Indoor Kid-Friendly Garden
Ideas for the Winter
By Kelsey Martin, Contributor for Modernize.com
Content created for Aubin Pictures’ educational film What’s On Your Plate?
January 1, 2016
Growing fresh food at home is one of the most effective ways to encourage healthy eating habits among kids and adults alike. When fresh veggies and greens are right outside the back door on a warm summer day, being able to make a nutrient-packed meal to end the day is easy as well as rewarding. A garden is sure to save the household some money, too! But don’t let the passing of summer stop you and your family from enjoying home grown food throughout the year, because you can grow your own food indoors when it starts getting cold outside. Modernize suggests trying the following kid-friendly indoor gardening ideas that are perfect for cold weather food production:
Grow Sweet Potato Plants
Via Mother Earth News
Sweet potatoes are delicious, nutritious, and quite beautiful when they are grown as indoor plants. Specifically, ornamental sweet potato vines are bred for decorative effect and feature impressive broad leaves full of deep color. However, you can grow an interesting plant by simply placing half a sprouted sweet potato of any variety in a small tub, bowl, or wide-mouthed cup. You will then need to fill the container with water until the potato is halfway submerged. Within a few days, edible leaves and stems should start to sprout. Keep the potato healthy by keeping the container’s water levels steady.
Fill the Sills with Vine Veggies
Any home’s window sills are a noteworthy indoor gardening option in the winter because the plants are protected from winds and rains, yet at the same time they can get plenty of sunlight to meet their nutrition needs for strong growth. Fill a few small pots with your favorite organic soil and plant starters from your local nursery of veggies like tomato, pepper, zucchini, herbs, and greens such as green leaf or romaine. Keep the project eco-friendly by shopping at thrift stores and garage sales for used buckets, tin cans, and other interesting containers that can be reused as garden pots.
Instead of throwing away the ends of any celery stalks you bring home from the grocery store, use them to grow brand new stalks of celery yourself. Stick your celery stubs in tubs or bowls filledwith about an inch of water in them, and wait a couple of days until you see little green leaves sprout out of the top of the stubs and tiny roots growing out of the their bottoms. Then plant the celery stubs in a pot of soil and place them on the kitchen counter so they can grow into huge fresh stalks of crisp celery perfect for salad, soup, and stir-fries.
Worms play an important role when it comes to maintaining healthy, rich soil for your veggies to grow in, so why not create a worm farm for your household? This project will help teach kids how valuable worms are in the garden and provide you with some free compost to work with throughout the year. Simply place a plastic tub in a dark place, like under the kitchen counter, and fill it about a quarter of the way full with soil and shredded newspaper. Then introduce a handful of worms to the mix. Have the kids add produce scraps to the tub on a daily basis, and watch compost start forming within just a few weeks.
Implement these ideas one at a time so the kids can learn proper care procedures and get used to daily responsibilities. This should help ensure that your indoor gardens don’t become too overwhelming or end up being neglected.