Making an out of state move last year was a big deal to our kids who knew no other home than Colorado. When we found the home we were going to buy and it had a larger backyard than the one in Colorado, one of the things we promised the kids (to help make the move easier on them) was that they would each get to plant their very own garden. They were all very excited for that! By the time we moved in and got settled it was way too hot to plant a garden so I was determined we would have one this year to fulfill that promise to the kids — to be honest, they also didn’t let us forget about that promise! The great part was being able to include it in a Family Home Evening lesson so they saw the purpose behind it instead of it just being a fun activity.
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For our Monday night lesson, I wrote up 5 different note cards, one for each of our kids. I held them (blank side facing the kids) like a deck of cards and allowed them to pick one and come up with a solution of what we would do in that situation.
- There was a hurricane. It shut down the oil refineries and led to a gas shortage. We don’t have a way to get to the stores without gas in our car and the trucks that bring food to the stores don’t have gas either.
- Dad lost his job and we don’t have any income to buy food.
- The electricity went out. The stores can’t sell any food without electricity to run their store lights, refrigerators, and registers.
- After a big storm, the roads are flooded and we can’t get to the store.
- There was a drought and the farmers who normally sell their crops to the stores weren’t able to produce enough for the whole country. Now there is a shortage of fruits and vegetables.
Explain: All of these are things that could happen and would leave us without food. But, if we store some food for emergencies and if we plant some of our own food, we would be okay until the stores were up and running again. Talk about what kind of food storage you have in the house or are working on accumulating and how you can add to that food by gardening. The prophets have taught us that we need to be prepared. And if we’re prepared then we don’t need to worry about these things happening because we know we’ll be okay.
Song: Sing or listen to the song The Prophet Said to Plant a Garden
Because our time is limited in the evening before we send our kids to bed, we spread this lesson out over a few days.
- We had the lesson on Monday.
- On Tuesday we went shopping for plants & seeds. Each kid got to pick out what they wanted to grow in their own garden space; we allowed them to get flowers but they had to include something edible as well.
- On Wednesday we planted our gardens. I looked into buying or making planter boxes for each kid, but that was so expensive. Instead I found these awesome garden bags for much cheaper. They had good ratings, so I thought we’d give them a try. I got a 5 pack of 30 gallon bags and they are working great. I think I probably could’ve done an even larger size, but this is good for starting out.
The one who planted carrots didn’t work out so well and we’re going to try planting something else. But the pumpkin plants and blackberries are thriving as well as some flowers that the girls added to their gardens. We also spent the money to build some large raised bed boxes for growing and harvested our first zucchinis this morning so it has been exciting.
I love that our kids check on their plants every morning. One day, our son was in tears because the heat of the day had wilted his pumpkin leaves and the flowers were dying. It gave us a great chance to research and find out that that is perfectly normal and doesn’t mean he won’t get any pumpkins. These kids are invested in their little gardens and super excited to eat blackberries and pumpkin pie!