23. August 2018

My daily inspiration: Gardening with kids

Gardening with kids is so fun! They go about things quite differently compared to us grown-ups.

En vacker knubbig grön planta med blanka blad.

This is what our purslane variety Gul looks like this summer. We harvest the purslane every day and new shoots keep developing all the time.


I'm working on my newest book about gardening with kids. If everything goes according to plan, the book will be out in the stores in the spring of 2019. As you can imagine, I'm quite preoccupied with this subject right now. That's why I wanted to share a few moments from my life gardening with kids, especially with my son Loa. I think he looks like a real professional!


Ett litet barn med handen full av något trycker in hela handen i munnen.


Ett litet barn trycker in grönt i munnen.


Ett litet barn trycker in gröna blad i munnen.


Loa is two years old now and by far our most stubborn child. He was like that even before he was born, he had a mind of his own already then. Loa is very particular about what he eats. He doesn't like berries at all and only accepts a few vegetables. Root vegetables are ok though, preferably boiled. He also likes corn and broccoli. Loa actually liked radishes last year, but he seems to have changed his mind this summer. All leafy greens (especially spinach and lettuces) are a solid "no". So I was very surprised to see him so excited about purslane. I guess I shouldn't be that shocked though, all of my children seem to like purslane. I've actually heard several other parents talk about how their children love this plant too. There's just something about purslane!


Ett barn står i trädgården och tittar på låga plantor.

"Which plant should I go for", Loa is thinking.


En liten barnhand griper om ett blad och nyper av. Gardening with kids, a small hand grasping leaves in the garden.

Children go about gardening in a very intuitive way. The yummiest-looking plant are usually the ones they go for. It's so nice to see my children enjoying the vegetables we grow together.


Loa calls the purslane "lea" like, "leaves". He always looks so determined when he walks out into the garden. I grow my leaves both outside and in pots in my polytunnel, underneath tomatoes and in other spots where they can self-sow. Loa would recognize purslane from a mile away. Watching him harvest and eat the purslane is so fun!


En lång rad med ljust gulgröna blad. Gardening with kids, a long row of bright yellow plants.

Purslane is the perfect ground cover, here at the edge on one of my beds.


En låg bild på gröna plantor och barnfötter. Gardening with kids, plants and little feet.

The more we harvest, the more it grows!


I'm trying to write about how different it is to grow and harvest vegetables with the children. I felt like I needed to let go of the reins when I'm working with my kids. My goal is to try to at least temporary let go of how it's "supposed" to be and just let them do as they want. This precious time in their lives is so short and I don't know how I'll feel about not having toddlers around in the garden when they get older. So instead of feeling stressed about things not going perfectly according to plan, I enjoy my wild children and I feel grateful to have children that love being outside!

I try to encourage them as much as I can. I'm my children's biggest fan and cheer them on as soon as I get the chance. I always make sure to taste the purslane Loa harvests, we pick and taste all kinds of leaves from the garden, try to balance them on our noses and talk about what the leaves look like. It's truly amazing.


Ett glatt barn, smutsigt i ansiktet. Gardening with kids, Loa with dirt on his face.

My little cutie pie munching on those tasty purslane leaves. Gardening with kids is so fun!


It's so fun to see which new vegetables, fruits and berries the children start to enjoy every year. I hope that Loa will keep enjoying purslane for many years to come. It's one of my favorites too!
/Sara Bäckmo

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