“If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it.”
There is something so extraordinary about growing your own food. Children take great delight in seeing the transformation of a seed into a seedling, and then into an edible food! They are much more likely to try something if they have had a hand in its growth.
Growing your own food really helps to connect you to the earth, and to the way food is grown. If we want to empower children, planting a seed, watching it grow and then consuming it, is a most powerful experience. It teaches children to consider and respect the farmers who grow our food.
The sooner our children start to think about plants, trees and flowers, the better. They will to notice seasons, life cycles and the way nature works.
Right now, it is so cold in some parts of the country, some of us may not even be able to see any grass beneath all that snow. Does that mean we have to wait for the seasons to change before being able to grow a seed?
Fear not, friends… say hello to Microgreens!!!!
Microgreens are the seedlings of vegetables and herbs. They are incredibly easy to grow, it doesn’t cost a lot of money to set-up or need much sunlight to grow. They are also incredibly nutritious and high in nutrients and antioxidants. This study provides detailed evidence to support this. They are best eaten raw in salads or smoothies. You can also make pesto with them, add them to guacamole, put them in a grilled cheese or toss them through stir fries and add them to a soup.
Popular microgreens are amaranth, basil, kale, broccoli, mustard, tatsoi, borage, beet, parsley, pea, swiss chard and rocket.
For more info, read this article from Medical News Today.
So, don’t let the wintery vibes stop your children from trying out this simple growing activity. There are a few ways you can go about this. For ease, you can purchase a kit.
Johnny’s Seeds are an incredible place to find anything gardening related. You can also buy a mini greenhouse from them. There is also this organic kit, or you can sprout in a jar. Alternatively, you can purchase a tray, some soil, seeds and a spray bottle and let your children do it themselves (with your help.)
If you have a garden center close by, you can probably buy what you need from them. If outings are possible, going to a garden center can be educational and fun. Usually the staff are very helpful and knowledgeable.
If you are going to DIY, this will be helpful;
- Soak your seeds overnight to speed up germination
- Fill your tray with Seed Raising mix 1 inch deep
- Flatten it out
- Put the seeds in every ¼ inch – don’t worry if you over do this, as you want lots of seedlings coming up nice and close to each other to ensure a plentiful harvest
- Mist with water until it is very moist
- Cover with another tray or a piece of heavy fabric and keep in a warm spot
- Spray the seeds three times a day and replace the cover to stop them from drying out
- Once the leaves are exposed, leave the cover off and put them in a well-lit spot
- Continue to spray three times a day
- It will take 1-2 weeks for the leaves to be ready to harvest
- Cut the shoots close to the soil level with scissors and enjoy
Microgreens don’t store well once cut, so best to harvest as close to the time you plan to use them in your meal.
At Tummy Thyme, our menu items have high nutritional values and use the highest quality USDA Certified Organic ingredients.
You can trust that by feeding your children our home delivered meals, all their nutritional needs are being met in the most delicious of ways!
- David Sobel is an American educator and academic, responsible for developing the philosophy of place-based education
Learn more about Tummy-Thyme® Organic Toddler Meal Delivery.