Growing fruit and veg with children

by Pippa Greenwood

I've taught my children to grow their own food, and I hope they will use their knowledge for years to come.

Pippa Greenwood holding a trug of home-grown tomatoesNext week, from 29 March to 4 April 2010, is the inaugural Gardeners' World 'Grow Your Own' Week'. Gardeners across the land will be encouraged to teach others to start growing their own fruit and vegetables. I've taught my children to grow their own food, and I hope they will use their knowledge for years to come.

Growing fruit and veg is a great way to introduce kids to gardening - just about every child I've ever met loves giving away gifts, especially things they have made or grown themselves. And just about every person I know loves to eat home-grown produce, too.

I got my kids started with the obvious crops: potatoes (children love digging for the tubers when they're ready), raspberries (no need to pester children to eat fruit when these are cropping), tomatoes (especially the cherry types which are pop-in-the mouth fodder and perfect for picnics and lunch boxes). The result? They ate even more of their favourite fruits and vegetables.

If your children aren't keen to eat fruit and veg, start with the easy crops I've mentioned above, then expand their horizons with broccoli, carrots, sweet peppers, peas, sweet corn, beans and courgettes. So you're giving them several things all in one go: the freshest, tastiest food, veg-growing know-how, fun and companionship in the garden. Perfect!

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Gardeners' World Web User 25/03/2010 at 12:04

Timely reminder, Pippa. The community garden where I help has Brownies, Guides, Scouts, Sunday School,etc all growing your suggestions. They also have alpine strawberries as well as big ones in growbags,thornless blackberries as well as raspberries. My children and grandchildren loved helping with the fruit and vegetable garden and many are keen gardeners themselves.

Gardeners' World Web User 25/03/2010 at 12:27

Great idea Pippa. We have been handing out free broad beans at work. They are fantastic for the kids as they grow so fast. - Not a chance to get bored... I am not sure you can grow very much in a week, you may want to increse it to grow your own season? :) Doug

Gardeners' World Web User 27/03/2010 at 07:23

good for you! (in a nice way)

Gardeners' World Web User 08/04/2010 at 22:52

my friends children love going to the allotment with their grandad, they have their little plots and love growing things and they love to tell me all about what they are growing and can't wait to show me how things are growing, the little boy is 5yrs and his sister is nearly 9yrs and have loved growing things since they were toddler's.hope more children are so privaliged.

Gardeners' World Web User 15/04/2011 at 14:12

Ihave an apricot tree ,MORCROFT .it has no blossom and is secreting a sticky sweet substance .only had it for 1 year looks like it might be dying but the branches are still green if i break it? can you help .

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