Monday, August 6, 2007

Garden Groove

We're in New Hampshire now, on our annual summer trip to my mother's house. It's the heat of the city that really pushes us up here for the entire month of August, but the draw of the mountains, and "Mima", is undeniable. I like to expose my kids to nature and bugs and backpacks -- and especially to the garden. We always come in the spring to help my mom plant her garden, and then we come back in August (and at Thanksgiving) to reap all that we have sown. (Well, the kids don't really sow that much, but as long as they are reaping, I am happy.)

Of course, it's northern New Hampshire, so the harvest is not exactly bountiful. In last year's sweltering summer, we were astounded to have both canteloupe and corn. This year, it's not so impressive. New Hampshire is just too cold for a really swell tomato crop, and the wildlife is far too fond of broccoli and squash. On the other hand, it's August and we still have snap peas! Those 50° mornings really keep the coolweather crops coming.

As always, I am astounded by my children's willingness to eat almost anything that they have personally picked. My daughter will not eat green beans from a plate, but will obsessively forage through vines and leaves and eat all she can find, crying when she can't find any more.

It all goes back to what my grandfather (who gardened into his 90's) used to say: "You want your kids to like vegetables? You've got to have your kids GROW vegetables."

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