What with Laurel’s predilection for scooping and dumping + my urban cluelessness, I assumed that last month’s planting of our first garden was mostly a fun exercise. But this week, we found that our Radish Cherry Belle seeds were as fast and easy to grow as advertised, and it was extremely moving to see Laurel’s delight in harvesting food from where she had scattered seeds just weeks before.
These radishes are a bit too spicy for Laurel’s taste (they’re fabulous for the grown ups though), but amazingly enough, after hearing from our beloved neighbor that the garden greens were suitable for consumption, Laurel munched down a couple of radish leaves (odd, since they are a bit prickly and bitter) as well as some pea leaves (sweet and delicious). I think it was the first time I’ve ever seen her voluntarily eat green leafy matter not covered in cheese.
Our neighbor had this to say on the topic: “When I taught preschoolers, I noticed that they were much more likely to eat something they had some part in preparing. Parents were shocked by all the kids eating the Stone Soup [click here for an interesting looking Buddhist monk revision of the classic] that they had prepared for Parents Night with the veggies they had brought from home… Similarly, making a salad dressing or dip led them to eat almost anything they could dip into it. And growing the veggies themselves was the best of all.”
If you don’t have the time, space, or interest to plant a garden, we’ve also found that having Laurel help pick out produce at the grocery store has improved consumption.