How can a garden teach us to live? Responsibility, perseverance and patience

How can a garden teach us to live? Responsibility, perseverance and patience

Ruth Sellers May 30, 2019

Sowing is sowing…responsibility, perseverance and patience

We addressed the issue of the link we can establish or improve with our children through work in the urban garden and the value of success we can pass on to them. We also talked about how to help them develop their self-esteem through success in the cultivation experience.

We have planted or we have established a small plant, a tree, a vegetable garden, we have a small urban garden and now we have to enjoy it taking care of it, with its due irrigation and with its due care… We have the responsibility to contribute our work so that it grows, flowers and gives its fruit, and for that, we need constancy and rigour. It is necessary to bear in mind that one is not born responsible, one learns to be responsible.

It will be positive for the children who learn to finish what they have begun until they gather the fruit and to overcome the laziness or dispersion that in some moments is naturally presented to them. This learning will help them in many moments of life. Patience is a great value, necessary in a world in which everything goes quickly and in which we are accustomed to immediacy. And when I have used it, I throw it away and buy another one.

It is necessary for children to learn to understand and respect the time necessary for something to mature and grow and to give it the value it has. The essential thing is not to use and throw away, some things keep coming in due time: a deep relationship, learning a skill, personal satisfaction of significant baggage, wisdom.

As parents, we can link later experiences to that of having waited and have been successful: “This is how when you expected strawberries, do you remember? and they didn’t arrive… and you had to water them and take care of them and, in the end, they appeared. Didn’t they taste good?”

These kinds of experiences can be very significant in our children’s lives and we can use them as an “anchor” so that they can healthily live future experiences.

Routines of the orchard,

It would be perfect to establish a routine in our urban garden, especially with younger children, as it is a good way to learn perseverance and rigour and guide their actions. As they learn it, they will be more and more able to develop it successfully by themselves and this, as we talked about in the previous publication, will help them in the development of their self-esteem. We must not forget to point out to our children that we are aware of their progress, their effort and their involvement.

This routine, in general, will include: watering the orchard, fertilizing, weeding (pulling out weeds that are harmful or that compete with our crops) and checking that there are no aphids, red spiders or any other individual that can become a plague and damage the crop. With more or less regularity and depending on the crop chosen, we must carry out these actions with perseverance and perseverance, and teach our children to perform them. We can also search for our doubts together, depending on the age of the child, in a bibliography or on the Internet.

  • It will be necessary to teach them to detect when to water (touching the ground and/or lifting the pot and analyzing its weight). We must bear in mind that rain often does not represent sufficient irrigation for our crops since the leaves act as umbrellas).
  • Fertilize regularly following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • We must weed if we observe in our urban garden the presence of weeds that we do not want. We will have to teach our children to differentiate them from our crops and to pull them up.
  • Finally, we must carefully observe if our seedlings are free of pests and infections and if they are in good health.

In the special case of tomatoes, we should consider a task added to our routine in the orchard, that of pruning the tomato plants. We will have to observe if the tomater has made auxiliary buds and to remove them. We can explain to our children that this action is to help the tomater to make tomatoes of good size and healthy. If we do not have this perseverance of removing the auxiliary shoots, the tomater will make a lot of branches and leaves but very small tomatoes.

Finally, in the special case of radishes and carrots, we should clarify the seedlings only once. This means pulling up a few plants so that the others have space and enough nutrient to grow and get to have a good size. In this video of clarifying carrots, which we can visualize with our children, we will find precise information on how to perform this action.

Taking into account all these recommendations, we can teach our children to successfully cultivate both the garden and the art of patience, perseverance and perseverance while we have fun and support a healthy and natural life.

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