I always wanted a big veggie garden at my house. You know the ones that have every type of vegetable, fruit, and herb? The ones that look picture perfect, never have any insects on them, and you can just frolic through them like you are some wonderful grower of plants person. I think it’s called being a gardener? Yeah, one of those.
Pity I seem to have the knack of killing every type of plant possible. I even killed a cactus once. I didn’t even think that was possible, but hey, I succeeded.
So because I have a poisonous black thumb, I didn’t want to go overboard with getting every type of edible plant possible, but I certainly did want to start growing one.
I thought it would be a great idea to get my son involved in the process too. Maybe by some miracle chance he would turn into a veggie loving obsessed kid that always used his manners and never would backchat, plus went to sleep without whingeing and slept all the way through the night.
I was hoping to get all that from a veggie garden. My expectations were very high. But if he wasn’t going to turn into an angel child (that do not exist in this world), at least he would get some fun out of it.
My son is a little obsessed (we are thinking about taking him to therapy) with the children’s show Peter Rabbit. So obviously planting carrots was going to happen in our new little garden. Snow peas, broccoli and capsicums are high on Peter Rabbits menu too, so we grabbed them as well.
The whole planting process was
disgustingly messy fun and everything was awesome until my son asked when he could eat the veggies. “Ummm, in around 3 months honey”. Shit! Why did I think this was going to be easy???!! We live in 2015!! Hasn’t someone invented 30 second fast growing plants yet? COME ON!!
But seriously, he obviously was just going to have to wait. And I would have to deal with the constant whine of, “Muuuuuummm, can I pick them yet? Muuuuuuum?? Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmm? I’m hungry. I’m hungry. I’m hungry.”
This was going to be a very long three months.
He did love going out every second day to water the plants though. Thank God he remembered too. Because I forgot about the veggie plants four days after we had planted them.
I am so going to plant hell.
Watering the plants was my sons little chore now. He had to water them, look after them, occasionally pull the plant out of the soil to check it was doing okay, pick the leaves off them and insert into his mouth, etc etc.
We were lucky there were actually some plants left to grow stuff from!
But anywho, after 97 days of watching the slowest growing plants on the planet, the time had come where all the veggies were ready to be picked. I was very proud of my son for looking after his little project, and I was proud of myself for getting him on board to do it. Now the real test was to come……..was my kid actually going to EAT the veggies he had just grown?
And I am sorry, but I about to become one of those parents everyone can’t stand. Because, yes my son did eat all those veggies he grew (except for the cherry tomatoes, because they are yucky apparently). The word excited did not do justice for the happiness I felt. But then again I didn’t want to get too excited. This phase was probably going to last maybe 28 seconds.
But it hasn’t! He still loves picking his veggies and eating them straight from the plant. He even picks them, puts them in a bowl and we all eat them with our dinner. The satisfaction of watching him eat his veggies and actually like them, is indescribable.
He snacks on carrots now. Whole ones. Not pretend lolly ones. Real ones!! Growing those carrots in our garden made him into a lover of carrots. That, or he really thinks he is a rabbit, and in that case, the therapy thing may be happening sooner than expected.
A little veggie garden is inexpensive to set up. They give your kids some responsibility and are a fun way to get your kids involved. Kids find out where their actual food comes from. It certainly teaches them patience (three months is like twenty years in ‘kid time’). And sometimes, sometimes it is the best way to get them to actually eat their vegetables.
So I can’t guarantee that by growing a veggie garden will get your kid turning into a veggie lover. But I can guarantee that they will get some serious fun out of it. And if it all goes to shit……at least you had your moment of glory as a healthy parent for a day or so.
Do you have a veggie garden at your house? Did you find your kids reacted differently to vegetables and fruit once they grew one? Am I one of those annoying parents who seem to brag that their kid actually likes veggies (sorry ’bout that)?
p.s. One day I will have one of those big arse veggie gardens like Jamie Oliver. Let’s just hope my son reminds me that I actually have one so he can water it. Otherwise it will just turn into one of those big arse weed patches you see on those garden renovation shows.