We have been enjoying spending time caring for our garden on these long sunny days. And though slugs, snails, wild rabbits, and aphids are driving me absolutely batty, we are all loving slowing down in this busy life, getting our hands (fine, whole bodies) muddy, and growing our own food.

As we’ve been working in the garden, I’ve realized many things kids (and adults) can learn from gardening. As a busy mom friend just said to me this morning via facebook, It really is a gigantic enhancement in the kids lives.” 

Here are just a few of my observations. And read all the way to the end for a farm-to-table giveaway! 

– Responsibility: if the plants aren’t watered, they die.  
– Appreciation for nature: “We need bees!” is a great thing to hear kids exclaim when they are usually afraid of getting stung. Our girls now understand that when flowers on our plants are open, we want bees to come fertilize them. My 3 year old was just excitedly saying, “Mommy look, the bees are organizing our plants!” She meant fertilizing, of course – so cute. 
 –Patience: It can be really hard to wait until the fruit is ready to be picked. There have been many many white strawberries picked at our house. 

Healthy eating: Kids see firsthand the beauty that is real food. It’s food that comes from a seed, grows in the dirt, and needs TLC. It’s not a pre-packaged product from the grocery store. 

Calm: being outside listening to birds chirping rather than tv/iPad is relaxing! 

-Self confidence:  “I did it! I grew this amazing watermelon all by myself!” 

-Teamwork: Planning a garden is a team effort. I couldn’t have done it without Yummy Hubby building our raised beds and the kids working together for the common goal of producing fruits and vegetables. 

-Family time: This one isn’t something to learn, but it’s almost impossible to be looking at your phone or computer while working in the garden with your kids. 

Working hard and physical exercise: Digging holes in the dirt, lifting bags of soil, and even lifting a heavy hose is hard work and good exercise for little ones (and moms).

– Science: Research what specific plants need to thrive. A delicate balance of nutrients, light, and soil are needed to grow veggies. 

Problem Solving: “Why is our plant not thriving? What can we do to get rid of these aphids? How can we protect the plants from rabbit nibbles?” 

Want that farm-feeling in your house? Cracker Barrel is giving one of my readers an awesome gift basket! 
Cracker Barrel generously sent me a fabulous gift basket filled with farm to table goodies, and they’re going to give you one too! I received the cutest Milk Jug Measuring Cups, Veggie Apron, Food in Jars book, gift card and so much more. 
Enjoy fresh style for your home with Cracker Barrel’s new Farm-Inspired Collection. The collection includes an exclusive stoneware dining set inspired by summer farm stands, plus other home accents full of farmhouse charm.  The Farm To Table Collection is available at Cracker Barrel stores and online (http://shop.crackerbarrel.com/b/7092682011).  Stay up to date with new retail collections and menu items available at Cracker Barrel  at www.facebook.com/crackerbarrel , www.twitter.com/crackerbarrel or www.pinterest.com/crackerbarrel.

a Rafflecopter giveaway//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js