Green Beans. Green Kids.

28 June 2010

When I was little, my Meme had a patch of green beans right outside her back door.  She also had tomatoes and some herbs and a gorgeous garden full of flowers.  But it was the beans that remained in my mind.  We would go outside with her old plastic collander and pick beans, spending what seemed like forever snapping the ends off.  The novelty of pulling the beans from the plants and eating them at dinner that night never wore off for two little suburban girls.

It was the same thing when we would visit my Aunt Linda and Uncle Jim in California each summer.  They had a huge garden, I remember smelling rosemary for the first time there.  It was the simple lemon tree that stood out though.  We would choose the ripe lemons right off the tree, bring them inside, squeeze the juice and make gallons of lemonade.

With Finn, we do things like strawberry picking and apple picking.  Dave's parents have a large garden and have him help and I use that term loosely.  Mostly he goes out and theives raspberries from their bushes and shovels dirt and watches Grandpa use the tiller.  We pick up fresh produce at the farmer's market and grow herbs and tomatoes.  This year we added strawberry plants and a blueberry bush.  In a year or two, our little lime tree will produce fruit, though it will need to live inside with us in the winter. 

We also added green beans.  They are Finnegan's beans, a gift for his birthday from his friend Jackson.  He sewed the seeds in a little greenhouse-like tray, allowed them to grow for a couple weeks, then we planted them outside.

He has asked us approximately {and this is a conservative guesstimation} 1.5 million times when he could eat his beans over the last couple months... beginning about twelve seconds after they were planted.

Tonight, we were able to pick some and enjoy them for the first time.  The sheer pride on his face as we excitedly gushed about how he grew the beans and picked them, made the meal one of the best we've ever had.  We're looking forward to many many more through the summer.

Do you teach your children about gardening their own food?  I'm interested particularly for those who are in the city or suburbia where farming or growing a large garden might not be commonplace.


@JessEsco said...

That is awesome! I really want to get a garden growing but I haven't put forth the effort...hmm. Maybe I'll try these!

The Girly Tomboy said...

I love those fresh garden meals. I have raspberries coming up like crazy right now, so I go out an pick fresh ones for my breakfast shake every morning. Divine.

My parents always gardened. So we got used to having a garden as well.

Even my sister is getting into it by growing herbs on her condo balcony.

It's true, parents pass on gardening to their kids. When I have kids, I will be doing the same.

sherry stanfa-stanley said...

My younger son took a meager interest in gardening, but my older son had no interest at all.

He's now 21, and when I asked him a few weeks ago to help me with something in the garden (the first time in years), I pointed proudly to a line of plants.

"Can you believe all the tomatoes we already have?"

"Those are tomatoes?" He squinted. "How come they're green?"

Try as you might, some things just aren't hereditary.

chiara said...

That is such a great idea for kids - not surprised they're branded with Oscar. Sesame Street rocks - I watched it until I was 8 or 9 (yeah, a bit old for it but I loved it).

I love that the product teaches about growing food yourself - maybe this latest generation of kids will be more aware of the earth and how to take care of it.

Megan said...

LOVE the little greenhouse!

Thanks for the comment on my blog over the weekend! I really am trying to not stress too much, but I'm extremely type A. We're getting there!

Meghan said...

I don't have kids, but when I do, natural food and gardening in general will be a priority. My hubby and I support all of the local farmers markets and try not to eat much in the way of processed food.

Thanks for the sweet comments, lady! Looking forward to continuing to read your blog!

Lindsey said...

That is such a great idea to garden with your kids like that, love it!!

Alexis said...

What great memories for Finn! I used to do the same thing in Washington State with my dad's Aunt's. We would steal berries and they always had a huge pot of beans that we had to snap the ends off. Then they cooked them up in BACON:)
We grow strawberries and tomatoes around here. My son still won't touch the tomatoes but loves to plant and take care of them.

MommyLisa said...

This reminds me I need to check my tomatoes! I have been in San Diego since Saturday!

Unknown said...

My husband has a small garden in our backyard. He grows tomatoes (although the birds get to eat them before we do), cucumbers, green onions, and we were supposed to have cabbage and other leafy substances, but I haven't heard anything about them I'm pretty sure they didn't make it. Our 3 year old helps him water the garden and she even planted some of the seeds herself. They are always going out to check the garden...unfortunately it's right after the birds eat the full grown tomatoes.

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