As I was out working in the garden I was thinking about all of the important life lessons that we learn while working in the garden. Working in the garden is a great opportunity not only to teach the farm kids but also to grow as adults. It looks like I’m not just growing fruits and veggies in my garden, I’m also growing kids.
Giving and Sharing
Ah, this can be a tough one for kids and adults alike. We were harvesting our watermelons when we picked one up and there was a vole hole in the ground under the melon. After inspecting the melon we discovered that the vole had certainly enjoyed a feast of sweet juicy watermelon indeed. I was little aggravated at first but I thought about my kids and the example I was setting for them.
Reaction is a huge factor in life and I want to teach the farm kids the right way to react or respond to life’s frustrations. “Look kids, we’ve got to share some of our yummy watermelons with the voles.” This statement brought about laughter and the opportunity to talk to the farm kids about sharing and having a giving heart. We had a bunch of watermelons, what was one for the voles with all of the others we had? Now, let’s see if I’m singing the same tune when I start digging potatoes and find half eaten ones or if the voles start yanking my tomato and pepper plants into the ground next year.
Along with sharing with the voles from time to time, we also share with our pigs and chickens. When we find some overripe veggies or fruit it goes into the pig bucket or gets thrown to the chickens. We also toss the plants that are finished producing to the pigs. They love eating all of the things that most people would consider waste.
Most importantly is learning to share with other humans. Sometimes we have an overabundance of produce so we give some to our friends, family, or neighbors. Other times we might know someone who really likes a particular food. Even if we don’t have a lot of that specific item we still share some with them. This is a great character trait to form in the farm kids at an early age.
Sharing with siblings might be one of the toughest lessons to learn. I’m always proud of my kids when they voluntarily share with each other, it makes my heart smile. When the cherry tomatoes are ripe and they pick some and pass them all around, I think to myself , “This is one of the reasons we do what we do.”
The farm kids are learning so much and are building strong character. There are so many simple life lessons that can be learned from working in the garden. Sharing is just one of them and is so vitally important.
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