Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bonding over the compost

There's a new blogger project on gardening with your kids called "Kinder Gardens- Let's Get'em Dirty!" that makes me wish I still had some child victims of my own around to dig in the dirt with me. (The one in the picture turned 21 on Wednesday.)

I've spoken a lot recently with my kids about what they remember about the garden growing up. Surprisingly, they don't remember how much they loved sticking seeds in the dirt, or picking up worms, although my daughter did recall that she liked planting out potted plants. Mostly what they remember, as I wrote about in a prior post is the "forced labor." Although, to be fair, they also both remembered and miss the delicious fresh veggies.

They also have all bonded with their peers over their hatred of feeding the compost, which I find absolutely hilarious, and charming.

Gardening with kids is lots of fun-- you have to let go a little bit, because things get trampled, and planted wrong, and picked early, but that's part of the entertainment.

In this stage of my life, between generations as it were, I pretty much garden alone, but it's made me think about how to get my young adults involved in the garden again. I'd love for them to see it as bonding with the goddess, and with me, and bring them back in for the joy of it.

I could try bribing them with food I suppose, but here's the question: How do you get apartment-dwelling, time-crunched young adults back into the garden?

Ginger carrot scones
from more or less

3/4 cup all-purpose flour plus 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
>1/3 cup sugar or substitute 1/4 c honey
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup finely grated carrot (about 1 1/2 carrots)
2 tablespoons diced crystallized ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 large egg
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk (if using honey, reduce to 1/3 cup buttermilk or sour cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 425°.

Mix together first 5 ingredients and 1/3 cup sugar. Cut in cold butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add carrot and ginger and mix until just blended. Whisk together egg, buttermilk, and vanilla in a separate bowl until blended. Add to flour mixture, and mix just until blended and slightly moist. (Dough will be sticky.)

Spoon in large tablespoonsful onto a lightly greased baking sheet (or line a sheet with parchment paper). Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until golden.


  1. I'm lucky...although my big ones are in college (and beyond) I still have the little ones that will drag them out into the garden. I just added you to the kids may be bigger now but I bet you can still come with some great ideas to share with all of us!

    And oh my do I love scones! Kim

  2. I.F.-- thanks for the add! Actually, you've inspired me to work out the details of a companion project to get young, newly independent adults into the garden, which I'll try to get going by May. Already talked to one victim, um interested party, and he's on board. I figure I'll trade knowledge and food for labor and companionship!