Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Fun in the Dirt

We have all been feeling a bit of cabin fever with the yucky weather prohibiting any outdoor activities. My brain is in spring mode so I'm not tolerating the snow and cold very well. Physically it isn't bothering me but mentally, I feel rather jaded and lethargic. The kids aren't too happy about it either.

Bubba absolutely adores being outside. He simply cannot get enough. So he's been a little bummed out that he hasn't been able to play outside the last few days. He has a very curious and inquisitive nature so outdoor time is his chance to explore, dig and just take it all in.

As a simple reminder to us both that spring would soon be near, I enlisted his help to get our tomato seeds started inside. He mixed the seed starting mix together, helped me fill the cells and sowed each seed. He could not get enough. When we finished, he piled all the dirt in the container into a mound and declared it his castle.

After all was said and done, he asked when the "ta-may-toes" would be done and when we could eat them. This child has never in his four years been willing to eat a tomato. When I told him how long it would probably take them to grow and asked him if he'd help eat them, he responded, "Yeah, I grew them." Sometimes allowing children to be part of the preparation of good, nutritious food is all that's needed to get them interested in trying the food. Whether it's helping to prepare the meal or in this case, helping to grow the food, they have more interest in trying it when it's a fruit of their labor. (Pun not intended.)

As an aside: I have a question some of the more experience gardeners may know the answer to...
I am growing Amish Paste heirloom tomatoes. I chose heirloom tomatoes because I wanted to save some seeds to sow next year. That being said, I have some leftover hybrid tomato seeds from last year that will still germinate. If I grow them both, is it possible for the hybrid to contaminate the heirloom and cause the seeds not to be true to type? If anyone can answer this for me, it would be much appreciated!


  1. Tomatoes are generally self-fertile so all they need to polinate is the wind blowing through them, or if no wind, a little shake of the tomato cage as you pass. So yes, you should be safe in planting your hybrid seeds. I grow several different tomato varieties in the same bed and have included some hybrid in the mix and have never had a problem.

    How about growing a cherry tomato variety for Bubba? Kids love those little tomatoes they can just pop in their mouths, and they love to eat out in the garden. One of my good friends grows peas every year and her small daughter eats the peas before they get anywhere near the kitchen. Kids. Gotta love 'em! Sounds like Bubba is a natural-born gardener.

    1. I knew I could count on you to know the answer! Thank you once again.

      We grew peas last year and they never made it to our kitchen, either. I just ordered some cherry tomatoes for him. I'm excited about them so even if he doesn't like them, they'll be a much appreciated addition.

  2. How cute! I love that you are getting him involved in the whole process. I've heard from other moms who say that getting their kids involved in cooking and growing food encourages them to want to try new food more than if they weren't involved.

    PS - Thanks for the nice comment about my afghan! I did not make it (can't knit or crochet unfortunately). My grandma made it for me :)