How to Get Your Kids to Eat More of Their Dinner

When I am making dinner, sometimes my kids ask if they can help.  If they are involved in the cooking and preparing process, I find them much more interested in eating their meal or trying something new at the dinner table. So, I thought that it would be wonderful to plant some seeds, grow a few vegetables and take care of a few fruit bushes so my kids could develop an understanding of where food comes from. 

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We moved recently and last summer my husband built me some beautiful large planter boxes. This spring, we wanted to fill up those planter boxes with an array of fruits and veggies as well as flowers and other plants. My kids love being outside, playing in the dirt, and last summer I noticed how much (Jake especially) enjoyed watering my moms's vegetable garden so we thought this was the year to really go for it in our backyard planters.

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Our whole family visited our local nursery, Arts Nursery, in Port Kells. Arts Nursery has a wide variety of plants, seeds, bushes, fruit trees, herbs, etc. so I knew they would have everything we needed. We chose their organic garden mix soil and the staff helped us figure out exactly how many tractor scoops we needed. We found a few packets of seeds, some fresh herb plants and a couple fruit bushes to get our garden started. Our kids loved riding the golf carts and traveling down all of the rows to see the different types of trees and plants. 

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A new corner at Arts Nursery we saw was their small space demo gardens. Right at the back where the vegetable plants are, there is a extra space outside where the staff have set up multiple garden concepts for small spaces. We used to own a townhouse and I would have loved to have seen these ideas when we lived there! The staff has created so many different ways to encourage families, singles or couples to grow a few of their own vegetables, herbs, edible flowers, fruits etc. regardless of the space you have! Sometimes people feel like they just don't have enough space for a garden and this area was inspiring! There were a small box garden, vertical gardens, spiral gardens - you just have to go see for yourself. I loved the idea of growing a few edible flowers in amongst my vegetables for colour, use and some even act as a natural pesticide.

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After our visit, we went right to work filling our planters. I sectioned off my planter boxes into three long lines just so I could visualize the spacing and room for growth that each seed and plant required. My kids quickly jumped in to make the holes, drop the seeds in, cover and they helped water at the end. 

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So far, our fruit bushes have thrived and our blueberry plant is already starting to turn colour. Our lettuce, spaghetti squash, snap pea and carrot seeds have all poked through. Just today, we checked on our broccoli plants and we saw a tiny little head of broccoli in the middle! My kids are so excited to check on the plants every day and Jake is our main water guy. I have had to teach him not to blast the water at each plant, but he loves the responsibility. It's going to be a pretty sweet day in our household when we get to take that first bite of harvest! What have you found to be a successful vegetable to grow here in B.C.? Any other seeds I should pick up from Arts Nursery? If you need inspiration, advice or any gardening supplies to try a small or large vegetable/fruit garden head down to Arts Nursery. Their staff is so friendly and they have so many wonderful ideas and supplies!