In my ideal “Unschooling” life, when I ask my children each Spring to help me plant seeds for our veggie garden, they reply gleefully, “Of course, we would love to”, then we all skip out to the garden and get earth under our fingernails as we fill pots with soil and plant seeds. Back to reality….when I asked “Who wants to help me?” the reply is mostly “NO!“. So, each Spring I reluctantly plant all the seeds by myself, along with the weeding, watering, digging and pruning.
It is hard work and frankly, I would much rather being doing something else. I am the Reluctant Unschooling Gardener.
Why bother? you might be thinking. You are right, every year I promise myself, I am not going to plant veggies or at least take a year off, but then I remember the Harvest from the previous year and I just can not bring myself not to plant again. I remember, the joy of walking into the garden, picking a cucumber and chopping it up to put straight onto a plate for lunch. I remember, having so many beans, courgettes, and plums that you start sharing them with your neighbours and friends, sometimes swapping beans for broccoli and getting to know each other a little better each time. I remember, our son idly picking and eating peas from their pods while playing in the garden on a summer’s day. THIS, is why I plant vegetables every year.
I like to think, (although, I might be wrong) that even though my children choose not to help me plant our garden, they witness me putting in the hard work to gain something beautiful at the end. They might learn that sometimes, we have to do stuff we do not like that much, to get to the thing we like a lot. “A Means to an End” kind of thing.
I would also like to say, I may be a reluctant veggie gardener, but I am also a completely blissful, romantic flower gardener who can often be found in the garden, visiting each flower I have planted, leaning in close and whispering into their petals “You are so beautiful!”