Gardening with Kids: Seed Selection

On Christmas Eve, I pulled the van up to our mailbox, grabbed the contents and hopped into my seat. I started shuffling through and our favorite seed catalog arrived amongst a pile of holiday cards. Merry Christmas. The Little Man was so excited, he grabbed it right out of my hand from his car seat. I caught myself because I almost snatched it right back. It is difficult to over come the power of those instincts at times.

Today I offered the seed catalogs to the Little Man with two markers. His job was to place dots next to the items he would like to see in our garden. Two years ago, he simply asked for pumpkin pie. No problem.

Not this year. This tiny task offered up a world of surprises. I assumed he would pick 2-3 items and then move on. I assumed wrong. During his first run, he marked about $500 worth of seeds and plants and then there was the second run, when he decided we should focus on fruit this year. I tried to share with him the challenges of growing fruit in the PNW, but he was undeterred. Cherries, apples, lemons, watermelon, cantalope, mangoes, nectarines, every type of berry, pomegranates, oranges and grapes. Sure. Then he wanted to plant at least 30 varieties of flowers and about 10 sunflower varieties. "Don't you think that would be nice Mom?" Um, yah.

At first, I was a little taken aback and sad that I would have to tell him we couldn't possibly plant everything he chose. Then it hit me. My 4 year old just spent half an hour with me going through a seed catalog. He was naming every item in every picture. He wants to grow MORE this year. He chose vegetables he hasn't tried before, yet he knew by name. "Maybe we could try some parsnips and eggplant this year?" Maybe? Of course. "When are we going to plant our starts in the window?" He remembers.

Next step, plotting the garden so we can see what we are actually going to plant now that our "dream list" has been created and also to determine if we are up for a little bit of expansion. Maybe this is the year we start the orchard.

Oh, and we just received two more seed catalogs in the mail.

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