As some of you might be aware, we are letting the boys loose with their trowels and watering cans in the garden this year.
We haven’t yet finished sorting the area properly but there was enough room to plant some pots.
D’s class had been doing a project about growing things earlier in the year, and had taken a visit to the local DIY/garden centre shop. While they were there, they planted all sorts of things in a special raised bed, which they decorated with laminated pictures of themselves. We don’t visit the store that often, as it’s not the sort of place you browse, but when we have been there, D makes right for the planter to check how it is coming along. I am sure all the children are proud of their work, and what brilliant local publicity of the shop! When they came away from their visit, each child was given a pot with a strawberry plant in it. D was over the moon – he doesn’t do much fruit, but strawberries are by far his favourite. I only have to buy a punnet of strawberries, open it, and its been emptied as both boys guzzle them down! I never complain, as I am pleased to see them enjoying something that is good for them!
We already had strawberry planters in the garden, you know the ones I mean with the holes on the side for the plants to go in. D decided these were now his domain. He promoted himself to strawberry king! We refreshed the soil in them, and bought a few extra plants to fill the gaps. Then came the hardest part for any child, having to wait, and wait, and wait. He regularly checked on them, getting excited by flowers which soon turned into little green knobs. As the weather improved and the fruits swelled and began to change colour, he got more and more excited. When we went on holiday, he left detailed instructions with old person about watering! I have always said D was born middle-aged, but sometimes he goes out of his way to prove the point!
When we got back from our holiday, D was SO excited as he had one fully ripened fruit. He picked it and ate it without a thought that anyone else might like to try it! His face was a picture, not just because it was smothered in strawberry juice but because of the pride oozing from him. He had achieved something. He had taken control of a situation, and followed the stages to the most perfect of endings. I was proud of him too.
With all the sunshine this week, a lot of other berries have ripened and we have been allowed to try them – I am not a huge fan of strawberries, but it was lovely and sweet, and was filled with the love the gardener had put into tending it.
This morning, any of the neighbours might have got a fright, as in nothing but his pants, he went into the garden and returned with an armful of red berries which he put into a big bowl on natural yoghurt. He was in his element. A lovely healthy breakfast that was mostly his own work.
I think he will enjoy every last one of his fruits. He has done well. I am thinking maybe next year we should get some more planters and really let him go to town! I am sure in his head, he has a strawberry patch as large as the field at the fruit farm we visit, but for me, the dozen plants he has raised have produced the best fruit in the land. I just hope some of the other children from his class have had a similar experience.
And from an environmental perspective, his fruit had about a 3/1690th of a food mile on them!