By Gene Sumi Homestead Education Coordinator
What was your first introduction to the garden? As a youngster, did you see someone blow the fluffy white seeds from the ripe dandelion seed head and did you chase the little parachutes that rode on the wind? Or did your grandma show you how to pinch the sides of the snapdragon flower to make the dragon open and close his jaws? You could almost hear him roar.
I like to teach the very young these simple things that capture their interest in things right here in their own front and back yards. Younger children take a deep interest in simple things. At that age, they see wonder in everything and they naturally let their imaginations take them away from there.
Someday they will be ready to understand photosynthesis, advocate for all-organic gardening and argue the pro’s and con’s of using a bagging or a mulching lawnmower. But for today, they are just interested in what they see, hear, smell and touch. To feel the softness of the wooly bear caterpillar crawling on his finger and the fragrance of lilacs, the memories of which she will keep for as long as she lives. This is how I think gardeners are made.