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Posted on 15 March 2013 by

Getting Kids to Eat Their Vegetables and Grow Them Too

Photo Credit: Children's vegetable garden by NOWCastLA used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Photo Credit: Children’s vegetable garden by NOWCastLA used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Many parents face that daunting task of getting their kids to eat.

Unfortunately, kids seem to be hot wired into eating everything that is bad for them.

Pizza, hamburgers and fries fill many American kids’ plate during lunchtime.

When they get home, their taste buds are geared for that same junk and with kids’ schedules and parents’ work responsibilities the evening meal ends up coming from the restaurant you pass on the way home instead of the garden.

But what can one do when faced with such obstacles and how do you get the kids involved in their own meals?

Below are some solutions to this challenging task. While not all will work with every family, it is worth the effort to get back to nature, homemade family meals, and eating what one reaps.

• What’s for dinner? Is a question that every parent has heard but instead of turning it into a sigh change it into a teaching moment. Offer what the meat or protein source of the day will be and then go to the Farmers Market together. Allow your child to pick the produce that will go with the protein source. Encourage them to try something they have never had.

• Snack Time is another great opportunity to Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 21 January 2013 by

Green Bean Teepees and Children Stories

Photo Credit: Green Bean Teepee by David Silver used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

One of my favorite gardening stories I have has to do with my children and my local library’s reading program.

The story begins with my children and I going to the library to pick up some books for their summertime reading program.

While my children searched for their favorite topics and stories, I was looking for the classics.

This included some I enjoyed as a child and some that had a moral lesson I hoped to teach them. My son picked out books on cars and dinosaurs will my daughter picked out books on animals. I picked out a book on children’s fables.

Before going home that day, we also stopped off at the feed and seed so that I could pick up some garden seed. Radishes, cucumbers, lettuce, and watermelon seed were a few I selected along with green beans. While this single step may seem to be insignificant, it was an important event that would set the rest of the summer.

So the next day, I set out to plant my new seeds. Lettuce was planted first Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 03 July 2012 by

Gardening with Children – Create a Peter Rabbit Garden

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

The other day, I was asked to create a garden space based on a children’s book.

I thought and thought about my favorite books as a youth.

Many titles came to mind but none of them really fit into a garden design until . . . A community gardener approached me with a rabbit problem and there it was a classic children’s book Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.

This design can be created in a traditional manner by tilling and processing the soil or in a container garden.

To create your own Peter Rabbit Garden, you will first need a few plants, sets and/or seeds. You will need onion sets, carrot seeds, lettuce, cabbage plants, radishes, and parsley. Once you have your plant and/or seeds, the next step is to prepare the planting medium. For this project, I am going to describe how to build a Peter Rabbit Garden in a container.

The container will need to be at least six inches deep Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 23 April 2010 by

Gardening With Kids

biggest-tomatoBy Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

My children always add their own “garden.”

When they were very young they always planted in beautiful containers they decorated and took great pride in choosing the flowers and herbs that would showcase their creation.

Then when they got older they always had a little plot of land of their own and when I mean little keep in mind that I “farm” on 1/5 of an acre.

The “farming gene” was one that I wanted to nurture and sought to make sure my children knew where their food came from and how much work it took just to get that cherry tomato or that apple that was in their lunch. When I became an Agriculture Education teacher I realize even more how knowing where our food comes from, how its grown, and the work involved in its production is a lost life skill.

As society moves outward Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 23 February 2009 by

Indoor Gardening Projects for Kids

soda-bottleBy Vanessa Richins

When I was a tiny child, I remember proudly bringing home a paper cup full of dirt and bean seeds.

I would watch anxiously for the first peep of the stem pushing through the soil.

Years later, I still enjoy watching new plants grow.

Gardening can teach children so many skills. They learn about science, patience, math and more. You don’t have to wait until summer, either. There are many gardening projects that can be started indoors year-round – especially inviting in the bleak winter months.

– Pop Bottle Terrarium

My friend Chris McLaughlin is a Master Gardener and 4H instructor. She has made soda pop bottle terrariums with Read the rest of this entry »


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