... as in utter-ly entertaining and utter-ly enlightening; I thoroughly enjoy the conversations that I have with the children here. Gardening in a community space, with anyone and everyone free to join in, means that stepping out with my spade and fork under my arm is a flag for the kids in our community to approach. They're getting quite animated about the prospect of growing more fruit and vegetables this summer. Here's a recent exchange:
Carolyn d'ya know when you're next goin' gard'nin'?
Can I grow some stuff?
Yes. What would you like to grow?
Good choice. What sort of lettuce: pointy, round, crispy, soft?
Y'know, the sort what we grew last year.
(Next child, joining in: We grew 5 types last year. Me: Well remembered, yes we did.)
Well what I'm talking about is the one what's green and got spiky bits.
Yeah, I 'fink.
Hmmm. Shall we look at some pictures, just to be sure?
Believe me, this is progress. Last year the same child asked me to identify a round, brown vegetable:
Carolyn, what is this?
It's a potato. We'll cover it with soil, wait a couple of months and it will make lots more potatoes.
Oh. (pause) What's a potato make then?
Umm, it makes chips.
Ohhh, yeah! (Bing! lightbulb moment).
Ah, so endearing. It's the little chats like this that make it all worthwhile. I swear that kid will grow up to love vegetables! never mind the huge benefits of being outdoors, getting closer to nature and experiencing the seasons through sowing, growing, nurturing and eating.
Are there other gardening issues bothering City Kids? Sure. Will worms bite me? Are they poisonous? Do ladybirds sting? Will they bite? What about wasps, do you have lots of those? Should we like wasps? Will there be bugs? Only I don't like bugs. (5 minutes later this 9 year old asked if she could hold a worm.) I expect there'll be mosquitos, they bite. Me: No, our weather isn't hot enough. (thinks: and not if you drink enough gin and tonic.)
I bet we've all got stories to tell of gardening conversations with children, especially if you start them off young. What have your children recently said in the garden that's made you smile? I'd love to know!
Slightly warmer weather is promised for the weekend - hasn't it been chilly over the past few days? - so I wish you all good gardening at the weekend! Caro xx
Next post: Keeping children amused while you garden, sun and general safety, and the benefits of being outdoors!
Plus! I'm currently reviewing (and thoroughly enjoying) a soon-to-be-published book called 'Grow your Food for Free (well almost)' by Dave Hamilton. It's shaping up to be one for the bookshelf and particularly relevant if you're starting out as a food grower. More news very soon...