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You know you're raising them right when...

 
master steward
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You know you're raising your kids right when you give your four-year old son a seed catalog, a pen, and a pack of sticky notes for their quiet time, and they happily start looking for and marking down what are their favorite seeds :D
Seed-catalogue-raising-kids-right-permaculture.jpg
[Thumbnail for Seed-catalogue-raising-kids-right-permaculture.jpg]
 
gardener
Posts: 2109
Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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Do your kids have an area where they get to plant the seeds they picked out?
 
Nicole Alderman
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We made a garden bed for my son last year, when he was three (https://permies.com/t/58238/critters/garden-soil-poultry-poop-pine#555518):

Here's a picture of him and my husband making it:


And here it is with the radishes and peas sprouting up last spring:



It was actually our best producing garden bed last year. He chose to plant all red plants (red carrots, "red" green beans, red radishes, russian red kale, red sorrel, tomatoes, strawberries,, red fushias,  and red onions--the bed already had a red huckleberry bush, so we kept it). The radishes self-seeded, and we've already got some sprouting up! This year he wants to plant rutabegas. I find having him pick his own varieties is a fun way to try out new plants and varieties. I normally wouldn't try planting something that I don't think will grow and stick to varieties known to do well in our area, but if he wants to try, I'm all about it!

He also has his own apple tree that we planted on his first birthday (https://permies.com/t/40003/Tree-Plant-Baby-Birthday. This picture was from two years ago. I need to take a new picture with him by it!





My daughter doesn't have her own garden quite yet, but she's only one. For her birthday, we planted her an Orcas pear (https://permies.com/t/69253/Pear-Tree-Daughter-Birthday)





There's room by her tree for a garden when she's a year or two older. Right now, I've got the area covered in feed sacks and woodchips to nourish  it...and smother the salmon berries, blackberries, and buttercup that were growing there before.
 
master steward
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Nicole, just curious, did your son pick out things he like to eat?  Or did he pick some new ones to try?  If so, did he like them?
 
Nicole Alderman
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A mix of both, I think... Let me remember...

  • He'd never eaten little round radishes, but picked them out and really liked them.
  • He already liked eating green onions, and loved eating the green stems from his red onions.
  • He'd picked out red carrots, and he likes carrots, but the red ones were less sweet and he did NOT like them (he ate all the orange carrots I'd planted elsewhere)
  • .
  • He did NOT like the red kale--it didn't matter where it grew.
  • He already liked tomatoes, and enjoyed the ones he planted.
  • He loved peas, and loved eating the ones he'd planted--the same with "green" beans.


  • So, really, it seems that he was not more inclined to eat things from his garden than things in other gardens (he was slightly more likely to try them, but not to keep eating them if he didn't like them). But, he already loved munching from things I planted and grew--like green onions, peas, carrots and green beans, and beet greens. But, he was always more likely to eat vegetables if we were outside playing/gardening, than if I put them on a plate inside for him to eat.

    In the case of my boy, it seems that it's just having food growing outside--doesn't matter who picked it or where it's growing--that gets him to eat it.
     
    steward
    Posts: 2719
    Location: Maine (zone 5)
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    ... when you go to see why they are being so quiet, and you find them reading quietly to each other.  

    ... when they can name damn near every plant species, wild and cultivated, on many different landscapes.

    ... when they school their grandparents on the reasons not to monocrop their veggie gardens.

     
    Nicole Alderman
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    You know you're raising them right when...you're harvesting the kale no one wants to eat, to turn it into kale chips, and both kids come over and start eating the kale they usually won't touch. They won't eat them off the plant, but if mama is putting them in that bowl, they figure the kale has to be good.

    You know you're raising them right when... your 4 year old son teaches your 1.5 year old daughter which plants are good, and so they're both eating walking onions, chocolate mint, dandelion flowers and leaves, and chives. And, your son is trying to convince your daughter to pick that dandelion flower so he can eat it, because he knows he's supposed to save the rest of the flowers for the bees, but his sister hasn't had any and she'll just give hers to him, LOL!
     
    Nicole Alderman
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    When your husband has a really bad sprained ankle, so you're making a comfrey/turmeric poultice in hopes it will help, and your four-year old son suddenly runs out the door....and returns with a big comfrey leaf from under his apple tree, to add to the poultice. He then goes and gets a dandelion flower to add to it, and helps run the food processor to chop it all up. I'm so proud of my son for not only knowing what comfery is and what it's for, but for also help in making his Dada better! ♥
     
    pollinator
    Posts: 119
    Location: Central Indiana
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    I've gotta ask.  Where di you learn about the comfrey/tumeric poultice?  Are there specific places on these forums i should be looking?  Sorry still new to the forums.
     
    Anne Miller
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    Jonathan, welcome to permies!


    I can't answer for Nicole though here are a couple of threads on comfrey:


    https://permies.com/t/1174/comfrey


    https://permies.com/t/54477/Comfrey-Hype
     
    Jonathan Ward
    pollinator
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    Location: Central Indiana
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    Thanks.  Mostly new here and city bound right now.  Grew up on 13.5acres in southern illinois as a kid and almost wish i could go back to it.  Trying to learn as much as i can.
     
    Nicole Alderman
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    Jonathan Ward wrote:I've gotta ask.  Where di you learn about the comfrey/tumeric poultice?  Are there specific places on these forums i should be looking?  Sorry still new to the forums.



    I'd read that comfrey was good for broken bones and helps speed healing, and that turmeric is an antinflamatory. I also looked up "sprained ankle poultice" and saw turmeric on the list. There were other herbs/ingredients listed, but I didn't have them. I have LOTS of turmeric (there was a 1 pound bag for like $5 at our local discout grocery store) and comfery growing outside, so I used them together.

    One of my favorite  threads about the healing power of herbs is this one: Juno's Story: An Herbal Wound Case

    The whole medicinal herb forum on permies is a great place for information about this sort of thing (and, this is kind of a secret, but in a short while, we'll be having a book giveaway on an excellent herb book!)
     
    Jonathan Ward
    pollinator
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    Awesome.  Thanks for the amazing information.  I'll start reading through those two pages you gave me.  I think i'm an information hoarder lol.
     
    Nicole Alderman
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    gardener
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    Yes! I love the joy of seeing them take on the garden as their own!

    You know you're raising them right....

    ...when they think chewing dandelion out of the garden is better than the food in the fridge.

    ...when they spend time rescuing wormies and rollypollies even though they have a natural fear of creepy crawly things.

    ....when their friends come over and ask to eat snack out of the garden instead of the juice popsicles in the freezer.

    ...when your seedling planting mix soil is all over their arms, because you turned away two seconds and it feels good.

    ...when they rescue oak trees starting to root in wood piles or planter beds.

    ...when they ask you if maple seeds are edible, forcing you to research and find out they are.

    ...when they would rather hang out outside than watch a computer inside.

     
    Nicole Alderman
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    When you're eating dates with your kids, and your son says, "What color do date pits make? Like if you use them to color clothing?"

    Today I learned the date pits act as both a colorant and mordant. Haven't figured out WHAT colors they make yet, though!
     
    Alas, poor Yorick, he knew this tiny ad:
    Rocket Mass Heater Plans - now free for a while
    https://permies.com/goodies/7/rmhplans
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