January is the time the Seed Catalogs arrive in the mail. These winter months are a terrific time to hone your skills as a 'green bubbie.' If you want to sustain the earth, or your family, your culture, religion, or whatever, teach young children lovingly. Young children respond not only to the person who loves them, but they tend to love what that loving adult loves as well. So, if you love the earth, or your garden, share that love with the children in your life- you will reap more than a harvest!
TRY THIS: If you have grandchildren of your own, or young children you know- where ever they are, send them Seed Catalogs. First of all, young children love to get mail- and particularly mail with their own name on it. Seed catalogues are FREE. Target your sending to children as young as 2 years, who may have visited your garden. Or send them to children of any age who may have expressed an interest in gardening, or even just 'foodies'
For the VERY YOUNG (18 months to 8 years) Encourage the children to 'read' the catalogs, and find their favorite foods. Ask them over the phone, or when you visit, to show you their favorite
flowers, the best looking tomatoes or the strangest looking vegetables. Even two year olds can point to favorite foods. Let children tear or cut out the incredible pictures to collage or create a garden plan depending on their skill level. Children love cutting up entire catalogs and then sorting by color, flower, vegetables they love or hate.
ORDER SEEDS- Order seeds for your own garden. Order a child's favorite- even one packet of seeds in the mail can endear a child to a season of gardening. Do you remember, or can you imagine the delight of seeing the first green shoot emerging from a sunflower seed? Start it indoors, in several containers, and move them outside when the weather is warm. You don't have to be a maven in crop rotation to plant a few sunflower seeds- and this little episode can start you on your way to being a very green bubbie. Think about all the follow up phone calls with your young garden friends. Even the one way conversations with children to young to talk, where you ask if they have watered the seed, and following up as the shoots emerge. Inviting children near and far into the planning stages of your own garden, fuels their imagination and interest, and gives them a stake in the process.
So think of a child- a relative, a neighbor, a grand niece or nephew, you never know who will get the gardening bug with you, and who will benefit from your love, your attention and the fruits of your labour.
I have listed just 3 out of many, many Seed Catalogs- study them, share them, order the seeds, and plant them!
SeedsforChange, Burpee, Landreth Seed Catalog, just google 'seed catalogs' plant and enjoy!