Make Your Kids Grow Their Own Food

grow your own foodSpring has sprung, and we all have the allergies to prove it. Why not add to all that green stuff blooming by planting your very own garden? Whether you have a few window boxes, or a big flat place in your backyard, you too can grow your own food in these five easy steps. In fact, it's so easy you should make your kids do it while you supervise with a nice cool glass of lemonade. They'll thank you for it. No, really!

Herbs to roots, here's how to make your green space into a garden of eatin', with help from your kids.

1) Get Dirt(y)

Assuming you don't already have your own plot of perfectly aerated and toxin-free land, you're going to need some soil. If you want to wait awhile, you can get your own soil tested, then start a compost, and start collecting chemical-free leaves, yard clippings, manure from non-meat eating animals, and properly condition your soil. However, it's much faster to go to your local nursery and buy some organic soil and fertilizer. Tada! You're done.

2) Pick it Good

Depending on where you live, you'll be planting different things. Colder areas have a shorter growing season, and warmer areas can keep producing all season long. Check the USDA hardiness zone map to find what veggies are right for your neighborhood, and get yourself some seeds. Plant them according to directions (some are deep, some are shallow, some are scattered, some are specific) and time of year and sit back and watch the growth. Find hearty garden items on this list of easy-to-grow plants to ensure success.

Cheat Sheet -- If you're really worried about your growing season, grow an herb garden indoors. Just make sure the pots get six to eight hours of sunlight per day, and you'll be set with basil, parsley, rosemary, sage, and all those other yummy seasonings all year round. You can also buy a starter tomato plant from your local nursery, and keep it warm inside.

3) Maintenance by Tots

While you should probably handle any fertilizer; watering, weeding, and bug catching is kids work. Get a cute little watering can so kids aren't flooding the garden/window boxes/pots, and let them drizzle according to your plant needs. After they water, it's the perfect time for pulling out the weeds that don't belong. Sending the kids out to "check for bugs" can actually double as play time. What kid doesn't want to check for bugs?

4) Harvest Party

As soon as you start to see your fruits and veggies ripen, it's time to party. First, send the kids out with an adorable basket to pick the goodies. Then find a delicious, but easy, recipe and throw a garden party.

5) If All Else Fails, Buy Sunflower Seeds

It's a fact: Kids love sunflowers. These strong and sturdy flowers are so easy to grow, my daughter threw some seeds down and now we're just watching these suckers take over the flower box. Really, this is all you do: buy seeds, bury loose and shallow, water occasionally, watch the action. See the mid-result in the photo above.

Do you grow your own food?

diy, gardening, going green