Gardening for me is a family affair
Posted by Purple Sweetpea, Claire Keen on 28th Feb 2017
Gardening for me is a family affair, for generations my family have made outdoor spaces beautiful and productive. I have treasured memories of playing in my grandad’s garden as a child, surrounded by fragrant scented sweet peas and my great grandad even won many awards for his roses.
Most weekends I can be found at the allotment with my gorgeous family. I have two sons who have enjoyed the allotment since they were babies. The eldest Joseph is 5 and my youngest Samuel has recently turned 4.
My dad (grandad) frequently joins us, and on occasion grandma and my husband too. I feel so lucky to give my children not only the experience and knowledge of growing their own produce but the opportunity to gain similar precious memories as those from my own childhood.
Working hard through the week as a full time secondary school teacher, the time spent at my allotment garden is my down time, my time to get back to nature and be with my family.
I also enjoy documenting our time at the allotment and sharing our progress though the seasons. I love the thought of looking back on our allotment journey in years to come and remembering all the lovely times we spend together, reflecting on how much my sons enjoy being outside and learning about gardening.
We have had many fun times down the allotment, my sons love playing in the mud, planting seeds, looking at the wildlife and enjoying picnics. They delight in working on projects such as building our wildlife area and pond in the hope we attract some frogs.
Some of our growing successes that we have really enjoyed include the time Joseph won first prize at our local summer gardening show for his cabbage that he grew himself from seed and the prize I won for my crunchy courgette pickle, made from our home grown courgette harvest. The boys have also enjoyed the satisfaction of growing produce such as large pumpkins and digging up massive potato harvests from the ground.
Teaching my sons where their food comes from and what to do with it once we have harvest the produce is very satisfying. Family favourites include our homemade broad bean hummus, fruit jams and chilli sauces. My husband and I have also recently tried our hands at making elderberry liquor using berries from the allotment, which was enjoyed by many friends and family last Christmas.
I hope to be able to share our allotment journey with you and provide an insight on how I garden with children at home and at our allotment.
Purple Sweetpea, Plot 206a