“A well-tended kitchen garden allows children to experience daily the relationship between the earth & the food they eat. As they bring freshly dug carrots into the kitchen, the dirt still clinging to the spindle-shaped roots, children are spellbound by the notion that these beautiful vegetables were once tiny seeds, sown by their own hands weeks and weeks ago…” (xii)
This is a great backyard gardening book for beginner gardeners. It includes the basic information needed to begin gardening with kids. Organized into six chapters, the importance of the relationship we have with the land is emphasized on every page! Chapter 1 gives the background of the East Bay French-American School garden project. Chapter 2 discusses educational opportunities in home and school gardens. Chapter 3 provides the practical how-to, hands-on information needed to teach children about gardening. This chapter allows parents and teachers to be informed guides, not just providing information on how to grow, but also what to look for as the crops reach maturity, are ready to harvest, etc. This chapter is especially important for the beginner gardener. Chapter 4 profiles herbs; chapter 5 introduces the seasonal garden; and chapter 6 discusses cooking tips for children with recipes using the fresh garden produce.
The Children’s Kitchen Garden covers very basic information on 18 types of vegetables, 13 herbs, and has dozens of fresh recipes. I was happy they included a composting section and found that we added a few of the recipes to our family collection. My favorite parts are the gardening, science, and food activities dispersed throughout the book. I found the activities very informative and have many planned for the coming months. In fact, I will probably blog about a few of them soon!