The other day, my colleague Sarah asked how my kids were liking gardening this summer. Eek. Confession time: I haven’t taken them to our community garden plot much at all this summer.

I have a huge list of reasons: it’s been boiling hot (for Vermont), I’ve been enjoying the peaceful alone time, and since I always feel “behind” on gardening, I feel like I don’t have the extra time to take them along. Oh, and maybe the most important reason: crows have been eating our strawberries! Wildlife is eating my best garden bribes!

They have been eating produce from our plot. I have been able to bring home some kale, and they claim that our garden kale is the best on planet Earth. One kid was so excited about the first garden snow pea she saved it to show her friends at art camp.

They have been helping garden at home a bit. We have a few low-to-no maintenance flower beds that they like to help water. They both help manage the weeds. They monitor our rudbeckia for aphids. (None yet!) They let us know the score of the lilies vs. lily leaf beetles matchup. (Honestly, it’s kind of a tie game at this point.) They LOVE to help fill up our Oya.

I’m resolving (publicly!) to do better. Maybe now that we’re moving into harvest season it will be a little easier to bring them to our plot. As I mentioned, our peas have finally come in, so while the strawberries recover under some bird netting, I have some other snackable bribes. And the zinnias are almost blooming, and who doesn’t love to bring home flowers?!

I’m not going to force it, though. I’ll invite them to come (perhaps with a little bribery), and offer a wagon ride. But if it becomes a too-hot, too-buggy, “stop touching the neighbor’s tomatoes!” chore, then I’m ok just bringing home the fresh foods for them to snack on in the front yard and at the dinner table.

Blog by: Beth Saunders

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