Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What Kids Reap

When we first talked about having our own garden the main benefits we saw were sustainability, health, cost saving, etc.  Though these have definitely been major benefits we've reaped from having an urban homestead one of the things I didn't realize would be such an amazing plus is the experience our kids would have.  From the first time we planted our kids have been observing the process, absorbing everything, and loving every minute of it.  Urban homesteading has become a life style for the entire family.  It's been a great way for us to spend quality family time together on weekends.  Our week days are full of school, commuting, dance lessons, and the typically too full American work week.  But when the rains subside and we're all home we head out to the garden together and unwind from the busyness of it all.  There is nothing like working together as a family to complete a task, especially when the result is beneficial to everyone.

Our daughter loves the animals and is our little "mother hen" to the chicks  When I get up in the morning she is holding one on her lap, then when she gets home from school or dance class she heads straight to the chick's box and picks up Henrietta.  She makes sure the chicks, bunny, cats, and wild birds are all fed and watered every day.  It's teaching her responsibility and consistency, and she's learning to reap the rewards of her labors, which is so important for kids.  I think she's most happy when she's with the animals which is truly a wonderful thing.

Our little guy loves being in the garden, even when it's freezing cold and raining.  He loves watering, always has.  Yesterday he was using rainwater to water his strawberry plants and he asked me to take pictures of him.  He knows which veggies are sprouting, which have been planted, and where everything is in the garden.  He's also learning to help dad build things out on the homestead.  Yesterday he and Ron were working on the coop, yes, we're still not done with it.  We got him his own shovel, tool box and gardening tools so he can get plenty of things done out there.  He's always asking what he can do to help, and whatever he does is executed with much boy gusto!

The other day I made mention of getting a goat and my daughter said, "Mom, do we really need more animals out in the yard?!"  I know at times a 12 year old can't help but wonder why her parents are so crazy about gardening and livestock, but at least when she grows up she will be able to grow her own garden and understand what sustainable living is in a tangible way.

So how have your kids benefited from having an urban homestead? 

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