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Start an Herb Garden with your Kids

herbgarden_2Everyone knows one of the best parts of cooking and BBQing is actually eating your finished product at the end. And with the right spices and herbs, you can really enhance or change the taste of any dish. But getting kids to try these new foods, tastes, and flavours can prove difficult. Growing fresh herbs with your kids is a great way to get them involved on the grill and in the kitchen and will encourage them to try their creations that they worked so hard to make.

An herb garden is surprisingly simple to start because most herbs flourish in similar growing conditions. They all need about 6 hours of sunlight per day and moderately rich soil with good drainage. We recommend starting with the basics: Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Mint, and Sage.

You can grow herbs either from seeds or seedlings, or try a bit of both. Kids love seeing the seed turn into a plant. Plus, kids are more willing to try things they’ve grown themselves, helping you avoid the “ick” factor before they even take a bite.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Pots, troughs, window boxes, or another storage container with drainage
  • Potting mix
  • Fertilizer
  • Seeds or seedlings
  • Water
  • Sunshine

Find a sunny spot in the garden, on a windowsill, on your back porch, or next to the grill. Fill your pots or other container with potting mix, almost to full, and add a sprinkle of fertilizer. Mix well. Because each plant is different, follow the instructions on the packet to sow the seeds or, if you have seedlings, create a hole as deep as your seedling and gently pull the seedling from its container. Give the roots some room by carefully loosening the soil around them and transfer the seedling into your container. Press down firmly around the plant to compact the soil. Once your herbs are planted, give them a good watering to help them settle into their new soil.

Growing an herb garden not only offers a lesson in science, it teaches your kids which herbs go with different meats and dishes. Having fresh herbs on hand can expand their flavour palette from a young age. Putting kids in charge of planting and taking care of their own herb garden can lead them down the path for a lifelong love and appreciation of good food.

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