I spent some time this past weekend digging up one of my garden spots - the raspberries keep creeping into this area and while I love raspberries, I want this area to be mainly flowers - so I have been digging out the raspberry roots with a pitch fork - my six year old son, Andy and his friend, five year old Vinny wanted to help.
Andy has a complete set of garden tools - real metal and wood, just child sized, so we got them out and the boys started digging to help me. When you garden with children, you just have to accept that it might take longer and you will not get everything accomplished that you set out to do - but it is so worth it.
First of all, Andy only has one shovel and they both wanted to use the shovel so I had to go in the house and get the timer and set it for 5 minutes at a time for them to take turns. That worked for awhile until the one who did not have the shovel started to discover worms in the dirt that we were digging up.
The boys immediately forgot all about helping and started torturing the poor worms. They put them in water to see if they could swim. They put them in the grass to see if they liked grass and were surprized to discover that they could go back into the ground and disappear even in the grass. Then they started dissecting them and found that even when cut in half, both halves still moved and they appeared to still be alive. Then they started wondering what it would take to actually kill a worm...at this point I am glad that I have brothers and know that this kind of curiosity is normal at this age and it doesn't mean they will grow up to be serial killers!
Vinny finally announced that the only way probably to kill a worm was for a fish to eat it, but Andy wondered if the worms might live in the fishes stomach......I can see after fishing this summer both boys will probably want to cut open the fishes stomach to look and see if there are any worms living in there.....I think I will let them explore the fish guts with their fathers!
I never did finish digging up the whole area, let alone get around to putting down some landscape fabric to keep the raspberries from coming up again this year. I hope to get out in the garden this evening to finish since we will be busy with other things this weekend. And if the boys decide to help me again tonight and I don't get it done - oh well, it is still early in the season. I just love to see Andy outside and interacting with the neighborhood children.