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Growing up on home-grown food

Home & Living

Plant the seeds for your own organic food – as well as for your family’s long-term healthy lifestyle and your children’s appreciation of mother nature.

Children really love to play in the dirt, so why not exploit that natural desire and put it to good use in your own organic garden? “But it must be so complex!” you protest. Don’t worry, organic gardening is a whole lot simpler than you might think.

“You’re literally planting the seeds of lifelong healthy-eating habits for your kids.”

Danielle Hawkins, organic farm manager

If they grow it – they will eat it!

You really only need to stick to these two principles:

  1. Plant seeds that haven’t been genetically modified.

  2. Avoid synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

The rest is simple – and pure fun. As enjoyment is the focus, keep it small. Don’t try to be over ambitious, as it can be disappointing for children if their plants don’t grow. Keeping it small also means you can experiment and track more easily what works and what doesn’t in your own garden – and with your own family. Even the smallest of gardens can help your children to appreciate the beauty and taste of home-grown organic fruit and vegetables.

Set aside a small area of your garden to experiment with home-grown fruit and vegetables. If you have very young children, use a raised bed or container so that it is easier for them join in. Make sure you also have gardening tools that are age-appropriate and safe.

No garden? No problem!

A container, some seeds and a bag of organic compost is all you really need to get growing. Essentially, any container will do, from a teacup to an old metal tub! You can even grow something in an eggshell.

It can be a little trickier to get the best results indoors or on a balcony, so make sure you water your plants regularly, without over-watering them. If you’re a city-dweller and have a bright, sunny window sill, you can still grow some organic food. Start with some delicious herbs or simple strawberries.

  • Keep it colourful: red peppers, green peas and purple aubergines (depending on the climate!).
  • Let the kids decide on a couple of veggies – that will get them munching on them quicker.
  • Choose vegetables with big seeds for younger children, such as beetroot.
  • Go for fast-growing vegetables, such as radishes.
  • Keep it fun by adding a carnivorous flytrap! It’s guaranteed to fascinate kids – and adults!

Focus on the long-term

Whatever you decide to grow, it will be a fun and rewarding lesson for your children. Along with discovering some hands-on science and a personal understanding of nutrition, they will also learn a lesson in the art of patience.

Danielle Hawkins, farm manager, Trout Lake Farm West in Washington State, USA, knows a lot about sustainable growing. Trout Lake is a certified organic farm that grows plants that are processed into raw botanical materials for use in NUTRILITE™ food supplements. She confirms home-grown organic food is the way to bring up kids: “You’re literally planting the seeds of lifelong healthy-eating habits for your kids,” she says.

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