July 10, 2008

The Miracle of the Pea

Let me begin by saying that I do not like squash, zucchini, turnips or beans - and probably some others veggies that seem to be produced by the bushels full in a garden. But what I do like are entertained, curious, busy, wondering, productive and intrigued children (and maybe a little healthy). For this purpose, I have a garden. My garden is not infested with zucchinis, but with the plants that little hands love. The things that children's fingers cannot resist plucking and popping into their mouth, plants that produce dozens of small things that will take many days to pick.

I call ours an adventure garden. We do not test the soil, we will not win any blue ribbons for the quality of our produce. I do not even think it is worthy to share the harvest with the neighbors, although it turns out the kids have been passing the neighbor our tomatoes through the fence (I was wondering where all my tomatoes were going).

I have one rule, however. You pick it - you eat it. That is where my garden becomes one of miracles. The kids have never cared for peas. I shall leave it sounding as mild as that and not go into the frustrating dinner time moments. But, you pick it - you eat it and . . . miracle of miracles, I have 3 pea eating children! Their little fingers just can't resist plucking off the mystery pods and prying them open to discover the three green pearls inside. And, following the rule, the proceed to eat it and pick another. Peas are the perfect plant because they produce by the oodles. Near the end of the plant's life, I sent the kids out to pick every pod off, and needing some extra time to get things done, I then gave them the task of shelling all of them. They were happily entertained by this task for quite some time. Every time they go out back to play, they wander through the garden to examine the status of every growing thing out there. Eva's latest garden discovery was three ginormous, disgusting, multi-colored freaky bugs she called "cute little caterpillars". She brought them in the house in the palm of her hand to show me. I'm not one to be afraid of bugs but those looked like something out of the 'potentially poisonous' chapter of the entomology field guide. She put them in a plastic cup, "their new home" she called it, and placed the cup in the corner of the garden. I hope that they fry in the hot sun and die a horrible death in their new happy plastic home. She loves to find the worms and cares for all the creatures inhabiting the space.

I think that Lance personally ate every blueberry off of my blueberry bush and they all can't wait to get their hands on the blackberries when they become ripe.

Today, Sadie was walking around with her own baggie of beans. She was so proud of herself today that she found the longest beans and wanted to keep them in her possession until she was ready to eat them. A few have a couple nibbles off of the end already. I think that she is sleeping with her baggie right now. We are growing peas, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, blueberries, blackberries, watermelons, pumpkins and peaches. The peaches, however, are testing their patience right now.

Grow, peaches . . . GROW!!!

Next to a Flintstones vitamin, it truly has been the easiest B6 to ever get down their throats.