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Travel = Organic Garden Homeschool?

May 25, 2010

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Can a green family traveling the world have an organic winter garden and use it as unschool project or homeschool unit study? Why not? Slow travel and location independent living means that even organic  gardening can be part of the family travel education experience.

"Gardens are not made my singing "Oh how beautiful" and sitting in the shade." Kipling

We have been to many beautiful and famous gardens around the world from Italy's Boboli Gardens to , France's Monet Garden and in Norway, Turkey, Germany, Spain's La Alhambra or Costa Brava plus many more in almost all of the 32 countries and 4 continents that we have been to. Gardening is part of life and we learn from gardens and enjoy their beauty. But there are also some lessons that one learns best by doing, so this was our small organic garden project this winter that we started just after Christmas in Spain ( remember those organic seeds we had my mom send us from home?).

"Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden." Brault

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Not the world's biggest garden or anything fancy, just some pots out by the pool, one that we had used for our Christmas tree. We like to improvise and make use of what is available. We almost got a rental home this year in Spain where we could have had a garden & chickens, but this will do for this winter. Farming and organic gardening must be in our blood if you look at our home and vineyard back in California where we gardened all year round, so we like to have our hands in some dirt.

"The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses. " Rion

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How exciting it is for a nine year old, still in pajamas  to see this year's first shoots popping up as she dutifully waters and waits!

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Organic red cutting lettuce and cilantro add fun to our salads and many meals!

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We haven't found nutritiously dense kale here in Spain, so fun watching it grow and eating it too. 

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We live in a village of farmers and enjoy watching them garden like this one that is right across the street from us. They all carry their produce in bags over their shoulders and sell them or trade on market day.

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The peas are Mozart's favorite and she would check them every day before and after school. We had a little drama with them though, someone stole them and Mozart was devastated and sobbed her heart out. We had moved them out to the front of our house where they could get more sun. It had happened on a Friday night, so probably was some teenagers trying to be funny. They were just about to bloom and the thief did not touch the other plants. It was a surreal surprise to see them vanish. Thus, we started again and replanted more pea seeds in a new pot and every weekend we would bring them inside our lobby, just in case. Then we moved them back to the pool area.

"Just because you just have houseplants doesn't mean you don't have the gardening spirit. I look upon myself as an indoor gardener." Moss-Wolfe
 

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Mozart enjoying eating her peas!


"To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves." Gandhi


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This is our daughter Mozart playing in the muddy garden at our home in California as a toddler. She was born at harvest time and started her first garden around a year old and we took pictures of the process and made a book out of them together. Her favorite activity at her first birthday party was not the horse riding, but repeatedly going after the cherry tomatoes in the garden that she loved. ( She started walking and talking at  six months, so knew how to get to whatever she wanted by a year as she could run faster than me by nine months old).

Getting into parsley, peas, tomatoes, grapes, raspberries  etc in the garden to eat, at will, has always been part of her life and something she really loved from babyhood. Even at that age she knew the names of most of our herbs and vegetables and helped me pick them to cook. We don't want our little world traveler to forget the joys or lessons of hands-on gardening. So we find that, like most things in life, "if there is a will, there is a way"! 

"I look upon the pleasure we take in a garden as one of the most innocent delights in human life" Cicero

Are you are gardener? What do you like growing? What do you think are the best lessons taught by gardening? Are traveling and gardening compatible and are they both arts in a way? Should every school and home have a garden? Did you know that even people who live full-time in RV's and Motorhomes often have gardens?

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Kerry

Jeanne, great post! I'm hoping to start at least a small herb garden with my crew when we get to Germany later this summer. Something we can bring indoors to survive the winter.

Also, a friend of mine posted this video on her FB page yesterday and it goes hand in hand with this blog post:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0a1YG10QFw
Check it out!

soultravelers3

Thanks Kerry! That sounds like a great plan! We do some herbs even in our RV! ;) Cool video!

Jennifer Jackson

I am a homeschooling mom with five children. I have begun a small CSA garden in central Florida. My husband & I will be traveling to Italy in April 2012. Any suggestions about visiting farms or traveling in Italy? Thank you. I love your pictorial. I too believe everyone should grow a garden no matter the size. God bless

Jeanne @soultravelers3

I am sure there are many Jennifer, but I don't know them all.

We did stay at one in Verona that was wonderful...so we've been 4x!

http://www.soultravelers3.com/2010/06/family-travel-italy-verona-farm-stay-agritourismo-romeo-juliet-arena-opera.html

Google agritourismo or wwoofing in Italy and you should find a ton.

Good luck!

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