Our kids have always been involved in caring for our various gardens over the years, so of course I thought they’d be as excited as I was about taking part in this project, and I quickly began thinking up all kinds of cool things for us to do in the garden together this summer. But when I asked them what they thought about participating, I was met with shoulder shrugs and a resounding “meh”.
Watering our community garden plot, 2004.
My daughter turned 14 a week ago, and while she’s not at all the kind of teenager who sighs at everything her dad and I say, she does tend to react to anything we suggest with a mixture of resistance and caution (this is not a new thing, she did it as much at 4 as she does at 14). Okay, so she likes what she likes, I can respect that, but it makes brainstorming for ideas a little difficult. The upside is, she’s a total foodie and loves to cook, so we’ll be planting lots of the pattypan squash that she loves so much, in addition to our usual garden favorites. My son, however, might be a bit of a harder sell.
For us, gardening and food have always had very close ties to the literature we enjoy. Books like Brambly Hedge, and the Redwall series (they even have a fantastic seasonal cookbook), which go into great detail describing the growing, harvesting, cooking, preserving, and sharing of food, are among our all time favorite stories. The kids have always loved to pretend to be characters from the books while they were out digging potatoes, pulling carrots, and picking berries, and all three of us have pined on more than one occasion for Mrs. Crustybread’s kitchen, or for a larder similar to the store stump.
So after talking about it with them for a while, it’s looking like literature might work its way into our garden once again, this time in a slightly different way. I’ll save most of the details for next week’s post, but let’s just say that there’s a lot to be learned about herbal medicine from the Warrior Cats and the professors at Hogwarts.
Now I just have to figure out a way to work Hobbits and a few Star Wars characters in there.