Why Starting A Garden With Your Family Could Make The World A Better Place
…that a simple grocery shopping trip could develop into a new life style project for the entire family?
It was not my intention at all to look for new projects or changes in my life when I headed to the grocery shop with my family the other day. Why would I? I have enough things on my to do list and do not need more time fillers.
It was just one of those times when you go with the whole family to get your things in the shop and in my case get out of there as soon as possible. I am not a fan of shopping. I always have very organized lists of what I need and in which category so that I can get my shopping done quickly and leave. This time my list was a bit longer as we just came back from vacation and our fridge was more or less empty.
As I walked through the vegetable section my chaw dropped. What happened to all the prices? How long were we gone on vacation? The last time I checked everything was a lot more reasonable. As I started to investigate the products in front of me, I realized that the store has replaced a lot of the fresh fruit and vegetable with organic ones or imported ones from other countries. This made an enormous difference in price.
Just to make one thing clear here, I am absolutely for organic things. I try my best to get as much as possible organic. However, for families this can get very expensive. Our choice on fruit and vegetable would be very limited if I only bought those products. Therefore, I have to balance it out as best as I can to keep it healthy but affordable.
Organic Fresh Foods Cost a Fortune!
As I made my way pass the fruit and vegetable section, I noticed that most other products went up a lot in prices also. As we approached the cashier, I was curious what our bill would look like this time and sure enough, our grocerie bill was twice as high as usual. It was not only because I had to stock up our fridge and house, but also due to the increase in product prices.
As we were driving back home, my hubby and I had a conversation on ways to reduce some of these spendings and prices and staying true to what we really want or need. One thing that was on my mind many times before this particular day was the fact that organic products are just very expensive in our shops here.
The thought of Gardening always scared me…
There are so many products I rely on our grocery shop to sell but what about vegetables? Is there no way we can produce what we need for our family ourselves? Sure there is gardening, but that thought always scared me, not because I don’t care for it, I actually love gardening! The reason why I always walked away from that option is the time.
I am a working mom. Who has time for gardening? I pushed that thought out of my mind many times before but on our way home this time, it was different.
Bring on the challenge:
I felt a challenge coming on. I love challenges. I can also get quite competitive. Now this may sound like crazy talk, but the challenges I love most are when I challenge myself, kind of a competition with myself. Yup that is me. It may sound a bit off but you know what? This kind of attitude has helped me in so many ways already to move closer to my goals as long as there is a healthy balance of when to go for it and when to let go of something. Anyways, to talk more about this would lead into another post which I might write someday in the future.
As we were driving home, I felt that this is an important challenge for my whole family. What if we make this into something bigger than just gardening? What if it is not just about saving a little money and getting the food we feel is good for our family?
This could be so much more:
a quality family project that is ongoing.
Teaching our children the importance of healthy food.
Experiencing Mother Nature
Showing our children the beauty of mother nature and how we are part of it.
Encouraging each other to take responsibility for our health and our planet.
Setting a Goal
Understanding the process of what it takes to get to any goal, from preparation, laying thefoundation, to the continued process of nurturing the project until it is ready to be earned.
Feeling the reward of receiving after a long period of taking care and waiting.
I Am Ready For This!
The planning stage has begun!
First of all, we talked this through with the kids who were of course very excited about this.
Then it was time to think how to get started. The fact that I have limited time is still very real and I do not want either a failed project or stress over a project that has goals that are set too high.
We need to stay realistic to what we can actually do and are happy to do as well. The idea here is not to never go shopping again. To only rely on our own garden. At least not yet.
We want to start with something simple first. Something where the kids see success and have a good time in the process. We can always expand this into something bigger once we are ready.
The next day, we went to our local market to select the seeds we would like to start with. Both girls picked their own. My oldest one picked all herbs. My youngest one picked all flowers. Alright, we will start with a herbal and flower garden. Again, the point here is not to force a project, but to let the kids have fun with it and be proud of their own product. Since nobody picked vegetable, I then chose a few vegetables for our garden. I absolutely love salad, so I picked mostly salad related vegetable.
Next stop: gardening shop…
Before coming here, we already planned where in our garden we would want to plant. I do have a garden but for this project, I would like to try our planting in pots instead of directly into our garden. Reasons for this include that here in Thailand it can get tricky sometimes with the insects and bug in the soil and I also wanted to try out a project that perhaps other people can do without a garden. Something that could be planted in pots on a balcony for example.
At the gardening shop we got all the pots we needed as well as some good soil. I was happy to see that the kids already had a good time picking the seeds and now the flower pots. It is so rewarding to feel their excitement over the simple things in life. This will be a great day 🙂
Finally we got home and the hands-on work could begin.
We started by finding the spot where we wanted out plants to grow and then the kids were in charge of:
- filling up the small seedling trays with soil, leaving a whole in the middle for the tiny seeds.
We then made labels for all the seeds to make sure we would remember what is growing where.
Next, we planted all the seeds and finally, after covering them with some soil, we gave them water.
This whole afternoon we took our time to do this. We enjoyed the time together, the kids played a bit with the soil and it was good the way it was. In the end the kids were sweaty, covered in soil and happy as can be. A perfect day for everyone 🙂
From now on, our garden will need daily care, love and attention. It will be a family effort to keep this going and together we will watch it grow. I am excited and very energized to do this with my family. I love the fact that we do this together and I think it is important that we do. Everyone in the family should be involved and part of this. We need more family time like this. We all do. I am not just talking about gardening.
Teach them to solve, instead of just complain…
We need to spend time with our children and teach them how we can problem solve instead of complaining. We need to teach our children to take care of the planet and ourselves. There are so many ways we can have a wonderful time with our families learning about compassion for others, perseverance, responsibility, patience, kindness and what holds all of this together, love.
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