A few months ago together with three enthusiastic family kids I started a gardening experiment: growing fruits out of the seeds we collected from fruits we ate, just planting it in the backyard.
We used tomato, watermelon and melon seeds, the kids even made signs for each. Though all seeds sprouted, the watermelon seedling was first to die on us, followed surprisingly by the tomato, which managed to flower and grow one small fruit but stopped developing and died soon after.
The biggest success belongs to the melon, it kept growing and fast, flowering yellow and even bearing several fruits – one of the flowers which was pollinated by bees kept growing into this strange looking fruit.
The important part of the process is teaching kids via hand-on experience, starting from the basics of using food we eat to try produce new plants rendering the “leftovers” as valuable material instead of “garbage”, through the dedication that goes into growing things, including not getting the desired result but keep working at it nevertheless, the importance of bees and other insects and of course the agriculture process itself as opposed to fruits originate from the supermarket.
The ongoing fruit experiment brought the wish to grow more useful plants which led to the adjacent herb patch also attended to by the kids and adults. The herbs were purchased at a local nursery and this time the soil was also enriched with compost and humus to allow better results – and indeed so far it is growing nicely.
The next probable step is spacing between rows of herbs, and following a request of one 9 years old kid, build a small improvised ‘greenhouse’ for the cooler season as Autumn and Winter approaching.
As most people live in cities, I’d like to stress you do not need a large area or a back yard – this can be done just as well using a big container placed on your balcony (or try the GreenBo planters), and if you would like to add an even bigger advantage to the whole project, create a garden with your neighbours contributing to a better community and sustainable living.
The obvious benefits worth a lot more than a pack of parsley and basil!
This post is brought to you by Aya Tager, of AyaKaya Sustainable Design