34 December 23, 2006

At this time of the year, there is always the “what do I get…..insert a name…. for a holiday gift. One of the things you can do is share the gift of your gardening knowledge. I’m not advocating that you try to cheap out on gift giving, but most of you have a ton of gardening knowledge to share. Granted the gift of your knowledge may have to wait until spring to be put to good use. I’m guessing that you may have a new neighbor who has purchased their first home or a new neighbor who has moved here from an area that has different growing conditions. These people could use your experience to help them plant at the proper time and to plant flower and vegetable plants in the proper light conditions. If you have been gardening for a few years, you can tell them about any insect problems that usually pop up.

Adults who are new to gardening are not the only ones who can use your gardening advice. Many of you have children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews who are old enough to be taught how to garden. A good winter project is to start flower or vegetable plants from seed. Think of all of the “life lessons” that can be learned from the simple act of planting seeds. You learn to prepare the pots and you learn to use the right soil to help plants sprout. You learn patience waiting for your seeds to sprout. You learn that plants, like people, need nurturing. If you don’t water and fertilize those plants, the plants won’t grow. Patience is also learned by having to wait to put those plants outside. A work ethic is learned because you have to tend to those plants once the plants are in the ground. A child will also learn the satisfaction of a job well done when those flowers bloom or they get to pick and eat their own home grown vegetables. Gardening also teaches the value of maintain and protecting our land. We always talk about the ecology and saving our planet. Starting with a garden is a great way to re-enforce the care of our land. Our country was founded as an agricultural way of life. Most of you won’t have any job experience in agriculture. However, we all need to preserve the land we have. We need to pass this belief onto the next generation. Teaching children to garden is a step in getting and keeping children interested in maintaining and improving the environment in which we all live.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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