Digging Dirt Going Green
By Jessica Williams, www.LoveParentingLA.com
My friend is a landscape artist. She brings green things to life, beautifying everything in her path. I have had aspirations for our backyard but busy with three children and L.O.V.E. Parenting, I had yet to follow through. One Saturday, my friend took the reigns and decided to involve our children and work together to transform a portion of our yard into an edible garden.
The children, five total between the ages of two and seven, were eager to dive in. My friend put on her work boots and gloves and led the way. She generously showed us how to turn the soil with a biointensive method, add an organic probiotic fertilizer, create a lay out with the plants and top it off with a mulch to maintain moisture. The children broke soil, planted seeds, mulched and loved every minute of it.
My friend worked swiftly with the confidence of one who knows the ways of the earth. She laid the plants the way an artist fills a canvas. In the middle of urban Los Angeles, my friend tucked the promise of artichokes, swiss chard, spinach, strawberries, thyme and oregano beneath the soil.
Even before the plants bore fruit, our family was thrilled. What had been a patch of unutilized hard dirt was now lush with promise. Once it was harvesting time and the children saw real live artichokes in our yard it was as if a miracle had occurred. I know for farmers and families living in agricultural areas, it is assumed and vital that the land is a bearer of food. But for urbanites born and raised in Los Angeles, living in houses tucked between busy streets, you don’t always realize that the land beneath every blade of grass could actually be realized as an edible garden or at least a drought resistant garden. Now, I look at any yard space as a potential farmer’s market in my own back yard.
It has become a weekly ritual for my children to watch me cut the swiss chard that keeps growing back (!) When I bring it into our kitchen, I sauté it with olive oil, sesame oil, a splash of soy sauce and a sprinkle of salt and garlic powder and my children devour it and beg for more; maybe because it is so fresh or maybe because they planted the seeds and saw the process of fruition.
I know going green is in vogue, but with good reason; gardening utilizes our natural recourses and teaches children the natural order of things. It is an activity in real time and connects our generation to generations past.
When my friend created an edible garden for our family, she brought her artistry and skill and gave a gift that keeps on giving. You can learn more about bio-dynamic approaches, permaculture, drought resistant gardens, lawn reform, and garden coaching from her blog: http://holly-hawk.tumblr.com/ and her website: http://www.hollyhawk.com/.
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About Jessica Williams
Jessica Williams created L.O.V.E. Parenting with a series of techniques for effective communication, deepened connection and more joy in parenting and life. Jessica is also the creator of www.UltimateParentingCourse.com with the best of today's progressive parenting experts together in one program. Jessica is a featured expert internationally on both Mothering.com’s Ask An Expert and the upcoming www.KidsInTheHouse.com. Jessica is a regular contributor to Mothering Magazine’s All Things Mothering, LA Parent Magazine, LA Mom Magazine & DailyBuzzMoms. She has been interviewed on television and radio and taught workshops at family wellness centers, schools and doctor’s offices. Her BirthKit has helped women have a transformational & empowering birth. Jessica maintains a private coaching practice in her native Los Angeles where she lives with her husband and their three children. “Truly amazing woman. I love her advice.”—Carrie-Anne Moss. “All you have shared has helped tremendously.”—Lisa Bonet. “I am experiencing nothing short of a miracle thanks to your laser beam approach.” –Andrea Bendewald.