By: Hal Jones
A month into our family gardening project, the kids are over the excitement of seeing flowers and green vegetables. The question I am peppered with about the peppers is, daddy, when can we pick them? I think it’s a tough concept for kids not accustomed to waiting, to be told that patience is a virtue not only in gardening but in life. We live in age where we expect instant gratification in so many areas of our life. Years ago I asked the older two step-children where fruit came from and they answered , “Bruno’s.” Which in their young eyes was the correct answer. Bruno’s was a chain of grocery stores in the southeast that their PawPaw had started back in the depression. What I was looking for was a recognition of the fruit hanging on the tree that was in front of them. So off I went and purchased fruit trees.
Grocery stores in recent years have been able to supply most fruits and vegetables year round, purchasing from hot-house growers or importing what they need. The lesson I was teaching then and I am teaching now to my two youngest is that fresh picked fruit and vegetables have more taste and quality than those grown in a hot-house or picked green to allow for shipping times to stores and markets. The soil, the rain and the sun affect the way produce taste. For example Vidalia onions from Vidalia, Georgia have a unique flavor and I can grow the same variety of onions here, but the taste will be markedly different. Now, the fact that i am growing most of these vegetables in potting soil will affect the final product. I compromised and opted for making this project fun for the kids and less work on me. Basically I water and I fertilize and just sit back and wait for the greens to become reds and the small peppers to grow large.
Here are the pictures so you can see the growth from last week. For high definition photo and explanations click on the images for further details
For more family gardening post check these out Gardening with Your Kids, Garden Update Week Two, Garden Update Third Week, The Great Pumpkin and the IBEW Strike of 1966.