Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Inspiring Childen to Grow (DailyBuzz Moms 9x9)

I was selected to participate in the DailyBuzz Moms " Summer Camp: At Home!" June 9x9.  This is my submission. For more great ideas be sure to check out the other 8 blog posts.

Kids love dirt. 

They love worms and watching things grow. So this Summer my little future farmers are getting dirty and loving every minute of it.

The farm has been in my husband's family for 4 generations now. Hopefully my children will be the 5th. My husband works with both his Grandfather and Uncle everyday and we are lucky enough to be able to introduce the children to agriculture.

Instead of sending my children off to camp I prefer to let them learn on the farm. We planted our seeds earlier this year and are almost ready for a second round of lettuce and salad starts to be planted in our garden. There is so much to learn about growing our food, tending the plants and identifying pests.

There is always something to be done around the house. There are baby chicks to be fed and eggs to be collected from the hens.

Blueberries to be picked for later... or put straight in the mouth.

There are U-Pick options for things like strawberries, cherries, berries and even flowers to fill up a whole morning or afternoon. Kids love to be involved and mine are no exception.

Weeding in the garden is never ending. My little helpers don't mind since they already love to dig in the dirt. I outfitted each child with their own gardening tools and gloves which they love. We can also make the rounds to see if anything is ready to be picked.

My son has been eating more salad now that he gets to help weed and pick it for dinner. I like to plant a variety of small mixed greens. They are sweet, colorful, grow quickly and my kids had a hand in growing them.

Then there are the little lessons from Dad. Out in the Summer squash they learned how to inspect the plants and what bugs to look for.

Some bugs are pests in the field like the striped cucumber beetle. Watching for these and catching them early is important for keeping healthy plants.

But some bugs are beneficial, like the ladybug. My kids love finding them out in the alfalfa field. We have talked about how ladybugs help protect our garden plants and eat the pesky aphids.

Some insects even entertain us! This little caterpillar was twirling around in our tree.

Of course all the hard work and exploring makes for some pretty muddy kids. Our work boots have become very handy around the yard and fields for saving our tennis shoes.

I might be growing the next generation of little growers, but I am also creating lasting memories of days learning, working and playing on the farm.

Creating your own little future growers camp at home can be just as easy. Check to see what local farms are in your area, locate U-pick fields, plant a garden with your kids or even check to see if any local farmers have young children and would give you a farm tour. Small farmers are connected to the land, their local communities, and are happy to inspire the next generation.

*Disclaimer - I was not compensated for this DailyBuzz Moms 9x9 blog post submission, but the challenge winner will receive a prize. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
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