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Kid with gardening tools outside

There’s a good chance your child has almost no idea where their food comes from or the amount of work required to get it to their plate.

It’s kind of shocking, isn’t it? That something so basic is a mystery to so many people. And growing food is rarely a part of regular education. Fortunately, you can get your kids interested in gardening and learning about where food comes from.

You can make sure your kids (and other kids in your neighborhood) understand that having food is not magic. That those carrots don’t just appear at the grocery store from nowhere.

Here’s how to approach gardening in a way they’ll listen to.

Apple cores

Teach them to make compost

Your kids might just be amazed to know that one of the best things they can do for plants is to collect garbage. Showing them that they can create compost for growing plants in gives them more control of the process. And it’s something they can do that creates tangible results while they’re waiting for the slow progress of their garden.

You can teach them to make a simple kitchen compost unit. The bonus is it also helps them learn to appropriately dispose of things like food scraps and paper.

Give them experiments to do

Again, one of the problems with kids and gardening is that children can be impatient. They want to see results, and the garden makes them wait. You don’t always see a plant getting bigger. It happens over time, while you’re not watching.

That doesn’t mean kids don’t have plenty of activities they can do with the garden, though.

You can teach them right from the start to experiment with various growing methods to see what works best for their plants. You can provide them with a variety of growing media so they can track the results of which one grows healthier plants.

You can also teach them to test pH levels. With supervision, they can add pH adjusters to their plant’s nutrient solution, if they are growing outside of soil. They can then track the results of which pH levels are optimal for various plant species. (Hint: it’s different depending on the species.)

Kid making a pizza with broccoli

Let them eat their results

The absolute best way to entice kids to get involved in gardening is to let them pick which foods they are going to grow. Knowing they’ll get to eat the food they put so much work into will keep them motivated to see their garden through to the end.

You can even let them learn a recipe and prepare a meal for the family. Younger kids often enjoy feeling independent by learning skills that adults usually handle for them. And don’t forget to have them compost their cooking scraps, like parts of foods that don’t go into the recipe or aren’t typically eaten. That brings the whole gardening experience around full circle.

Indoor Cultivator is a kid-friendly hydroponics and gardening shop. Bring in your kids and let them see what gardening is all about.