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Welcome to Gardens to Tables Gardening Tips Fruits & Vegetables Getting Kids into Gardening One Radish at a Time
Getting Kids into Gardening One Radish at a Time Print E-mail
Written by Johnna Walker, Garden Teacher at Larchmont Charter School   
Kids gardeningThe great thing about working with kids in the garden is how organic the program becomes when itís focused around gardening. You can plan all you want but when the first harvest is ready, a major aphid infestation makes itself known or the weather takes a turn for the dramatic and you find yourself following Mother Nature's cue rather than your plan book! I love that about the garden - it teaches children about life on so many levels - not to mention it keeps me on my toes.

We had our first radish harvest just before school was out for the winter break. Last year we had offered the kids a dip with the radishes but this year I decided to go even simpler. We wound up making radish wraps using freshly harvested greens and radishes. We sliced the radish really thinly, placed them atop a leaf or two of lettuces and greens and then squeezed fresh lemon from our lemon tree over that and sprinkled a little salt to boot. Before they ate the kids observed the platters of the wraps and talked about how beautiful the colors of the veggies were as they sat on the plate. The kids commented how they thought it was kind of like a work of art and that presenting food in this way made them want to eat it all the more. Then they wrapped it all up and dove right into the eating.

One little boy who had seemed disengaged for most of the morning was the first to raise his hand when it came time to share about the tasting experience. His comment was that he didn't usually like vegetables but he just loved the radish wraps. That warmed my heart and I knew right then that we'd made the right choice to go as simple as we did. When the kids grow it and are involved in the process, they will respond - even if it is one radish at a time!
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