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Families

Children, Families, Garden, Home and Garden

Gardening With Kids

gardening with kids

gardening with kids
As the Easter holidays are nearly here, I thought I’d share a few fun activities to do with your family.  The first one of these is gardening with kids – a great cheap and easy activity that kids love. 

This Easter I have my fingers crossed for good weather.  You see, I’d really like to get out into the garden with my daughter and start growing some vegetables with her.  Although only a toddler, I believe that it’s never too early to start showing children where the food we eat comes from, and helping her to get a first grasp of biology in action.  I’m also desperately hoping that growing her own vegetables will help stave off that common hatred of anything vegetable based!

Although you don’t need any fancy gear to get out into the garden with your kids (in fact, the older the clothes the better!), some basic kid-sized hand tools (and gloves if you’re going to get them involved in weeding) are a must, as well as some seeds!

Here are a few things I have my eye on that would be great for gardening with kids:
gardening with kids ideas
From clockwise:

Kids Trug (£9.95) – from What You Sow – Perfect for harvesting their bounty (or for weeding, if you can rope them in to that!).  Not an essential by any means, but really rather lovely.

Bug Hotel (affiliate link) (£15) – from John Lewis – A bug hotel attracts bees, ladybirds, lacewings and other minibeasts to your garden, helping to naturally eradicate any hungry aphids that might want to eat your precious vegetables, and also pollinate your vegetables too.  Children will adore looking for ladybirds and other minibeasts.  And top tip – if you don’t want to buy a bug hotel, you can also create your own bug hotel by leaving an area of the garden wild and unweeded, with logs and stones piled up.

Kids hand tools  – from What You Sow – great for small hands. Seeds – I’m a fan of growing easy vegetables like carrots and peas, and also flowers like sweet peas and sunflowers with kids.

Allotinabox have a nice selection of seeds or try your local garden centre.

Kids Gardening Gloves  (£5.95) – from What You Sow – to protect little hands from thorns and other garden nasties.

 

If you’re as keen as I am to get out in your garden and do some gardening with your kids this Easter then Netmums has some great tips on gardening with kids, and this guide from Grow Veg is also worth a read.

I plan on growing fast-sprouting veggies like lettuce, radishes and carrots, and the flowers I enjoyed growing the most as a kid –  sweet peas and sunflowers. I have some raised beds to make planting easy for my little’un, but you could also use tubs or trugs, or even just dedicate a small area of your garden for planting.

Even if you don’t have a garden, there are plenty of things you can grow in window boxes and on your windowsill.  Fresh herbs are quick, simple and cheap to grow – this is a nice post about growing herbs with kids.  Chili’s work well indoors, as do avocados (which are a lot of fun to watch growing), and there are always the old favourites like cress and mustard, which only take a few days and can be eaten in egg sandwiches or in salads.  I also heartily recommend growing snow pea shoots.

If you have any advice on gardening with kids, or other suggestions of what to grow then do let me know in the comment below!

Keep an eye out this coming week for some more children’s themed posts.

Families, Whole Family

Climate Week 2013

climate week logo

climate week logo

As I mentioned yesterday, this week is Climate Week.  Now, Climate Week is all about inspiring others to be greener.  You could say that it’s like that every week here on Moral Fibres, so I thought I’d bend the rules a little and do something a bit different.  I already consider myself to be fairly green, but there are some things I do which aren’t so green, and I thought I’d hold myself accountable here on Moral Fibres.  I know we all have our own un-green habits, so here are mine:

Waste Food

wasting food

This is probably the biggest un-green thing I do.  Quite often vegetables rot in the fridge, or leftovers which I haven’t frozen sit for longer than is fit for human consumption.  Sometimes bread goes off in the bread bin.  We used to get a weekly vegetable box delivered with local seasonal veg.  We found however that we had no control over what vegetables we received so it was hard to plan meals in advance of receiving the box, so quite often things went off.  We switched to fortnightly deliveries but even then we still found it hard so we cancelled our box.  Now I buy seasonal British veg from Earthy in Edinburgh when we need it.  Still, there’s been a single solitary leek in my fridge for longer than I care to admit…!

We’re trying to be better at reducing the food we waste, but we could be much better.  We could plan meals, batch cook meals at the weekend, and freeze leftovers straight away rather than putting them in the fridge.  We already compost vegetable peelings, rotten vegetables, tea bags, egg shells etc, for our garden, but we could also get a bokashi bin for all non-compostable food waste, liked cooked food.  Watch this space (edited: I’ve made progress!  Check out my food waste tips I’ve discovered since writing this post!)

Shopping at Tesco

There is a Tesco Metro beside my work.  I quite often find myself popping in there for lunch and bits and pieces even though there are lots of little delicatessens and independent shops that really could do with the custom.  Tesco is one of the evillest supermarkets, and I always hate myself for going in there.  I should really stop giving them my custom – I think I’ll give it up during Climate Week and take it from there!

Using the Tumble Dryer

To be fair on myself, I’m pretty good at not using the tumble dryer in spring and summer (unless we’ve had a spell of terrible weather).  However, come autumn and winter it seems like my tumble dryer is never off.  With a baby, and two adults we seem to generate a lot of dirty washing.  Our house is very small and there isn’t a lot of room for clothes horses.  I’ve rammed our tiny kitchen with as many clothes horses it can hold (to the point where we get tangled in them!) but still there isn’t enough drying space, so unfortunately the tumble dryer has to go on.  It’s A rated, but it still doesn’t ease my guilt.  If we had a garage or porch I’d dry clothes in there, but alas we do not.  I’ve tried drying my clothes outside in winter, but living in Scotland, they often come back in just as damp as they went out.  I’m not sure what the solution is here to be honest.

Having Long Showers

Showers use less water than baths, but not when I take a shower.  Oh no.  Twenty minutes is about average shower length for me (what can I say, I like to make sure I’m super clean!).  I could easily reduce the amount of time I take in the shower, and also fit an aerator.  I just haven’t yet…

Charging my Phone Overnight

If my phone is low on battery (which it often is – these pesky smartphones with zero battery life) I’ll plug it in and charge it overnight.  This means that when it has finished charging it’s still switched on and using electricity.  I really should get into the habit of charging it during the day so that I can see when the battery is full and switch off the plug as soon as it’s done but I always seem to forget until bedtime.

What could you do better?    Let me know in the comments below – I promise we won’t judge and you’ll feel better for sharing!  And are you doing anything for Climate Week?

You can also follow along with Climate Week on the #climateweek twitter hashtag.