What better way to celebrate Mother's Day (not to mention Earth Day!) than to sit and plan out a garden with your children or grandchildren? This is the time of year that many greenhouses open up in our area, along with many farmers' markets. These are also some of my favorite places to visit because the kids love plants just as much as I do.
If this is your first attempt at gardening, start small. Try container planting for the first year.
Get yourself three to four five-gallon pails, punch a few holes in the bottom for drainage, fill with equal parts composted manure, soil, sand, and peat moss mix, then plant.
You can put a tomato plant in the center of one, then sprinkle some radish and lettuce seeds around the rest. For tomatoes, you can either put a stick next to it for support or a tomato cage, which they sell at most garden centers.
Let your kids plant a few buckets. My kids like things like watermelons, pumpkins, sunflowers, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes; let them be creative! Be sure to water daily. And throughout the summer, an occasional boost of organic fertilizer wouldn't hurt any.
Although I grow most of my vegetables and some seedlings, I continue to emphasize to my kids the importance of helping other farmers by buying seedlings locally or going to farmers' markets. They really are a better source of product. You'll find the plants to be stronger, less stressed from lack of travel, and the vegetables of much better quality as well. So when you can, buy local and support local!