Tuesday, May 10, 2011

mama doesn't garden.

Welcome to the May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Growing in the Outdoors
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared how they encourage their children to connect with nature and dig in the dirt. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

I'm not going to lie.  I don't like gardening.  Every spring I decide this will be the year I work in the garden.  I daydream about:  weeding early in the morning before the sun heats the sky, watering at dusk, picking vegetables I grew.  Then reality hits:  an overzealous toddler helper, a baby that puts everything in her mouth, Mississippi heat, tired evenings and a total dislike of dirty hands and knees.  And, truth by told, reality hit early this year as the daydreaming phase of spring was over before the garden was fully tilled and way before a single seed was sown.

But, I think having a vegetable garden is important.  I think it's important for kids to know food doesn't magically appear in the grocery store for our eating pleasure.  I think it's important for kids not to have constant instant gratification with everything in life.  I think it's important for kids to play outside and get dirty with real dirt.  I think it's important for kids to eat whole foods and ideally, whole foods that are locally grown and chemical-free.  And, I pretty much love how a backyard garden accomplishes all these things and I get to eat homegrown tomatoes in one fell swoop.

I do lots of things with my kids.  Cooking.  Cleaning.  Thrifting.  Reading.  Baking.  Playing.  Walking.  Choo-chooing.  Singing.  But, not gardening.  I think gardens are pretty fantastic but I don't like to garden.  Remember?  Good thing I have my husband.  He loves gardening.  He loves it all.  Tilling.  Planning.  Organizing seeds.  Planting.  Watering.  Weeding.  Tending.

Like everything else my husband does in life, he works in our vegetable garden with our son by his side.  And, even though I'm watching from afar in the air-conditioned house with a baby on my hip, I know my husband is instilling values of hardwork and consistent dedication in our son as they work in the garden together.

The tomato sandwiches and black-eyed peas with cornbread are just gravy in the scheme of the big picture.

***Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama
Visit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
  • Get Out!Momma Jorje gives reasons she doesn't think she gets outside enough and asks for your suggestions on making time for the outdoors.
  • How Does Your Garden Grow?The ArtsyMama shares her love of nature photography.
  • We Go Outside — Amy at Peace 4 Parents describes her family's simple, experiential approach to encouraging appreciation of nature.
  • My Not-So-Green Thumb — Wolfmother confesses to her lack of gardening skills but expresses hope in learning alongside her son at Fabulous Mama Chronicles.
  • Enjoying Outdoors — Isil at Smiling like Sunshine describes how her children enjoy the nature.
  • Five Ideas to Encourage the Reluctant Junior Gardener — For the rare little ones who don't like to get their hands dirty, Dionna at Code Name: Mama offers tips for encouraging an early love of dirt (despite the mess).
  • Connecting to NatureMamapoekie shares how growing your own vegetable patch connects your child to nature and urges them to not take anything for granted.
  • The Farmer's Market Classroom — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction shares how the Farmer's Market has become her son's classroom.
  • Seeds — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment's hubby Ken shares his perspective on why gardening with their kiddos is so important . . . and enjoyable!
  • Toddlers in the Garden — Laura at A Pug in the Kitchen shares her excitement as she continues to introduce her toddler and new baby to the joys of fresh veggies, straight from the garden.
  • Nature's Weave — MJ at Wander Wonder Discover explains how nature weaves its way into our lives naturally, magnetically, experientially, and spiritually.
  • Becoming Green — Kristina at Hey Red celebrates and nurtures her daughter's blossoming love of the outdoors.
  • Little Gardener — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis looks forward to introducing her baby girl to gardening and exploring home grown foods for the first time.
  • Cultivating Abundance — You can never be poor if you have a garden! Lucy at Dreaming Aloud reflects on what she cultivates in her garden . . . and finds it's a lot more than seeds!
  • Growing in the Outdoors: Plants and People — Luschka at Diary of a First Child reflects on how she is growing while teaching her daughter to appreciate nature, the origins of food, and the many benefits of eating home-grown.
  • How Not to Grow — Anna at Wild Parenting discusses why growing vegetables fills her with fear.
  • Growing in the Outdoors — Lily at Witch Mom Blog talks about how connecting to the natural world is a matter of theology for her family and the ways that they do it.
  • A Garden Made of Straw — Kelly at Becoming Crunchy shares tips on making a straw bale garden.
  • The Tradition of Gardening — Carrie at Love Notes Mama reflects on the gifts that come with the tradition of gardening.
  • Gardening Smells Like Home — Bethy at Bounce Me to the Moon hopes that her son will associate home grown food and lovely flowers with home.
  • The New Normal — Patti at Jazzy Mama writes about how she hopes that growing vegetables in a big city will become totally normal for her children's generation.
  • Outside, With You — Amy at Anktangle writes a letter to her son, a snapshot of a moment in the garden together.
  • Farmer Boy — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter shares how her son Joshua helps to grow and raise their family's food.
  • Growing Kids in the Garden — Lisa at Granola Catholic shares easy ways to get your kids involved in the garden.
  • Growing Food Without a Garden — Don't have a garden? "You can still grow food!" says Mrs Green of Little Green Blog. Whatever the size of your plot, she shows you how.
  • Growing Things — Liz at Garden Variety Mama shares her reasons for gardening with her kids, even though she has no idea what she's doing.
  • MomentsUK Mummy Blogger explains how the great outdoors provides a backdrop for her family to reconnect.
  • Condo Kid Turns Composter and Plastic Police — Jessica from Cloth Diapering Mama has discovered that her young son is a true earth lover despite living in a condo with no land to call their own.
  • Gardening with Baby — Sheila at A Gift Universe shows us how her garden and her son are growing.
  • Why to Choose Your Local Farmer's MarketNaturally Nena shares why she believes it's important to teach our children the value of local farmers.
  • Unfolding into Nature — At Crunchy-Chewy Mama, Jessica Claire shares her desire to cultivate a reverence for nature through gardening, buying local food, and just looking out the window.
  • Urban Gardening With Kids — Lauren at Hobo Mama shares her strategies for city gardening with little helpers — without a yard but with a whole lot of enthusiasm.
  • Mama Doesn't Garden — Laura at Our Messy Messy Life is glad her husband is there to instill the joys of gardening in their children, while all she has to do is sit back and eat homegrown tomato sandwiches.
  • Why We Make this Organic Garden Grow — Brenna at Almost All The Truth shares her reasons for gardening with her three small children.
  • 5 Ways to Help Your Baby Develop a Love of the Natural World — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama believes it's never too early to foster a love of the natural world in your little one.
  • April Showers Bring May PRODUCE — Erika at NaMammaSte discusses her plans for raising a little gardener.
  • Growing Outside — Seonaid at The Practical Dilettante discovers how to get her kids outside after weeks of spring rain.
  • Eating Healthier — Chante at My Natural Motherhood Journey talks about how she learns to eat healthier and encourages her children to do the same.
  • The Beauty of Earth and Heavens — Inspired by Charlotte Mason, Erica at ChildOrganics discovers nature in her own front yard.
  • Seeing the Garden Through the Weeds — Amanda at Let's Take the Metro talks about the challenges of gardening with two small children.
  • Creating a Living Playhouse: Our Bean Teepee! — Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings shares how her family creates a living playhouse "bean teepee" and includes tips of how to involve kids in gardening projects.
  • Grooming a Tree-Hugger: Introducing the Outdoors — Ana at Pandamoly shares some of her planned strategies for making this spring and summer memorable and productive for her pre-toddler in the Outdoors.
  • Sowing Seeds of Life and Love — Suzannah at ShoutLaughLove celebrates the simple joys of baby chicks, community gardening, and a semi-charmed country life.
  • Experiencing Nature and Growing Plants Outdoors Without a Garden — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares some of her favorite ways her family discovered to fully experience nature wherever they lived.
  • Garden Day — Melissa at The New Mommy Files is thankful to be part of community of families, some of whom can even garden!
  • Teaching Garden Ettiquette to the Locusts — Tashmica from Mother Flippin' (guest posting at Natural Parents Network) allows her children to ravage her garden every year in the hopes of teaching them a greater lesson about how to treat the world.
  • Why I Play with Worms. — Megan of Megadoula, Megamom and Megatired shares why growing a garden and raising her children go hand in hand.


Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said...

Ummm . . . can we trade husbands? Only for gardening purposes? Every year my hubby says something to the effect of, "so this year we're not doing a garden, RIGHT?!" And then as he's pulling out the tiller he says, "so you're really trying to kill me, RIGHT?!" And then when I forget to weed for a week or three and he has to go help me since I'm nursing or gestating or whatever I happen to be busy with, he says "so next year, we're not going to do this again, RIGHT?!" Heh.

Erika said...

I feel the same way :) My husband's father and brother are really into it and my husband has talked about it a million times, but we'll see. I really hope he instills those values in our son too!

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

That is awesome! My husband helps out when I need it, but he definitely doesn't have the passion. For a couple near us, though, friends of ours, it's the opposite, and the guy runs his garden (with their new son) as an act of love. So I get to chat with him about gardening every time we get together!

I Thought I Knew Mama said...

That's awesome that your husband gardens!

Mandi S. said...

love it and anyone that's experienced a Mississippi summer knows it's perfectly fine to watch from an the air conditioned house!!

I really hope Charlie allows for *me* to eat homegrown mater sandwiches this summer...Fresh tomatoes in the summer and our own homegrown canned maters for winter are the main reason we started gardening.

I'm a little sad I didn't get my own post in for the carnival this month...this is my thang ;)

Seonaid said...

That's great! My partner turns out to do most of the gardening, what with one thing and another, mostly to do with child wrangling. It pleases me that he is willing to do it, and willing to let the kids help, too.

Brenna @ Almost All The Truth said...

I so love this post, especially because I can relate so well! This will be the first year in a long time that I don't have a baby on my hip and I am expected to do more weeding. Luckily my husband loves to garden and loves to cook. I know I am lucky, and so are my children.