Sowing Seeds

One of the things I thought I’d be all over when we first bought our property was growing our own food.

I was certain, I’d be out in the garden every morning, turning the soil, harvesting fresh cucumbers and beans from the veggie patch by the dam, and making my own special passata from the tomatoes that grew by the steps off our verandah.

The reality, unfortunately, has been quite different.

Amazing husband, did an amazing job of bringing the veggie garden back to a usable space and setting it up with it’s own irrigation system.  (Pic below).

Veggie patch neat and tidy
Our veggie patch when we first moved onto our property and motivation was high.

However, I never fully calculated how hectic life would be with (at that time) a babe in arms and a toddler at my knees, and funnily enough, since then I haven’t gained more time as the boys have gotten older, if anything I’ve got less.

And so the veggie patch, now looks like… This.

Overgrown Vegetable Garden
This is our veggie patch, a little wild after i realised how tricky juggling toddlers and gardening was going to be.

So, I’ve taken a new tack and decided that it would be nice to get my boys involved in trying to grow some easy things for themselves. The Answer?

Sunflowers.

Oh my goodness, what a joy these beauties are to grow.  You don’t need much space (you can even grow them in pots if you have a lovely sunny patch around your home), you simply throw the seeds in the ground, in a nice sun kissed place, and water regularly. Nature will do the rest.

The coolest thing about this process has been that the boys and I have sown the seeds from our last harvest of flowers. (This too is super easy and I promise I will eventually capture how we did it and share with you). We pulled them directly out of the flower heads, and prepped them to be planted to grow more flowers.  Pictured below are some of the flowers we grew last time around.

Bright Yellow sunflower with orange centre.
  One of the types of sunflowers i’ve grown in our garden with my sons.
Bright yellow sunflower with small petals
Another easy to grow Sunflower.

What I loved most about the process though is coming to understand how my boys process the world around them and how they learn from these type of experiences.

We spent an entire afternoon, plucking the seeds carefully from the spent sunflower heads and placing them in a dry place before we planted them a week later. After the planting was done, my eldest was munching down on his lunch (a multigrain bread sandwich). Looking inquisitively at his bread, he asked what type of seeds were in his sandwich.  I started to explain there were all sorts of grains in his bread.  His eyes lit up and he asked with delight.  “Mummy, if we plant these seeds, will we be able to grow a bread flower?”

*Heart Explosion*

I love that such a simple activity, that saw us all getting in, digging in the dirt, discovering worms and talking about how flowers and plants grow, could then get his mind whirring into gear to ask genuine questions about what else was possible and how things work.

Here’s to many more afternoons spent, with mud under our fingernails and the afternoon sun on our backs together.

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