A Community Garden

This post is sponsored by Hidden Valley Ranch.


(Images by Modern Kids Photography based in the Bay Area)

One of the things that attracted us to our current place here in San Francisco was the community garden right next door. It’s just wonderful to have a little spot of earth in this busy, packed city. Everyone you encounter in the garden is friendly and cheerful, it puts you in a good mood even if you’ve had a rotten day. It’s really refreshing.

In this digital era, working with your hands in the dirt is so simple and rewarding. We have a larger plot now, but at the beginning we just had this funny skinny plot up against the fence. We’ve grown raspberries, peas, tomatoes, herbs, cabbage and arugula. Henry loves every part of the gardening process. Picking out seeds at the store, carrying bringing supplies over from the garage, digging, planting, watering, and watching them miraculously sprout up from the earth.

It’s simple enough for his four year old brain to understand and a perfect opportunity to talk about where different kinds of food comes from. I’ve found that the more involved he is in the process of planting, growing and harvesting vegetables, the more likely he is to be adventurous at the dinner table with new vegetable. It also encourages a lot of discussion about balanced diets, rural vs urban landscapes, and the complicated process of getting food from the farm to our table every night.

I’d love to hear though: How do you encourage your kids to eat more vegetables? Or what were your parents’ techniques growing up?

P.S Last summer you might remember that I posted about a few of my favorites salads. Here they are in case you’re looking for new recipes:

Fresh Arugula and Basil Salad
Classic Cobb Salad
Wheat Berry Salad
Sauteed Corn and Black Bean Salad (my personal favorite!)
Orange Mint Salad

Comments

I love that you post about parenting in the City, too. So many people move to the Peninsula by that point, which has always struck a sad chord for my city-loving, suburb-averse self. You are inspiring!

i’m a member of argonne community garden as well!!! my plot is #39 up near the greenhouse. i’ve been in the garden for about a year now and couldn’t agree more. nothing cures a bad day like going to the garden and getting my hands in the dirt 🙂 it really is a magical place. happy gardening!

A community garden is such a great thing!
We try to offer fresh vegetables every meal. If our almost 3 years old son doesn’t eat something we try NOT to assume it means he doesn’t like it in general, just that he doesn’t want to eat it today. In other words we try not to think or say – our son does not like radish/onion/tomatoes – and just treat every food experience as a new one. We try to offer the same vegetables in many ways of cooking. We try to gently convince him to at least try it and then tell us if he likes it. Most of all we try to relax about it and not stress and make a big deal out of it. I keep telling myself that he knows his body and if he is not eating his cucumber today, that means his body does not need it today.
Sometimes when I ask him – do you want a tomato he will say no, but if I just put a slice on his plate he will eat it. and if he says “i don’t want it” i will say – “you don’t have to eat it. that is what we are having today and you can choose from it what ever you like”.
Other tips: we make a lot of omelettes that contain green herbs/tomatoes/onions.
Almost every food that out son helps making – he will eat better.
We make fresh juice a few times a week. our son doesn’t like drinking it but he likes when I freeze it and make popsicles out of it. our favourite – carrots, apples and beets, tasty and pink!

I love your idea about looking at it as something shorter term and temporary, that his body doesn’t need it today. Sometimes it’s hard not to stress out about what they’re not eating as a parent!

So great!
This is our second year with our garden and I absolutely LOVE it. We have a wonderful landlord who let us rip up his yard and turn it mostly into garden space. I can’t wait until we own a home though so we can put in some more permanent fixtures.
P.s., I love that you’re gardening in a skirt and wellies ;P

These photos are so cute! My parents used to Mske us sit at the table until all the food, including veggies, we’re eaten. So strict! I wonder if anyone does that these days still. We don’t!

My parents used to involve us in the gardening process too and we loved it growing up. I still remember harvesting cabbage too

I’m so jealous of your garden! When we lived in Manhattan I wish we had a little plot of land to feel like we weren’t such city folik

This article is very helpful to insure that what trees should we use in our garden. It helps to make a garden beautiful. It helps to choose trees and shrubs so that some flower in early grew up. I like very much The Sargent Cherry which really grew up early. Thank you very much for such a beautiful post.

I had a plot in a community garden before moving across the city, and LOVED it. So sweet. It made the city feel like a small little town.

I would love to have a community garden nearby! Absolutely gorgeous pics!

the community garden sounds amazing! i love the picture of the floral tent.

I love all the colorful blooms, how lucky you're so close! It's a beautiful garden.

so pretty! can't wait to dine al fresco and every year we talk about hosting an outdoor movie with neighbors and friends. thanks for the inspiration 🙂

I am obsessed with that Tec Pejata pic, I want to have that party, or be at it…I love the crazy chairs.

These pictures are heaven! I just love gardens.

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Actually, that last comment was mine, but I’m sure Roger would be pleased with your gardening attempts, too. In fact, he’s out spreading compost for ours even as I write.

Good for you! This looks great. Just plant a bunch of things and see what happens. That’s how everyone learns, I think.

I only starte gardening about 10 years ago but it is so satisfying! I love it!

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