Budding Gourmets: DIY Garden.

Via on Jun 10, 2010

It’s not always easy raising a child who loves fruits, veggies and salads.

By Jessica Isclisoy

So how about giving children a lesson that is ‘caught, not taught?’ Try adding a small raised bed or a few pots filled with easy-to-grow lettuces to your backyard, terrace or balcony. Lettuce grows fast and is a breeze to maintain, making it pretty fail-proof—even for the newest of gardeners. Your child will soon be sowing and harvesting like a pro.

Cut & Come Again

Cut and come again is a term used for continuous harvesting of the outer lettuce leaves that grow quickly and loosely on a stem, rather than compacted into heads like iceberg or Boston lettuce. Mixes, which can go by different names but are usually called Mesclun or gourmet mix, are typically very hardy and slow to bolt (go to seed). When harvesting, simply snip off the larger outer leaves. As you harvest your bounty, take the opportunity to encourage your child to taste as you go, identifying each flavor. Asking simple open-ended questions like, “I wonder if this lettuce will taste bitter or sweet” takes the pressure off the healthy eating aspect, and a brings a bit of fun to the process. A nonchalant attitude is usually all it takes to spark a child’s curiosity to take initiative and try it all!

Tips & Tricks

  • In mild climates, lettuce can be sown spring through fall.
  • At the peak of summer or in hot summer climates, lettuce prefers some shade.
  • When preparing your bed or pot, add plenty of compost to encourage rapid growth.
  • Water evenly and moderately to prevent bitterness.

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Jessica Iclisoy, developer of California Baby, is an entrepreneur and mama of two.

About Sarah Kraft

Sarah is a mom, entrepreneur and social media advocate. She has ten years of professional experience in marketing, public relations and business development. Sarah worked as the Marketing Director for Namaste Solar Electric, Development Director for Mother's Acting Up and Manager for the EDGE Girls Empowerment Program at the YWCA of Boulder County. She is a graduate of the INVST Community Leadership Program and has a B.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Sarah’s passion for health and healing lead her to become a Certified Yoga Instructor, a Reiki III practitioner and to spend two years apprenticing with homebirth midwives before having her own daughter, Emma, in a birth tub at home on April 19th, 2004. Sarah founded Rhythm of Life, LLC in 2007 and launched Mindful Mama magazine and Web site in 2008. Sarah is driven by a desire to create positive media that engages parents and practitioners in a meaningful dialogue, and contributes to a healthy and sustainable future for families worldwide.

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2 Responses to “Budding Gourmets: DIY Garden.”

  1. [...] each day will get you off your rump bright n’ early to revel in the magnificence that is DIY [...]

  2. [...] raised-bed garden is one that is built on top of your native soil—in other words, you don’t have to dig into your [...]

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