There is nothing better as an adult than to see and witness the full joy, the excitement, the innocence, the imagination, the love and wonder a child has whilst they explore nature and see what the living world can create – and what they can help create from their own hands.
Creating a garden specifically to introduce your Likkle Lion Cubs into the role of farming will ensure and encourage your child to taste, smell and love the fruit and vegetables they grow, whilst also learning and enjoying what Blessed Mumma Earth/Nature can offer and what we can offer HER back.
With some simple planning and design techniques you can create fun, contribution based, learning, interactive space that adults will enjoy as much as the youth.
Location, location, location: You’ve heard it all before. It’s crucial to have the right spot so that the experience isn’t lost on poor growth and disappointment leading to a lost garden amongst weeds.
Make sure you locate the garden in a sunny spot, close to your house or property. Children want to be right in the thick of it and you want to be able to keep an eye on them without having to hover over them. So this is a way to learn independence, both Parent’s and Children.
Having your water source/tap/watering can close by and a spot for them to keep their garden tools and supplies, creates ownership and in turn pride and responsibility. No matter the age, my Lion cubs were in the garden with me from their very first days on Earth. Make it a fun area with lots of colours and vibration. Let the Youth contribute to the design as well as the implementation of the garden build. Again, fostering Contribution Based Learning and Independence. This teaches them to think and not just do.
Sketch out your planned design on some grid paper to get an idea of how it works in your space and flows. It does not need to be a masterpiece nor the biggest, most expensive set up, but design layouts are an invaluable visual aid when building your new garden space. Get the kids to colour it in, make suggestions, give it a name. They should be part of every step including the building of it. Mark it out the ground so you can visualise the yard. Remember lots of colours and shapes and vibrations. Exciting and inspiring.
Making the cubs garden beds narrow will allow them to reach the centre of the bed and have them spaced far enough apart so they can walk around all the sides. Consider using raised beds so they can stand at them to work and see what is happening both at plant and soil level. Raised beds not only perform better but also stop little paws from trampling the gardens, reduce weed and grass invasion, makes easy access for likkle cubs to paint their own beds.
Plant gardens based on seasonal plantings, so they learn about the different seasons and the need to harvest and plant at specific times thus bringing an Educational and Survival Skill Set that could otherwise potentially be lost to the garden and Youth. Use plants that create smells, colours and different textures, forms, growing habits, needs, flavours, uses, so that children understand the differences and learn about plant types, interaction and energy from plants, soil and gardening.
Lastly ……. have fun, make them mistakes (this is the point for learning and growth). Don’t try correct them all the time, learn to be a cub yourself and, be in the moment with your Youth. Plenty of time to teach as you all grow. Gwaan go and get dirty. Let your Likkle Lion Cubs get creative and run a wild with it all. Teach the Youth to enjoy what was once an integral part of life and communal LIVITY. Teach your children how food is really grown.
Show them, Guide them, Tell them.
Ras Mark Suburban Farmer