Thursday, March 3, 2011

Green Thumbs Anyone?

This week we welcome Jo Harvey from Babyjo Bamboo with her guest post on getting into the garden with the bubbas.

Way back when I was in my early 20’s, I would never have thought that I would be “the gardening” type. I could barely even keep a cactus alive, let alone grow vegetables or fruit.

Enter…….. child #1 (in my very late 20’s) and the tables have turned. With an established and beautiful home, lots of space and time to get outside, I found myself enjoying (yes, enjoying) a “greener” lifestyle.

I realize that it is very convenient to just “pop into the supermarket” for vegetables and fruit when you need them, yet there is something so satisfying about growing your own from seeds or seedlings, that make it so enjoyable. Not to mention, you don’t have to use your car to go and get them, they don’t require packaging and they ALWAYS taste better!

As my daughter Mia was becoming mobile (and boy could she move fast), we would spend most of our days outside having fun and exploring. One of our favourite activities was planting out garden beds (usually with veggies or fruit) and the other………. Eating them once they had grown.

My very lovely, retired parents have the most amazing organic veggie garden at their home, along with a few very obliging chickens who lay lovely eggs! (Their gardening certainly puts my little “hobby” to shame, however it does give me something to aspire too at the same time.)
Each time Mia and I visit, she is fast to ask Grandpa to take her down to the garden to “hunt”… and boy, what a find. Raspberries, strawberries, peaches, blueberries. Yellow beans, green beans, purple beans, broad beans. Zucchini and squash, lettuce and asparagus. Baby carrots (a favourite) and potatoes – every herb imaginable, and the list goes on.

A visit to the hen house will always produce at least two eggs, and if we are lucky, they are still warm! I love the fact that Mia knows where fruit and vegetables come from – I am still undecided whether it is a good thing that she thinks eggs come from a chicken’s bum though! There are far too many kids out there these days, who think that these items just come from the supermarket, in a bag, box or plastic wrap – how can we try to educate our littlies on good, healthy nutrition if they do not understand the fundamentals to start with.

So even though we are extremely lucky to have “Granny and Grandpa’s delightful organic garden at our fingertips, we decided to start our own – eggplants and broccoli, corn and tomatoes. Green Capsicum, yellow beans and my favourite – snow peas…. They have all grown so well over the years, and we replenish as needed, or add new items when we find something we like.

The evenings often hold a stroll around the house (which is only 15 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD I might add, so not a massive farm of any kind) and Mia and I love to pick fresh, organic produce from the garden and walk around munching it. There is nothing nicer than seeing her with a red capsicum (whole) in her hand and she is happily munching away on it.

There is absolutely no reason not to give it a go at your house today – it is a surefire way to encourage your little one to enjoy fresh veggies and fruit, and if you feel you don’t have the space, there is an option for every kind of garden. Just check out some of these inspirational and funky ideas above!

Jo Harvey is the founder and creator of Babyjo Bamboo Wear which was “conceived” in 2007, when her daughter Mia was approximately 5 months old. When Mia suffered a mild case of eczema Jo started researching the best clothing and natural product to help alleviate the problem. It was then that she came across Bamboo fibre, and after extensively testing and trialling bamboo, Jo saw firsthand how soft is was on her skin, and how well it helped to manage Mia's eczema. From that day forward, Jo embarked upon designing a range of bamboo items for the growing number of babies and toddlers with eczema, and also because she loved the feel and qualities of the fabric. Babyjo clothing is not just for bubs suffering eczema, but for any mum or dad who loves their precious little poppet enough to think of their comfort and the "health" of our environment.

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