Maybe, just maybe, spring will actually arrive. I’m a bit on the skeptical side so far this year, with our see-saw temperature shifts and nearly-constant precipitation, but things are starting to green up. So there’s hope. In addition to trying to keep my seedlings alive until the ground dries out enough to get them planted, I’ve also been doing a bit of reading. Now that I’ve got a toddler at home, coming up with ways to get him involved in the garden is at the top of my parenting to-do list. Fortunately there are two great books that take the guesswork out getting kids involved (and that I was lucky enough to receive review copies for).
But not only did I receive review copies, one lucky reader will also receive a copy of each of them as well, direct from the publisher! What are they, you ask? Square Foot Gardening With Kids by none other than Mel Bartholomew, and Gardening Lab For Kids: 52 Fun Experiments by Renata Fossen Brown.
Square Foot Gardening (SFG) in and of itself is such a great concept. I read the original book geared for adults years and years ago and practice many of its principles in my own garden every year. It’s especially well-suited for kids for too, because SFG is kid-scaled. SFG maximizes space and efficiency in the garden by using intensive planting techniques so you can get a lot out of a small space. Watering, weeding and harvesting are done quickly and easily in a garden of this design. And that’s a great starting point for kids.
The book has a fantastic layout, and as a primer for SFG I have to say I prefer it to the original form of the book for adult audiences. The kid’s version has a lot of graphics and photos that really make it easy to conceptualize the concepts of setting up and maintaining the garden. The other benefit of the book is that is really strives to turn the garden into a classroom – it’s almost a curriculum guide for parents and educators, with built-in lessons for all age groups (toddler right on through to high school) in a variety of subject areas, such as math and science. Another nice feature of this book is it teaches not only concrete skills, but also more conceptual ones, such as time management, confidence and independence. I’m definitely excited to have this book in our home library, serving as our “curriculum” for gardening.
While Square Foot Gardening With Kids is aimed more at the parents and educators of kids, Gardening Lab is aimed at kids themselves. There are a ton of projects in this book for a wide variety of age groups. From egg cartoon seed starting to making a mini worm bin, this book is filled with both “standard” and innovative projects for kid gardeners. A couple that I have earmarked to try in the next few weeks are making home-made seed tape, soup can luminaries and garden magnets. And that’s the great thing about this book – it’s not strictly about making things that can only be used out in the garden, but great crafts and projects that will help bring a little of the outdoors in. It really focuses on reusing and recycling as well, which is always a great thing for both the environment and the pocketbook.
So, who wants a copy of these books!? One lucky reader will be chosen at random to receive one copy each of Square Foot Gardening For Kids and Garden Lab. Here’s the fine print/legalese – All you have to do to enter is like the Apartment Farm Facebook page – just click the Rafflecopter link below!
One entry per person please; multiple entries will be disqualified. Please note that this giveaway is only open to readers in the contiguous 48 US states (sorry Alaska, Hawaii and international readers!). The giveaway is open until Friday 5/9/14 at 11:59 PM CDT. The winner will be notified via email on Saturday 5/10/14. If the winner does not claim the prize by Sunday 5/11/14 by 11:59 PM CDT, an alternate winner will be chosen.