We’ve enjoyed having a vegetable garden the past few summers. In fact, when the librarian read “Growing a Rainbow” the other day, I overheard my son arguing with another child. She said, “You can’t grow a rainbow!”
“Yes you can!” Toby exclaimed vehemently, “My mom and I grew a rainbow in our garden!”
That’s my boy. So cute.
Anyways, that day, we checked out Sarah Stewart’s “The Gardener” (#afflink) …which is a Caldecott Honor Award book. I loved the story, which was really brought to life with lovely illustrations by David Small.
If you want a synopsis, here you go: Lydia Grace Finch goes to the city to stay with her uncle (presumably during the Depression, her dad lost his job). In her suitcase, she brings along seeds from her grandmother’s garden. As the weeks progress, Lydia learns to bake bread in her uncle’s bakery, and grows plants everywhere — including a secret garden on the rooftop to surprise her uncle. Ultimately, her dad gets a job and she goes back home, but not before becoming known as “the Gardener” by the city folk.
Here’s the cover of the book. Again, I love the illustrations:
So, when it came time to start our seeds for the vegetable garden, I knew this would be a fun post for the Earth Day Read and Play blog hop. You can read about my plans for the garden this summer, which are quite ambitious.
But let’s not get sidetracked.
For this activity, we needed a few bags of seed starting dirt, some seed starting trays, a trowel, newspaper strips, and a seed pot maker #afflink.
In case you’re wondering how the newspaper pots were formed, here’s a little photo tutorial (it uses the DIY seed pot maker #afflink). Toby was able to make some of these on his own, but preferred to help me make them. I will say that it was a great hands-on experience for him, even though he ultimately decided to have me make the pots so he could fill them with dirt. The concept is really simple, so take a peek to see how the newspaper seed starting pots are formed!
And our next steps?
We’ll be watching the seeds sprout in our greenhouse over the next few days and weeks… and then the seedlings will get transplanted into our raised garden beds. It really is a great extension activity that gets my toddler into the dirt and loving the nature around him. Plus, it’s more fun to eat vegetables that you grow yourself!
Are you growing anything this year? What’s your favorite plant to grow? What summer vegetables would your dream garden have? The only thing ours is missing is asparagus, because we don’t want to dedicate the space for a crop that takes 2+ years for a harvest.
Earth Day Read and Play Blog Hop
This post is part of a blog hop celebrating Earth Day! Please check out the other posts below for some more fun book-based activities! Book titles are in parentheses, linked to Amazon for your convenience (#afflinks used).