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Gardening with kids Starting herbs for spring By Tania Moffat The boys are so excited with the herbs they picked. D

uring the frozen winter months my hands just itch to be in dirt. I satisfy this need by drooling

over the garden catalogues, picking out plants and planning the layout of my gardens. I used to set up an area in my living room to start my plants for the upcoming season; little flower and vege- table seedlings would see me through until I could actually get outdoors. For the last several years I have put a

kibosh on growing anything from seed. It is not that I don’t want my kids to play in the dirt, I just don’t love having to clean it up on a daily basis. The kids are older now and may leave the seedlings alone, but to be honest I can see things from their eyes. Planting one plant and watching it grow is amazing; watching a hundred grow in little mounds of dirt just begs the question. When? When will their will power to leave the dirt alone disappear? How long before Lego figures start appearing in my pods of dirt? While I may not plant as many seeds

indoors anymore, I still find ways to satisfy our family's need to play in the dirt. Repotting houseplants, visiting garden centres to adopt new green- leafed friends, or planting a few plants from seed like herbs or flowers are all great ways for kids to learn more about

30 • Early Spring 2015

We all miss the feel of dirt between our fingers in the winter.

plants and how they grow. The key to gardening with kids

indoors is to (a) remember they are kids, and (b) remember you are indoors. I had the boys planting some herbs

this month mainly because I wanted more fresh herbs in the house. We stopped by the garden store and they picked out an assortment of seeds. I have a thousand pots in the garage but there is something fun about using egg cartons that just makes the project feel more “crafty” and fun. Plus, the built in cover is perfect for seed incubation.

We began by writing their names

on the cartons and filling them with dirt. Then they poked little holes in the middle of each section to plant their lavender, basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme and parsley seeds. The boys were so excited to start and

dug in. We talked while we planted but had to move somewhat quickly to keep up with Desmond. Although I marked the top of the cartons with the location of each herb, I suspect that Desmond’s creation will vary somewhat to his origi- nal plan.

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