12 Apr Family Friday – Growing Kids and a Garden
“Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden.” -Robert Brault
It’s that time of year where we start thinking about what we are going to do this year in our garden.
We live in this wonderful small farming community in Idaho. We decided to make the move from the Phoenix, Arizona area almost 4 years ago.
One of the reasons we moved to the country is so that we could have more space.
We went from living in a small housing “cubicle” to about 1-½ acres of land to care for.
It’s been a learning experience and an adjustment to go from this list in Arizona:
- A rock garden front yard
- A backyard full of fake grass
- Spray the weeds and you’re done!
To this list in Idaho:
- An acre of grass to mow every week
- Trees and shrubs to care for
- A large garden to tend, water and maintain
Luckily, my cute hubby loves to work outside in the yard. After graduating from high school he started his own lawn mowing business to earn money for his mission and college. He loves being outside working in the fresh air and loves the smell of cut grass.
We had this vision of teaching our kids how to work up here in Idaho. Not that they couldn’t have done that in Arizona, but the expectation on what kids can do is definitely different here.
Kids are taught to work on the farms with their family or close friends or somewhere in town if they don’t do farm work.
Dads and grandparents are working alongside their kids and grandkids, seeing them on a daily basis. It’s incredible to watch.
Where else does that happen?
Kids are working alongside there dad and or grandpa in the summers, being guided by them, and being trained by them to work and love their work, teaching them life lessons and loving them…
Not everyone can pick up and move like we did, and some days we still don’t know what the heck we are doing here, but our kids are growing because of the move.
Truthfully, so are we as parents.
The first summer we were here we had our first learning experience with a large garden. We learned so much about what to do and what not to do, and our neighbors are so helpful and patient in helping us learn.
Important Note: Each year our garden has decreased in size
We have decided that we love growing tomatoes. Is there anything better than a garden tomato? Along with tomatoes we love growing cucumbers, zucchini, squash, onions, potatoes and pumpkins.
We love having fresh stir-fry from our own garden grown vegetables. It’s so yummy, healthy, and delicious!!
My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
We’ve learned that we are not the greatest at growing corn but we want to be better so we might try again this year.
My favorite thing is at the end of the summer as the weather starts to change and the pumpkins are ready to be harvested.
The kids can go pick them; we give some away and keep some to carve.
I hope our kids have great memories of working together in the yard, or at least being together and working towards something together.
I heard someone say recently that work is a transferrable skill. My kids may not grow up to sow their own garden or even want to live on a large piece of land, but the skill that comes from working inside and outside our home can be transferred to other areas of life.
Learning to pull the weeds out of the garden, fertilize the soil so plants will grow, tend it, and water it often is exactly what I want them to apply to every area of their life.
Weeds are like trials: they will grow in our lives and gardens but alongside them also grows the good fruit and wonderful things in life. There is no way for a garden to grow without growing with the weeds.
Will we tend to ourselves? As we grow in life alongside the “weeds,” are we pulling them out along the way to nourish the good roots and become something sweet and beautiful? Or, will we let them over take us, choking out our sun and stealing our water and our root strength?
How our garden looks in the end is up to us. How we look in the end, is up to us.
We have to pull the thorns and thistles and fertilize our own ground so that we can grow into who God wants us to be.
If we forget about the garden and don’t tend to it, the weeds will always win. And if we work on our life every day it can grow into something sweet.