Yesterday I planted the seeds that will be part of my vegetable garden this summer. I have two small garden patches on the side of my house and a dozen pots that sit on my deck. After two bad years in row, last year’s garden produced a lot of veggies. I wanted to get a jump on things this year and thought I would try seeds. My husband and I did our usual stop at Menards on a Sunday morning and I picked up everything I needed.

My son loves to watch the progress of the garden. He shares my enthusiasm for gardening and often volunteers to water. He gives us daily updates on the growth of the plants and proudly invites my husband or daughters out to see a flowering plant or a small fruit forming. Sadly, he only eats one or two of the things we plant. I am hoping that will change with time.

My son was happy to help me start our garden early this year. I put plastic on our kitchen counter and set up our work station. I bought a seed starter kit and we made little flags to mark what we planted. We spent an hour filling and planting and dreaming out loud about how our garden would look this year. He told me about his science unit at school and how they are also planting seeds. Normally, my son does not share details of his school day. Our conversation about his school day goes like this:

“How was school?”


“Did you do anything interesting?”

“No, it was just a normal day.”

“Do you have homework?”

He answers “Yes” or “No” and then the conversation is usually over.

While I watered everything, my son set up the lamp I bought. We moved the seed tray to a sunny window in the basement and put the dome in place. We decided to make a journal to track our progress and put it next to the tray. He promised to check the plants every day and I know that he will.

With this unseasonably warm winter, I can’t imagine how cooperative spring and summer will be for our garden. I am excited about it regardless of how well it does. For me, the fresh produce is only a portion of it. The best part is spending time with my son and sharing something we both enjoy.