I have a black thumb. Try as I might, I have not successfully gotten a plant to grow from a seed and, unless my husband intervenes, I regularly kill the flowers I plant in the window boxes on our porch.
Despite my utter lack of skill with leafy things, you would be hard pressed to find a pair with a greener thumb than my mom and dad. Their yard is a wonderland of flowering vegetation. In beds, up a trellis, over an arbor — the talent my parents possess to convince plants to not only peek above the soil, but to grow and flourish in a variety of (gorgeous) ways astounds me.
The best part? They don’t just use their powers for sprucing up their yard. They also plant a garden each year and, since they failed to pass on the green gene to me, I penalize them by stealing a portion of their crops.
There’s nothing better than vegetables fresh from the garden and my parents always have more than they can eat. Tomatoes, peas, carrots, squash, cucumbers, and more — there’s always something good waiting for us when we pay them a visit, especially in the Spring and Summer months.
Having gardeners for parents certainly has tasty benefits, but it also pays off in a learning opportunity for my children. Each time they plant something new, my parents invite us over to help out. The kids learn about preparing soil and planting seeds. They learn how to keep the deer out of the garden and how to tell when each plant is ripe for the picking. And, since they spend so much time planting and harvesting, when it comes time to eat their vegetables it is much less of a struggle than when I pick them out at the grocery store.
It’s important to me that my children know where their food comes from and that it should be fresh, organic, and pesticide free. I can think of no better way than growing your own garden and encouraging them to join in. Perhaps someday I will finally plant something that contributes to a meal for my family, but until then I’m glad that I have my parents to teach my children a valuable lesson about nutrition.