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I


f your garden is like mine,


there


comes a point where you wonder how one plant can produce such a


bounty of fruit or vegetables. Usually it’s zucchini, this year it was cucum- bers. There was a point where one plant was producing over 50 cukes per week! “What are you going to do with all


this stuff,” Desmond, my youngest asked me in awe when every inch of counter, table and a fair amount of our kitchen floor space was filled with the vegetables we had picked that day. “Well, we’ll freeze some to enjoy in


the winter, make pickles and sauces, dehydrate some and share some with friends and family, and people who don’t have enough fresh food to eat,” I replied. An overabundant harvest is normal at


our place and we make use of what we can, but there is always more than we can handle; I make sure of it. Garden- ing breeds a sense of community, and we grow more, since we have the space. We share with family members who do not have gardens, with friends and co-workers, our daycare, families in need and charities. It is a heart-warm- ing experience to be able to share and a valuable lesson for the kids to learn. “Why don’t people have food to eat?”


Kids are often surprised that other Gardening with kids Gardens can


feed your body and soul


By Tania Moffat 34 • Beautiful Gardens 2015


children and families do not have enough food to eat, especially in their own communities. They don’t under- stand how things like job losses, illness- es and a multitude of other reasons affect people’s income, time or ability to grow a garden or eat fresh fruit and vegetables. What they do understand is how important it is to eat healthy food. We’ve been teaching them this their entire young lives. But, what we sometimes fail to teach them is that for many people this is a luxury they are not able to enjoy or afford. Sharing produce from your garden is a great way to teach children about hunger and it makes everyone feel good. Once children are aware of a need


they are almost always willing to jump on board to help. If you have extra produce, or have grown extra produce for a “grow-a-row” program, get them involved. Ask them for ideas on how to share food with those in need. Create a discussion and make it part of your gardening efforts every year. You both can reap the rewards of sharing and learning fun ways to give back to your community.


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