I still have much to write about our visit to Baker Creek, but for the last two evenings my time was occupied with spring planting. The best part about it was that my daughters helped.
Tonight my 14 year old helped plant the third and final wave of the early tomatoes. We planted "Siletz" and "World's Earliest". It was a big help having someone help me remove the plants from the recycled CD spindle containers that they were planted in.
We put crushed egg shells in the planting holes to give the tomatoes added calcium.
My 11 year old daughter is great with a rake. Last night she worked up the soil in several of the existing raised beds.
I have different sized beds but I think my daughters like the 4'x4' beds the best. Just like Mel Bartholomew of Square Foot Gardening says, it is easy to reach any part of the bed from all sides. Here my daughters are planting green beans in one 4 foot by 4 foot bed:
Another great thing about raised beds is that you can sit or kneel in the grass and reach in to work the bed. Below my daughter is planting red onions next to the first early tomato batch. Onions are great companion plants for tomatoes.
Gardening with my daughters is great fun. I love when they want to help, but I never make them. When I was a kid, hoeing the garden was part of my chores and I hated it. It took me many years after that to actually like gardening. That is probably also why I don't like hoes (sorry Carol).
I want my daughters to enjoy gardening, and I think they do. They have grown up playing in the garden and helping as much or as little as they want. Now that they are getting older, when they do help, it helps a lot! Why this is great is not because more work gets done. This is great because it gives us some wonderful quality time to talk and be together in nature. I'll gladly take as much of that as possible, even if nothing we planted together grows at all.
Gardening with your children is a priceless gift indeed.