Vegetable Gardens Do Not Have To Be Perfect

There are a few houses in my neighborhood that have meticulous vegetable gardens. The rows are measured expertly with tomato plants standing tall like soldiers in perfect uniformity.

Then, you come to our house. Clusters of tomato plants stand here and there. In-between are rogue cucumber plants, and hold on – is that winter squash planted in the summer? But you know what? My children and I planted it together, and it works!

As spring begins, you will probably get that itch to go dig in the dirt. Take a trip to the local super center and let your children pick out seed packets. Of course you want to get some things you know will grow – but if your child is longing for a watermelon or a few winter peas, go ahead and splurge. Then comes the fun part. Let your children help you dig. Look for worms and talk, enjoying the warm sunshine.

What? Your daughter wants to stick a cucumber plant right in the middle of your tomato section? SURE! And those winter peas would look fun climbing up the side with the fence. Will it all grow? No, of course not, but most of it will. I was eating peas in the hottest of summer days, and you would not believe the pumpkin we grew when no other pumpkins were found on our street.

Would our garden be found on the Queen’s Palace Grounds? No. Would Martha Stewart praise us and call it her own? Of course not. But are we proud of what we grew together, the kids and I? Of course! And we had enough vegetables to go picking every few days, making memories to last a lifetime.


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