My kids love to help me harvest all the fruits and vegetables we plant in our gardens and orchard. While picking, it is hard to fill a basket. It is so tempting for them to pop a juicy, delicious raspberry, blackberry, or strawberry into their mouths. Believe it or not, it’s even hard to keep the green beans and peas from being eaten fresh out of the vegetable garden, but we get what we can.
Each year I get my kids more and more involved in helping with the harvest. They don’t just help with picking fruits and vegetables, but also with canning, freezing, and drying. We even make crafts with some of our harvests.
My kids reap the rewards of cooking with the many foods we harvest from our homestead, by learning how to season dishes with fresh herbs from the herb garden and helping me come up with new homemade dishes, straight from our homestead. They appreciate how much better food tastes when you grow it your self or buy from a local farmer/farmers market.
We dry herbs together and bottle or freeze them for winter cooking. We make herbal mixes, infused oils, and herbal teas. Some of our herbs are used in crafts to give away as gifts throughout the year.
My kids have learned how to save seeds for planting in the garden next year. My younger kids like to compare the sizes, shapes, and colors of the seeds. We try to figure out how much of each kind of seed we will need for the following year and what new foods we might want to plant. Harvesting with kids can be so much fun.
Tip: If you have the room, plant extra fruits and vegetables for the kids to harvest and sell. This will teach them a little about money and business.