gardening with kids – our first allotment sowings of 2018

April 23, 2018 at 10:02 am 12 comments

21-4-18- allotment-first sowings 2018 -’m so happy to be returning to the allotment this year thanks to our friend Dave giving us a small patch of ground on his plot, just like he did last year when 5 year old Euan tried allotment growing for the first time.  I was a bit dubious about how productive it would today with a wandering toddler in tow so set my expectations low to avoid any sense of frustration.  If nothing else we’d enjoy some fresh air, sunshine and chats with lovely allotment holders.  We did just that having arrived an hour before Dave with no tools or seeds (our amazing plot guardian Dave he even shares his shed palace with us so we can just rock up without having to bring things with us!).  It was so lovely to chat to our old plot neighbours Pat and Robin.  I had feared I might feel wistful for the days when I was able to spend all day at the plot but I obviously love my kids more than gardening which is good to know! I love being at the allotment but enjoy it in a different way now.
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It’s beautiful to see how much Euan loves being there too. Admittedly he loves exploring more than the actual gardening at the moment but he shows interest and diligence with the latter when he does help because he gets to have some free time to play first. Pat and Robin are very gracious about him doing laps of their plot via the secret path behind the shed and zig zagging along the pathways between their vegetable beds. On this occasion, between playing hide and seek and pointing out plants he recognised, Euan assisted Pat with planting her seed potatoes (she didn’t need the help of course, but E was thrilled to be given the responsibility of tucking the potatoes into their trench).  This is what I always loved about the allotment – the sharing of knowledge between generations and the relaxed and easy sharing of time.
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Euan correctly guessed the name of the rhubarb plant and happily helped to tug some stalks from it when Pat offered us some.  We also received some forced rhubarb from Dave so we shall have to decide how to use our two kinds of rhubarb.  The beauty of blogging is that there is never a shortage of ideas so a quick look at my post 5 ways with… a ton of rhubarb will be a good place to start!
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We wandered over to Dave’s plot to await his arrival and saw that he had prepared the ground for us so we could get straight on to the business of sowing our first seeds (I know!  how lucky are we?)   We rummaged through Dave’s seed tin and Euan chose kohl rabi after his success with growing it last year, Autumn King carrots, watercress and lettuce.
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Luca was actually quite interested in what we were doing but had to be distracted with invitations to dig holes away from where we were working.   He just couldn’t grasp the concept of walking around the seed beds every time he decided to make a beeline for me.  He loved the watering can but found it a bit ‘‘big, big” .  I admired his determination to keep returning to the watering can and check whether it was still to heavy.  A couple of lines of seeds later and it was just the right.  He looked so pleased with himself as he dragged it over to me.
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Luca definitely worked up an appetite for his snacks after all that effort.  He’s not a big eater but loves nibble sized fruit and veg and chomping his way through apple slices occupied him for a little while at least.  I can’t wait until our allotment growing starts bearing fruit as I always loved snacking on green beans, peas and berries freshly picked.  I think Luca will too so it was very thoughtful of Dave to give us some space right by the blackberries.
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The allotment provides a sense of community for us that is lacking in the street in which we live (as home owners in a street of tenants and students who come and go). We have history at the allotment and there’s an ease in conversations as we stop to chat with people tending their plot. Although we had a 5 year gap after letting go of the plot when Euan was a year old it feels like we never left. Only now we have the privilege of enjoying the space and growing again with 1/10th of the effort it would normally take.  It makes it a joy to be there with the boys and we are ever grateful to our wonderful allotment friend Dave. Gardening with kids is fab!
allotment gardening with kids_toddler wandering

Entry filed under: allotment tales, gardening with kids, Gloucestershire, great people. Tags: , , .

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12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. A Greener Life UK  |  April 23, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    Wish I had an allotment when I was younger, but the times I helped friends on there’s has always stayed with me. I’m volunteering with a Cub Scout group soon and thinking of getting an allotment started for them and their families to work on. It’s so important to give children a connection with things like gardening, I completely believe it helps them to grow into better people, teaching them planning skills and patience. Not to mention the healthy food 🌱🖖😊

    • 2. Nip it in the bud  |  April 23, 2018 at 1:14 pm

      Lovely to hear your thoughts, thank you for commenting. Getting a community allotment for your cub group would be fabulous for all the reasons you’ve shared and more. The intergenerational aspect of working a plot is priceless and tasting food you’ve grown yourself opens children up to trying a greater variety of veg. All the best with making it happen

  • 3. susankmann  |  May 3, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    That looks so much fun. How cool and so much for kids to learn x

    • 4. Nip it in the bud  |  May 3, 2018 at 4:41 pm

      Thanks for visiting and commenting Susan. I’m so pleased I can go to the allotment with the boys now – it’s my happy place :0)

  • […] were whisperings of ”allotment, allotment” in the air. It was already 2 weeks since our last visit to sow our first seeds of 2018. I knew there wouldn’t be many signs of life in our seed beds but I wanted Euan to understand […]

  • […] Out of 15 runner beans planted 2 weeks ago a handful have surfaced but most are still hibernating. Our first sowings 4 weeks ago are showing varying signs of progress – the lettuces are coming along beautifully but […]

  • […] were whisperings of ”allotment, allotment” in the air. It was already 2 weeks since our last visit to sow our first seeds of 2018. I knew there wouldn’t be many signs of life in our seed beds but I wanted Euan to understand […]

  • […] with the warmer weather we’re beginning to see more rapid change from visit to visit. Since sowing our first seeds towards the end of April we now have carrots, beetroot, runner beans, shallots, tomatoes and […]

  • 9. Ann  |  July 12, 2018 at 12:25 am

    It sounds like you have a great time bonding with your kids and other gardeners at your allotment. So much can be taught and learned when it comes to gardening. Thank you for sharing at the #MyGloriousGardens July link party!

  • 10. oldhouseintheshires  |  July 16, 2018 at 9:22 am

    It’s so lovely to “meet” a fellow gardener through the linky! This is what it’s all about: passing on skills to our children. I love that they can learn through your allotment and, as you say, join a community of like minded people. I love that gardening is multi generational don’t you? Passing in knowledge and tips. Almost like villages of Old where people would sit in their back step putting the world to rights! Anyway, I’m going on now! Love this post; your photos are gorgeous and it has been great to get to know your blog! Thanks for joining in with the July #MyGloriousGardens link party. You can join in on Instagram too if you like. Hope to see you again in August. Sophie x

    • 11. Nip it in the bud  |  July 16, 2018 at 10:57 am

      thank you Sophie, I was so happy to find your gardening linky. It’s the only one I tracked down and your right that for me half the joy of gardening is the intergenerational relationships we have (that are missing from our neighbourhood and family life locally). Very much looking forward to joining in again in August. May well have something to write about until about October and figured thereafter we’re going to have to visit some National Trust properties and talk about other people’s gardens!

      • 12. oldhouseintheshires  |  July 17, 2018 at 8:04 am

        Haha! Yes, it does get tricky in the winter months! Last year the linky took a break in Dec and Jan but then Jane gardens in Australia so it seemed unfair! This year I think we shall carry on! Trying to build the linky a little now but I’m glad you like it. X

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About Nip it in the bud

Welcome to my blog about growing and cooking allotment veg since 2009 and growing sweet boys since 2012. Take a walk with us through our life in Gloucester with a boy, a baby and 3 cats.

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I love how an ordinary moment frozen in time by the camera can actually reveal so much. Luca is all about inhabiting his body and jumping, running and climbing. Euan is all about the quirkiness, curiosity and inventions. There's more about these best friend brothers on the blog in this month's #siblingsproject post #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog
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