A few days ago I asked readers of the Facebook page to send me questions they wanted me to answer, so here goes:
1. Leslie B Reynolds asks “Do you ever have kids that refuse vegetables?”
That’s a great question, and the answer to that is a resounding YES! Most kids begin uninterested in most of what I serve because it is unfamiliar to them. Over time as they help cook veggies, grow veggies and just the simple repetition of seeing veggies, they end up trying them and find out they like them. I just keep putting them on their plate and let them decide when they are ready to try them. Some kids that are very picky eaters never learn to like many things, but they all learn to like some new things which is a win in my book!
2. Little Big Harvest asks “What is your favorite ‘fun’ garden activity with the kids?”
There are so many things I enjoy doing with the kids in the garden. When I asked them, they all replied “picking stuff” and a few said “picking stuff and planting stuff”. For me, watching them be amazed is the very best part of gardening with them. Seeing their faces and watching their excitement is very rewarding for me. As far as activities go, my favorite is finding caterpillars. We put them in a jar, bring them in, and continue to feed them the host plant we found them on. Them we get to watch metamorphoses. Nothing can beat the amazement involved in that!
3. Yavonna Wright Bolding asks “Who are the people who test soil and do they come out or do you have to take some in ?”
Here in Oklahoma the OSU extension services will test soil for you. You can mail in a sample or take it in to the office to have it tested. Call your local county extension service office to find out where you take it in your area.
4. Sharica Cole asks, “What are some fun ways to help children tell the difference between different plants? And which garden plants are the safest?”
Repetition is the way to teach children to tell the difference between plants. Besides spending time talking in the garden, we use many pictures that we find in our curriculum, online, and in books and magazines to make it fun. Kids will pick up the information fairly quickly and I am learning right along with them. Many plants are poisonous. The nightshade family which include potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant have extremely poisonous leaves as do some other plants. I always teach the kids not to eat anything unless they ask. If I am unsure of the plant’s safety, I will tell them, since I’m not sure, we better not eat it. The safest things are plants that can be eaten from root to leaf tip such as cabbage and other brassicas or vines like peas and sweet potatoes.
I love your questions and comments, so please ask away if you want to know anything.