Our hope this with year with having a productive garden was to get our kids interested in eating different types of vegetables more often. I wrote about this hope in the Spring in “Will Gardening Get Kids to Eat Their Vegetables?”. We thought that our kids would be excited about eating vegetables that they planted and cared for. So far the results have been impressive. The other day we were outside playing and puttering around the garden and when I looked over at Bryce and Jada they were gnawing on an onion. They had not pulled it out of the ground; instead they were just nibbling on the green part while the rest of the onion was still in the ground. I did have the thought that they may be mimicking the neighbourhood deer but this is not the only food they have been sampling fresh from the garden.
Not only have the kids been munching on onions and garlic tops but they have also have acquired a taste for parsley, lettuce, purple beans and peas. Raspberries and strawberries do not stand a chance in our garden as they are gobbled up at the hint of being red. I have a pot of mint on the deck which I have been using sparingly so I could use it to make tea. Next year I may have to put it behind lock and key because that mint has become a favourite snack. The kids have been asking when the tomatoes will be ready, which is real soon, so we will have to pick them early if we want some for our salads. Yes our kids love eating vegetables out of the garden; the challenge has been getting them to eat them at the table. While the kids will eat almost everything we grow they are not too keen on some of the veggies if they are served for dinner. Fruit, tomatoes, peas, carrots, and a few others will still be devoured but the greens hardly get touched if they do not pick it themselves.
The way I have devised to get around this is to get the kids to pick the veggies, put them into a basket, and then carry them into the house. I think as long as they don’t take their eyes off of them then they realize that they are still the same garden fresh vegetables. Now I hope that once they get used to eating these fresh vegetables every day that the habit will be formed so they will eat their vegetables in the months our garden is not producing.
Even if this plan does not work to perfection it at least has proven to have worked in the summer. For now the deer are better off trying another garden as our kids are not leaving them much except a few flowers as we have told the kids to stop eating them.