At last, spring has come back to the northern hemisphere. Most gardeners spend the better part of a winter leafing through seed catalogs, planning out their garden row by row, and dreaming of warmer weather. Seed catalogs are inspirational, but no seed catalog - not even one as comprehensive as Johnny’s - lists the most important thing that can be grown.
Whether it is remembered or long forgotten, every gardener had a first garden - their first attempt at planting a seed to harvest a meal or pick a flower. For some this happens in adolescence or later in life, but for the lucky, their first garden was during childhood. Once the seeds are planted, an entire host of emotions are usually felt; at first apprehension, then impatience, usually followed by excitement, and satisfaction. When the first seeds begin to germinate and break the soil, an indelible mark is made on the gardener.
Spring is the time that transplanted crops are sown. Peppers and tomatoes, perhaps onions, are being sown in trays to await planting alongside direct-seeded crops like squash and pumpkins. This spring, invite a child to help with the gardening. Have him or her help plant and transplant, weed, and harvest the garden. It can be your child, your grandchild, or a neighbor’s child; the relation is fairly unimportant. The entire process will teach the child foresight and patience, the satisfaction of a job well done, the pleasure of success, and unfortunately in some cases, the bitter taste of defeat. Either way, you’ll be passing on a priceless gift.
This spring, grow a gardener.
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