As the weather warmed here in Southern California I started feeling the tug to get some planting done. Last year we had planted some vegetables and got to enjoy fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli and lettuce, so we all wanted to reap the harvest directly from our backyard once again. I wanted to include my stepdaughters Serena (8 ½) and Ari (6 1/2) in the planting and nurturing.
The children are often busy after school so it left very little daylight or time to do the planting altogether. However when daylight savings time came there was magically more light in the later afternoon and early evening, so I figured we could get going on the planting, do some late in the afternoon then more a couple weeks later.
We had a great time and both girls were quite enthusiastic about it, reminding me of what the result was last season and anticipating what these tiny seeds and plants would eventually yield. I convinced Serena, our budding Diva to take her shoes off and put her feet in the dirt. She’s a bit more oriented to staying clean and being fashionable, but eventually relented and off came the flip-flops. Ari on the other hand often leaves her shoes off whenever she can and loves to play in the dirt.
We partitioned the sections of the yard where the plants would go and each girl went to work by taking turns digging the holes where the seedlings would go. Assuming Mother Earth is kind and we take proper care of the plants, we should see an abundant yield of tomatoes, some peppers, cumbers, corn, spinach and lettuce in the near future.
It was delightful to coach the children in this often overlooked miracle of how these plant beings provide for us. It gives the children an opportunity to discover more about where our food actually comes from and also builds a relationship between themselves and those that we planted and Mother Earth.
Just a couple of days ago I talked with them about the fairies and how they help the plants and animals. I suggested that we make an offering to the fairies as a means of thanking them. So we put some honey nut Cheerios in a bowl and they took turns placing three cheerios by each plant. Every time they did, I told them to thank the fairies for taking good care of the plants, which they did.
The next morning they went to check and found some of the cheerios gone. Serena asked if I had taken them, which I had not, and I told her no. I’d told them both that the fairies may not always actually eat the food that’s offered, but they enjoy the taste and smells and appreciated the fact that we were thanking them. This makes the commonplace miracle of growing seeds and seedlings into edible, nutritious, and delicious vegetables even more magical!