While I have lived in homes with yards over the years and have had plenty of opportunities to get my hands dirty and garden garden garden, I never did until…I got pregnant.
It was my second trimester, a few years ago, and I recall the feeling so vividly. All of a sudden, I absolutely had to plant something, anything really! And so my love of gardening was born, no pun intended, or maybe the pun was sort-of intended.
I was completely unaware at the time of any possible harm gardening could do to my baby, and in the end, we never had any issues with ‘Toxoplasmosis” or pesticides, as I just didn’t use any. For the sake of anyone who might be pregnant and wanting to garden, here’s some good info: http://www.brparents.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=906
It began back then, and the love of gardening continues. What has been a bonus to all of this is that my daughter adores it, too! Not only is it therapy for me, emotionally and physically, it’s also something that my daughter and I enjoy doing together.
And what the garden has also provided is a way for my toddler to try herbs and flavors she might not usually have tried. At mealtime, we never make special ‘kids’ meals. She has always eaten (or chosen not to eat, her prerogative) whatever my husband and I have prepared. But now that she’s been in preschool and exposed to what other kids like or don’t like, all of a sudden she has started getting a bit pickier about what she is consuming.
“Mom, I don’t like the crust on my pizza! MOM, eeeeewwww, I don’t like that green stuff on my plate.” (the green stuff being basil or some other herb adding flavor to a dish)
Mind you, she was eating crust and ‘green stuff’ prior to hearing how ‘uncool’ it might be.
Here is where the garden comes in handy, and who knew it?! She will pick the mint, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, snap peas, tomatoes, kale, whatever is growing, and she always tries it. And all items mentioned, she really enjoys, except the fresh oregano. But she tried it, without me having to bribe or force her to do so. Literally, on her way to preschool in the morning, she will walk by the garden, grab a couple of snow peas and eat them on our walk to school.
The rockin’ snow peas:
The mint (which grows like a weed…be careful when planting mint) and a sneaky strawberry:
Our Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes, not quite ready to be picked:
The Sweet 100’s and some yellow teardrop tomatoes, which became my daughter’s afternoon snack:
She picked them, rinsed them, ate them (almost wouldn’t let us try any!)…and with such a healthy afternoon snack, she had room in her cute little belly to finish her whole dinner when it was dinner-time. Hey, as a parent, it’s little things like these that become huge accomplishments!
Parenting and gardening (if you ‘dig it…another pun totally intended) go hand in hand.
Now, let’s just see if she’ll try the beets when they’re ready. I’m not expecting miracles here!