Out in the garden

My wife and I put in a garden this past weekend. It’s a great way to not only teach out son about where food comes from, but also how to dig in the dirt and appreciate being outdoors. Not that it’s that hard for him to appreciate being outdoors. He’s been outdoors his whole life. We go for walks in our neighbourhood (currently a summer camp, but it’s also been an urban area, a cottage and a city from time to time. We spot trees and local animals. We smell leaves. What we don’t often do it travel somewhere else to find nature. Nature is all around us – it’s not something that you have to drive a long way to go see. When I was growing up in Toronto, we used to go explore the ravines and the local parks. We’d dig on the beach and skip stones. I believe that it was those experiences that led me to have a passionate connection with nature and that those experiences still exist today, if only we would allow our children to do them.

David Suzuki just wrote a great article about backyard nature in his blog – he says that we need a new kind of NIMBY – Nature in my backyard. I agree and have been saying so for the past few years. If we could just convince people to head out into their backyards and look for the local species that are already out there – the birds and bugs, the plants and animals – we would be much father ahead in helping kids to get out of the basements and outdoors into nature.

Having a family garden plot is a great first step to that goal. Plant some easy crops – our radishes are already coming up! I should point out that we’re not really gardeners, so this will be a work in progress. It’s just one way that I’m hoping to be able to help you get your kids outdoors.

That’s what this blog is really all about – easy ways for you to get your kids into nature. Over the next few months, years, days and weeks, I’ll be sharing some of what I’ve learned, some ideas that I’ve picked up along the way and neat new things that I notice that just might work. I’ll likely also get up on my soapbox from time to time and I’ll share just why nature is important. Hopefully you’ll come along for the ride.

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