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In and out of lockdowns has proven to be challenging to many, whilst also positively shifting many to appreciate family, health and wellness more than ever.
Having entered the world of homeschooling this year, parents are looking for new and effective ways of teaching their children.
The self-contained, self-watering and portable raised garden bed that is Vegepod, has acted as an important learning tool not only in many schools and other community programs across Australia, but also within homes.
Edible gardening provides many physical and mental health benefits for all participants no matter the age, ability or location.
It’s commonly known that modelling behaviour from parents instils good behaviour in children not only in their early periods of life but well into their adult years. Interestingly, in an ABS report it was noted that approx. 80% of Australian households attempt to grow an edible garden at least once, yet 80% of those people considered their attempt a failure.
The team at Vegepod have focussed on enabling everybody to have an almost fail-proof garden experience within their own home irrespective of experience or age.
Here are Vegepod’s top five tips to ensuring children and parents have a positive and successful experience gardening together.
Create a family-friendly vegie garden at home and you will all reap the physical and mental health benefits.
1. Manage your watering
Many families are busy and struggle to successfully their gardens at all times. Garden beds which utilise self-watering wicking systems and sprays, like the Vegepod, can help manage this responsibility. Come up with a roster with your kids that provides regular water.
2. Control your pests
There are many methods used today such as exclusion netting, pesticides, companion planting and good old “search and squish”. The most successful and sensitive method of all to teach kids to be animal-friendly and environmentally-friendly, is to use exclusion netting and cover your garden beds with a fine mesh canopy.
Let kids get their hands dirty, it’s all part of the fun.
3. Get Dirty and Get Good Dirty!
Letting the kids’ get their hands dirty is key, despite some fearmongering about pathogens in the soil etc. The benefits of connecting to earth and ‘getting dirty’ far outweighs any of the small risks. Connecting to nature is perhaps the most invaluable lesson of all.
Whatever the case, get the best quality soil possible. The containment of soil in an enclosed garden bed, like the Vegepod, also ensures no contamination from surrounding soils.
4. Make it accessible
We have noticed time and again that even the best edible gardens out there which are not close to the home or easily accessible, will remain unused by the family. Mobile gardens and no-dig gardens allow for easy access on spaces such as backyards, decks, driveways, balconies and even rooftops.
5. Pick your plants
Choose plants that are suitable for your climate zone, the current season AND something that the kids actually like to eat! If the kids eat what they grow, you have just created a happy gardener for life.