The Neighbor Kids

I have many posts to write about the things I’ve been working on around the house, but something happened tonight that I just have to write about.  I was going to write a tweet to Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company, and realized that what I wanted to say wouldn’t fit in a tweet.

A little background story first, in my new house, there is a family that lives next door who has several children (four or five? I’m not sure).  Based on what I know, let’s just say, they don’t have a very stable home life.  They spend a fair amount of time in their yard, and if I’m out, they like to come over.  Two of the boys love to play “what’s that?” with pretty much anything – the spouting on my house, the electric meter, and of course any flower, weed, bush, bug, etc. they see.

If I’m working, they want to “help” with whatever I’m doing.  Mostly they help by weeding, asking questions, and retrieving tools (after moving them so I don’t know where they are).  Now, granted, they get tired quickly and there are some weeds that are pulled off by the leaf rather than the root, but they try!  I end up with pulled up weeds all over my yard, but I’m happy and their happy, so who cares?

Today, they were asking about the flowers and wanted to dig holes.  I told them soon I would be digging holes for bulbs, like tulips, and told them they could help.  They asked what tulips were and what color they were.  I went inside and brought out my copy of The Whole Seed Catalog, thinking it would have pictures of their bulbs.  It turns out it didn’t have bulbs, but we spent time looking at the plants and they asked what their names were and we talked about what they liked and didn’t like to eat, and which one was the prettiest and who would eat a yellow watermelon.  When we got to the carrots, there was a picture of the tiny, round Parisienne carrots, which reminded me that I had a package of them that I had gotten in an exchange.  I asked them if they would like to plant some seeds – I’ll let you guess the answer!

I pulled out my Seed Keeper and found the carrots, then realized that I had some Red Romaine that I had gotten free in my Baker Creek order too.  We got out a window planter that had herbs that I’d harvested and we put dirt in it, took turns adding seeds, stirred the dirt (so we didn’t have clumps of lettuce and carrots), then watered it.  We made two sticks that said what we planted, then they wanted to write their names too, so we all put our names in the planter too!  They were so excited, they brought their grandma over and showed her what they had done.

It all brings back happy memories of when I was younger and grandma had a section of her garden that was all mine.  She had some tools just for me and I could do anything I wanted there – dig, push dirt around, make mud pies, whatever.  In fact, I almost wish I had a square foot garden where I could just let them go and they could do whatever!

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