Gardening with Grandma (or the Whole Family)

Want a blessing for seeing a sunset or mountain or lightning? Or for seeing trees about to bloom?

Our tradition provides blessings to help us rejoice in the beauty of nature – and inspiration to take care of the earth.

This blessing, for example, is said when trees first bloom:

Baruch Atah Adonai

Eloheinu Melech ha’olam,

Shevara vo b’riyot tovot v’ilanot tovim

L’hanot bahem b’nai adam.

“Blessed are You, Adonai, Our God,
King of the Universe,
that His world is not lacking anything,
and He created in it
good creations and good trees
for the pleasure of mankind.”

Focus on tending the earth

There are even organizations that help us get back to nature. Like Adamah.org that “cultivates the soil and the soul to produce food, build and transform identities, and gather a community of people changing the world.”

And WildernessTorah.org. Their mission is to awaken and celebrate “the earth-based traditions of Judaism to nourish the connections between self, community, earth, and Spirit.”

Getting our hands dirty

Even in our own backyards, we can nourish those connections.

Gardening helps instill a sense of wonder in our children and grandchildren.  From seed to flower.From sapling to majestic tree. From tiny pot to climbing, twining tendrils of peas and beans.

When our girls were little, we tossed our post-Halloween jack-o-lanterns into our big Indiana  garden. The next spring, we were surprised to watch the ever-reaching pumpkin vines climb over everything, producing cute little punkins.

When I saw this post from Lisa Carpenter, I knew I had to share it.  Enjoy these common-sense gardening tips about how to include your grandchild in the process and which fun kinds of things to plant (e.g., edibles and colorful flowers).  

She also links us to an article by Susan Adcox, a friend who writes for about.com, called Helping Kids Garden and Teaching Them to Love It.

Another great resource is Joanna Brichetto, who is, herself a certified Volunteer Tennessee Naturalist.

If you’re a gardener — newbie or experienced — please share your discoveries here about how to bring your children or grandchildren into the great outdoors with you.

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