Naturally when I find a site with simple, straightforward tips for gardening with kids, the thing that appeals to me most is not the carrots and bush beans, but rather the sunflowers.
Two feet of growth in one month. That’s my kind of gardening.
Maybe that’s because my previous attempts at gardening have been consumed by brutal desert heat, hungry birds and a persistent gopher.
Oh yeah. And neglect. I’ve decided that the things which are allowed to grow in my yard are those things which can survive without any attention from me at all.
This includes the rose bushes strategically placed near the water runoff from my washer.
Along with the bougainvillea bush which apparently needs no more water than our Southwestern location naturally provides. It’s positively thriving, but with no help from me, I assure you.
Vegetative casualties include multiple vegetable gardens, three grapevines (soon to be four), plum trees and countless rose bushes planted in more unfortunate parts of our yard. I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but you get the idea.
All of this is to say that part of me cringes every time I see a cub scout requirement for gardening. I sing praises of hallelujah whenever these requirements are done in the den. You gotta love those den leaders. If my children learn anything about gardening, it most likely won’t be from me.
So it’s not surprising that I found this short and encouraging tidbit on gardening with children so appealing.
I have visions of blooming sunflowers lining my back fence. Radishes and snow peas don’t do anything for me, but I was intrigued by their description of potatoes as a “never-fail” crop.
Are you sure? Have you seen my list of casualties?
Well, no matter. Perhaps it’s worth a try. If nothing else, the gopher will have something new to snack on.
Related LDS Youth and Scouting Program Requirements:
Tiger Cub Scout elective 30: “Plant a seed, pit or greens from something you have eaten.”
The first four (out of five) options for the Wolf Cub Scout elective 15 are: “Plant and raise a box garden; plant and raise a flower bed; grow a plant indoors; and plant and raise vegetables.” Completing all of elective 15, Grow Something, also counts toward the Cub Scout World Conservation Award (or “the Panda badge” as it’s known around my house).
Bear Cub Scout elective 12e: “Collect eight kinds of plant seeds and label them.” [My kind of gardening project. Ahem.]
Bear Cub Scout elective 14a: “With an adult, help take care of your lawn or flower beds or help take care of the lawn or flower beds of a public building, school, or church. Seed bare spots. Get rid of weeds. Pick up litter. Agree ahead of time on what you will do.”
Bear Cub Scout elective 14d: “Build a greenhouse and grow twenty plants from seed. You can use a package of garden seeds, or use beans, pumpkin seeds, or watermelon seeds.”
Personal Progress Faith Value Project idea: “Read Alma 32:28-43. Think of faith as a seed as you help plant, care for, and harvest a vegetable garden. Record in your journal how you can nourish, care for, and strengthen your family.”
Finally, the Gardening Merit Badge includes (you guessed it) gardening.