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Gardening with Kids


  • Alpine Strawberries 1 of 8
    Alpine Strawberries
    Tiny and sweet, these “fairy berries” are a garden favorite you can pick right off the plant. Children of all ages will enjoy peeking under leaves in search of ripe nibbles. It’s easiest to start growing strawberries from plants instead of seeds (either in a garden bed, or tucked into a strawberry pot for easy access on a deck or patio), which is also known as “transplanting." Alpine strawberries will produce berries from early summer until fall (with a break when it's really hot.) They are best enjoyed straight up, with a splash of cream, or even a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar. More tips and buying information here.
  • Sweet Pea Currant Tomatoes 2 of 8
    Sweet Pea Currant Tomatoes
    This diminutive-fruited plant produces tomatoes that are so small and cute, little fingers won’t be able to resist them. Not much bigger than plump peas, these tomatoes are a perfect snack on their own, or sprinkled over warm buttered noodles dusted with parmesan. Tomatoes are a snap to start from transplants planted after your last frost date. Find more info here.
  • French Breakfast Radishes 3 of 8
    French Breakfast Radishes
    Peter Rabbit likes them so why wouldn’t your little bunnies? Radishes are a great pick for first time gardeners because they can reap the rewards of their efforts quickly. Plant seeds as soon as the soil can be worked. They will germinate in 5-7 days, and can be harvested in less than a month. Slice thin to add color to a salad, or enjoy them as the French do: with some creamy butter and sea salt.
  • Johnny Jump Ups 4 of 8
    Johnny Jump Ups
    These adorable little flowers (in the violet family), spring up readily from seed sown just before the last frost. Perfect planted in a little pot, or sprinkled along a walkway, their purple and yellow ‘kitten faces’ will elicit squeals of delight. And bonus — they’re edible! Add some zest to a salad, decorate a birthday cake, or freeze into ice cubes for tea and lemonade.
  • Walking Stick Kale 5 of 8
    Walking Stick Kale
    Popularized on the Channel Islands, this spectacular plant can grow to unbelievable heights and produces lots of edible kale leaves. The 7-10 foot stalk can be dried and varnished as a walking stick, but even if you aren't feeling crafty, your child will have a blast watching this veggie reach for the clouds, Jack-and-the-Beanstalk style. Plant seed in early spring, as soon as your soil can be worked.
  • Dinosaur Gourd 6 of 8
    Dinosaur Gourd
    Is that a brachiosaurus hiding behind the peppers? This large, green, ridged gourd has a long neck and will spark the imagination of your little gardener/paleontologist. When harvested and dried, you can spend the winter making some fantastic crafts with these distinctive gourds. Plant seed after last frost date, either in hills or rambling up a fence or trellis.
  • Neon Lights Swiss Chard 7 of 8
    Neon Lights Swiss Chard
    Swiss chard is a member of the beet family and its leaves are enjoyed just like spinach. This variety is stunning — vibrant colored stems decorate your garden in shades of golden yellow, red, white, and fuchsia. Enjoy it raw as a healthy and fun sandwich wrap, or steam lightly to retain the color and nutrients. Plant seed as soon as soil can be worked, and again in fall for a late season harvest.
  • Thumbelina Carrots 8 of 8
    Thumbelina Carrots
    As tiny and magical as their namesake, these golf-ball sized carrots are sweet and round. The original baby carrot, these can be enjoyed dipped in hummus, in chicken noodle soup, or sliced and sautéed with butter and honey. Plant seeds after last frost date in loose soil that is free of stones (allowing the roots to form) and harvest in about two months. Carrots are a perfect crop for a first-time farmer — growing a familiar and cherished vegetable will be a source of great pride.

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