Mel Bartholomew has been known for decades for his Square Foot Gardening books that present his unique approach to vegetable gardening. With this book Bartholomew extends his expertise to children and provides a text that presents his ideas in the language and graphics that will appeal to them. Written for adults working with kids in 3 to 14 years old, the book provides activities and projects that are sure to pull adults and children alike into growing their own vegetables. What a great way to bond with children and teach them about the wonders of gardening!
The basics of square foot gardening are described first so if you have not read Bartholomew’s other books there is no problem and you don’t need to purchase another book to understand the concept. The author points out teaching opportunities as he goes along such as calculating the volume of the bed when determining the amount of soil needed to fill it or explaining fractions when dividing up the boxes for planting. Kids can also learn how to use tools when building, beds, trellises, or hot house, how to determine the ripeness of a fruit when harvesting, and how and why to keep a garden journal. Suggested art projects include decorating garden boxes and making plant markers. Activities for different age groups are separated so that while younger kids developing simple skills, older children can be involved in more complex and abstract learning. An abundance of photographs illustrate all phases of the square foot method with children featured as they carry out the various activities.
Detailed information is given for all steps in the process of square foot gardening so kids learn to evaluate a garden site, prepare the garden bed, select crops, sow seeds, make compost, water their plants, protect from pests, and harvest the produce. A guide to growing the most popular vegetable is included that includes specific information on the requirements of each. The gardening ideas in the book are not new, but the ways to involve kids are both new and well presented making it an excellent resource for adults wanting to introduce children to square foot gardening.
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