Monday, 18 July 2011

Growing with Kids 1 - Radishes

Radish harvest
We are adding a few more veg to our repertoire this year.  Lots of kids gardening books suggest that one of the easiest vegetables to grow with kids are radishes and guess what they are right.  Our little bunch above were planted at the end of half term, in early June and have gone from plot to plate in less than five weeks.  That's fast growing.

They are of the globe variety, with a hot and quite fiery taste - a little bit too peppery for my son.  For me they brought back memories of my childhood with my family growing them and cutting crosses in the top to open them up into star shapes.  We also used to have great fun making vegetable faces with them and other vegetables.

They are ideal for taking on picnics.  Although they look good with leaves on we took them off of ours before storing to prevent goodness travelling up to the leaves.

We will definitely be sowing so more this summer though will take the advice from Love radish to sow a purple variety with a milder flavour perhaps more suited to younger children.

We have a sister site kidsinthegarden which has a wealth of information on growing vegetables with children.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Kids Garden Activities: Painting Pots, Bunches of Herbs and the Odd Decorated Pebble


Painted Pots using Star Stickers

Painting Garden Pots

If you are like me there are loads of activities you never get around to doing with children. Over the past week I’ve had the opportunity to test out a number of garden crafts without the kids, especially those involving paint.  Four weeks notice to stock and run a plant and produce stall for the school fair was not enough time to grow very much. We therefore decided to supplement the green produce on the stall with some home painted pots and stones.  I saw the advert for 100 free terracotta pots on freegle too late to grab them so it was off to Homebase to buy some.

Stencils on pot

A couple of class mums met one evening to stock the stall and have a couple of glasses of wine. I had diligently read up that to make the paint waterproof and weather proof . So we used 2 parts acrylic paint to one part PVC glue. Our experiences that evening taught us to let your creative juices flow and if they don’t use stencils. However the easiest method was placing stickers on the pot and rim. Large stickers that stuck really well worked best.  On the basis of the mess we created then if doing this with kids outdoors is probably advisable.  We had great fun and found it very therapeutic, hopefully something that will equally apply to children.

Painted Stones

All of the pots comments apply equally to painting pebbles. The smaller surface area and flatter configuration may well make them easier to paint. I loved the idea of painting a child’s name or initials on a stone.  Great for them to place on their plot.

Bunches of Herbs

If you have hardwood culinary herbs such as bay, rosemary and thyme already growing in your garden you can make good use of them.  This is a really easy kids activity. Depending on age, they can help to choose the herbs to cut, take off any decaying leaves and tie with pretty ribbons.  They can then be hung up to dry somewhere visible where the stages of drying can be observed.  Finally at a later date the kids can pick them for use in cooking.

So in future I won't be quite so daunted at having a go at the more messy garden crafts with my son.  I hope this account has also encouraged you.
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