Cathy McNab completed the November Sustainababy Eco Challenge to get her kids grubby. This is the story of her journey……
Finally!! The cold, wet weather has passed (well, mostly) and I can get some vegie seedlings planted. Well, I can as soon as I’ve done this job, and this one, and then this other one….. Suddenly, November is here and still not much has been done in the garden. Arrgghhh!!
But, along came the Sustainababy Monthly Eco Challenge and I was motivated to get my act together. Because not only was I (over)due to get into the garden and get things happening, it was also a timely reminder about how important it is to involve my 2 year old, Miss E, in the garden. I love being outdoors and pottering in my garden and I want to share the joys of nature with my daughters. While Miss Z, at 8 months, is probably a bit too young to be doing much, she still enjoys being out in the garden with me, Miss E and the dogs.
First things first, we needed to dig in the manure that had been waiting for weeks. Luckily, we had some help from the neighbour (also 2 years old) to help with the “dinging” (AKA digging) and to help break up the clumps. We found some lovely big worms, which was a good sign for the soil.
While the muscle work was done by me, the planting, feeding and watering has definitely been a team effort. I have talked with Miss E about what we are doing, and while the technical details might have gone a little over her head, it seems the best way to learn is by watching and copying Mummy.
I think I can safely say that Miss E’s favourite part of being in the garden is the water play. She’s been making “soup” (1 part dirt to 5 parts water), jumping in muddy puddles (that she created herself!) and helping with the feeding and watering. I now have a first class waterer to help me.
So, what have I learned from this challenge? I’ve learned to involve my daughter in what I’m doing in the garden, so that she can learn and enjoy it with me. I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter if she gets dirty – it’ll wash off, and she’s enjoying herself while learning. I’ve learned that things don’t have to be perfect to be right.
And what has Miss E learned? That strawberries taste best straight from the plant. That there are lots of creepy crawlies in the garden. That helping Mum means you get to water the plants – and stick your hand in the shower of water so it sprays everywhere!
And soon, she will learn about harvesting and eating our goodies (hopefully this year she’ll learn to wait until they’re ripe!!). I’m looking forward to some zucchini, lettuce, tomatoes, capsicum and pumpkin with VERY low food miles.
Thanks Laura for the kick up the bum that I needed to get me and my daughters back into the garden.
Congratulations Cathy! For your efforts in giving Miss E her first gardening lesson you’ve won a Gardening 4 Kids Gardening Pack valued at $94.
Congratulations also to everyone who completed the November Eco Challenge. It was the most popular challenge yet and we received many entries; it was so hard to select a winner! I loved seeing how many of you got your kids outside and opened their eyes to not only gardening, but the wonders of the outdoor world. Keep up the great effort!
Thank you to Gardening 4 Kids for sponsoring the Sustainababy November Eco Challenge. If you would like to sponsor future Sustainababy Eco Challenges and introduce your product or brand to our large following of eco parents, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.