One of the things I love about gardening is getting my kids outside and teaching them to enjoy plants and digging. This can be tough when their ages are 4 and 1 and their attention spans are about as long as it takes to get outside. But I try.
Last weekend, my husband and I took the kids out to Sweet Berry Farm about an hour drive away to pick strawberries. I won’t say that we sang songs as we picked berries all day. The picking was more like me keeping one eye on Alex as I picked berries as fast as I could and dropped them in our box. Alex, you see, has a knack for picking whatever berry she can see, mostly the red ones thank god, and stuffing them in her mouth as fast as possible, green stem and all. Then I have to stuff my finger in her mouth to fish it out, at which point she bites down on my finger with her vice-like grip, grinning because at her age she thinks an adult yelling “Ow!” is funny. Jack meanwhile is picking green, red and rotten strawberries and putting them in our box, as we madly try to sort all the bad berries out. The actual picking lasted about 20 minutes, which was about 10 minutes longer than the kids could stand. But the Farm wisely provides other entertainment. Fresh ice-cream and pop sickles (berry flavored of course), goats, and hay bales to climb on.
All and all a great day. Jack enjoyed telling his grandparents that night that these were berries he picked as we ate our fresh strawberry shortcake.
The past few days, my own berry patch in my yard has been producing. So Jack and I have been harvesting every few days and bringing in the bounty. Now, it may not be the boxful that we brought home from Sweet Berry Farms, but these little bowls of berries make me proud, having come from my own patch of dirt. And hearing Jack tell his teacher he picked berries from HIS berry patch tells me he’s catching this whole love-for-gardening thing I am trying to pass on to him.