While I’m feeling energetic instead of overwhelmed in the garden (for the first time in years) I thought I’d share some resources. If you are a beginning gardener it is a great great project to learn together with your children! Don’t be shy, just jump right in there!
But do start small and keep it simple. I started out with just two projects last spring — a pot of snap peas and a worm bin. That gave me the confidence to do a bit more in the fall and a bit more when spring came round again. Now I am finally feeling good about the results.
So think about what you like to eat . . . what do your children like or what would be fun for them? Like digging up buried treasure potatoes or opening up pea pods. What would you like to have in the kitchen? Starting with a few herbs is a great, easy step, almost impossible to mess up! I started with parsley, cilantro, and sage, and I use them almost every week.
The gardener-perspective to add is, do you need cool season or warm season crops? Here in the SF Bay we are cool season all year round. In Miami you might skip the summer and do warm season in the winter!
Pick out a few crops — I would stick to one or two, maybe three, seriously! I like to make a little drawing as a plan with just a couple of goals for the season.
The most important thing is to improve your soil. Whether in containers or in the earth, if you make it at home or buy it, add compost. Or worm castings. Good, rich organic matter. Just starting a worm bin could be your project for an entire season, and it counts! You are gardening! That will be next season’s soil fertility.
Here are some ideas.
Planning Annual Vegetable Crops from Life Lab
Garden Planning, Cold Frames and more from NY Botanical Garden
Make Potato Towers for high density production in a small space (also fun!)
Three Sisters Garden (corn, beans, squash) is a good bet for warm season
Videos on OrganicGardening.com — check out the Compost & Soil tab
The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids written by some friends of mine!