I love growing edible plants and I think it teaches valuable lessons to children. Growing your own food teaches about the life cycle, and the amount of effort required to make food. It encourages your children to try new tastes, and have pride in their own achievements.
With only potatoes and onions surviving outside, plus wild berries and herbs, we are bored of disappointment and do the most we can to help our plants survive, including starting them off inside and growing them inside on a windowsill.
We're planting a range of herbs today from Buzzy which come in a specially designed windowsill box with everything you need. They can then stay indoors in larger pots, or brave the outdoors. Ours will stay inside until they're strong and woody - unless I use them all in my cooking first!
Our Buzzy: Grow Your Own Herbs set contains seeds and dehydrated compost, plus a neat plastic lined segmented windowsill box. The lid doubles up as a cover for the growing herbs to form a mini greenhouse or cloche. It's a lovely inclusive kit that really does have everything you need and is minimal on mess.
The dehydrated compost is best rehydrated in a bowl, but my 6 year old had other ideas. It's astounding how much liquid it needs! Once the compost is ready in the plastic trays, place them into the cardboard box frame. We wrote the name of each herb underneath it to remind us.
Then the important job of planting. It leads to all kinds of discussion about growing and food and drink, and you can include counting for young children, who will also benefit from practising careful handling. Working with such tiny objects is great for promoting fine motor skills in young children. You can also get some of your dried or fresh herbs and let your child see,smell and taste what they will be growing. This for us led to discussion about Basil and pasta and pizza and Italy....
Barely any mess, although it wouldn't be right to do some gardening and not get dirty at all...
The finished seed tray will live on a low windowsill for the next couple of weeks while we wait to see some results.
The Buzzy windowsill garden herb growing kit has an RRP of only £6.99 and is available from various stockists UK and worldwide, including Spalding Bulb, who have several mini indoor herb and vegetable growing kits.
For more information on windowsill gardening there's a handy 'how-to' on the BBC website.
For ideas when gardening with children, try the excellent and longstanding blog at GardeningWithChildren.co.uk
This post was written as part of a herb gardening blogger challenge. All words and seedings my own.