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Article  •  12 May 2016

 

Kids dig gardening

Stephanie Alexander’s tips to get your kids active in your kitchen garden.

What better way to get your children to eat their veggies than getting them involved in growing them! Throughout Kitchen Garden Companion: Growing, Stephanie Alexander includes tips on how to fire your kids’ enthusiasm for gardening. ‘Gardening, cooking and eating engage all of a child’s senses,’ she writes. ‘Their sense of satisfaction and pride is guaranteed from the very first harvest.’

It’s a dream of Alexander’s that every Australian child can get a broad and pleasurable food education as early as possible. ‘By experiencing such magical moments in the garden and around the table,’ she says in the book, ‘they will choose to include fresh, simply prepared seasonal food in their lives and will have the skills to do so forever.’

Here are some of Alexander’s tips, straight from Kitchen Garden Companion: Growing, to get your kids digging the garden with you...

Beans
Build tepees with your kids out of bamboo stakes or pruned branches.

Cabbage
Make a magnifying glass game out of examining the under-leaves where caterpillars like to hide. Place some caterpillars in a jar with some cabbage leaves that already have tiny caterpillar eggs on them and observe as the eggs hatch into caterpillars and the caterpillars pupate and become butterflies.

Grapes
Dried fruit is such a popular snack for young children, so why not dry some of your own grapes? The connection between fresh grapes and dried currants, sultanas and raisins may be obvious to you, but can come as a surprise to your children.

Potatoes
Digging for potatoes is one of the most magical moments for home gardeners. The first time they see a cluster of potatoes dangling from a clump of stems, leaves and roots is a moment of instant understanding.

Zucchinis
They grow so fast that they will be endlessly fascinating for young gardeners. Harvesting the crop is nearly as exciting as collecting the eggs from chickens.


Kitchen Garden Companion: Growing Stephanie Alexander

Be encouraged by detailed gardening notes that explain how you can plant, grow and harvest 73 different vegetables, herbs and fruit.  Whether you have a large plot in a suburban backyard or a few pots on a balcony, you will find everything you need to get your kitchen garden started in this fully updated paperback edition (Vol. 1) of Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion.

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