentum as the Sacramento River. A small bevy of people with containers lined up to obtain the water; cold, clean, sweet and pure, it was the best water I had ever tasted.
While there, we met a young man, a local, that had felt compelled to visit the park ever day that week. We struck up a great conversation and a quick friendship with this kindred soul. Have you ever heard of Divine Appointments, circumstances that bring certain persons together at the same appointed time for a higher reason? I can’t remeber this young mans name, but I remember a large part of our talk being about his young son–aged 2–childraising, the world in general.
As we left I wanted to impart some kind of knowledge, some last words for him to keep and remember, some “one thing” that I wanted to press into his soul. I wanted to tell him one of the most wonderful things he could do with his young son, and that is in starting a garden with him.
Let’s just put all ideologies aside, any preconceived notions on why one would chose to become an avid gardener. All perspectives on parenting aside. I have mine, you have yours. There are many reasons why teaching/or learning with your children on gardening is an ultimate in family experience. Some as follows:
*Connection. Teaching your child how to love and work with the Earth. How to be sensitive and observant to changes in the Earth, the climate, the Seasons.
*Patience. How to begin a project with merely the seeds of your dreams, to rejoice as you see that new green growth coming from the Earth, weeding–eradicating that which is not beneficial–and harvest, the pride and joy of your labor and patience.
*Pride. Ah, ’tis good for the soul to behold the amazing beauty of the bounty. Share with your family and friends, enter into local County Fairs!
*Natural. Knowing that your harvest is pesticide free; knowing exactly what went into your food.
*Time well spent. A soul-joined companionship shared with someone that you are working with. I’ve always called my children my “Gardenin’ Buddies”, and their little faces would shine with pride in being referred to as such. A wonderful bonding experience!
In teaching your children how to garden (or learning alongside them) you are instilling many beautiful lessons all in one fell swoop. I think the main point to this is in connections: connecting with a symbiotic relationship with the Earth, connecting to your food source, and connecting with one the other.
Part Two forthcoming