It's gardening time again in the deep south. Just went to "customer appreciation day" at Pike's Nursery and came back with three new rose bushes to plant. I've always loved gardening, but I could have done without the little rabbit sitting there looking right at me while I was setting my new little tomato plants and eggplants over by the garden. I'm surprised he waited until I got in the house to chow down.
Last year the deer got my corn, the raccoons took the tomatoes and watermelons every time one got ripe, the squirrels dug up my corn (while I was planting it) and the rabbits ate all the beans. I got one pepper and a couple of eggplants to eat out of an entire summer of getting up early to water.
What does this have to with education, which is usually the point of this blog? Just this....I can't get angry at the little critters, and, in fact, am purposely planting the food knowing they are going to eat it. Why? Because I read one too many books about little animals and gardens, both when I was a child and when my kids were little...from Beatrix Potter to Thornton Burgess to Robert Lawson...these authors affected me more than almost any other experiences in my life.
Read to your kids....its a whole lot more lasting than anything else that might look more educational...and while you are at it, plant a garden this spring....Even if you, like me, wind up getting very little food out of it, you will learn an immense amount just by having the experience of digging in the dirt.