Growing Herbs with Kids: An Intentional Educational JourneyJun 14, 2023
Have you ever had a moment when your child blows your mind but not in a good way? You know that moment when their lack of knowledge about something you thought they already knew, surprises you? I had one of those a few years ago when my daughter enthusiastically exclaimed that herbs could help with healing and preventing sickness. She said it like this was the first time she ever came across the concept of herbs.
Honestly, I was speechless for a moment!
I mean, our pantry shelves were filled with jars of various herbs. How could she not know that we had been using herbs in our household for ages?
Curious, I asked her what she thought herbs were, and she said: “They are special medicines made by herbalists from natural ingredients found in the wild.” That's when it hit me—educational intervention alert. We needed to actively teach our kids about herbs, not just rely on their exposure to them.
Teaching children about herbs requires more than just using and growing them together. It demands intentional education. So that’s what I started doing. I started mentioning the herbs and spices we regularly used and talking about their benefits more. But also, started providing opportunities for reading, research, and discussions about the benefits of herbs.
Realizing this, I made sure the theme of herbs is included in our Oasis Box project—a beloved subscription box for moms— the very first year to make herbs familiar, accessible, and commonly used in every home. Our kids deserve to recognize that while herbs do not hold all the answers and cannot replace modern medicine, they can complement it in prevention, symptom management, and even cure. It’s crucial not to overlook their power and significance.
Growing Herbs with Kids
And of course, growing them is an important part of education.
When it comes to growing herbs with kids, it's crucial to understand that the term "herbs" encompasses a wide range of plant-based consumables, including items like chocolate and coffee. But of course, not every herb can be grown at home.
To simplify it, I categorize herbs that we can grow at home into two groups:
- Perennial herbs (such as Mint, Oregano, Thyme, and Stevia)
- and Annual/Biennial herbs (including Coriander, Parsley, Basil, and Dill).
When gardening with children, it's vital to consider the ease of growing each herb. Why? Because the key to successful gardening with kids lies in achieving the most and fastest results with minimal setbacks and disappointments. So, unless you're an expert grower, I would not advise you to grow perennial herbs from seeds at home. While you can attempt it as an experiment, it's best not to involve your kids extensively. Perennial herbs seeds can easily disappoint! Most of them are notoriously difficult to grow from seeds, with low germination rates and extended growth periods that even challenge adults' patience.
However, this doesn't mean you should completely avoid perennial herbs. On the contrary in fact!
We have a variety of perennial herbs thriving in our home gardens, and we love them! But we started them from seedlings or cuttings, not from seeds. I encourage you to take the same approach with your family. The beauty of perennial herbs lies in their ability to grow for years once planted. While they require an initial small investment, they offer long-lasting rewards. Kids love the satisfaction of growing something that provides continuous rewards. And they offer variety in your teachings when combined with growing annual herbs.
On the other hand, growing annual leafy green herbs with kids is an incredibly rewarding experience. Most of these herbs, which grow relatively quickly, have a potent flavor and aroma that not only can enhance your family’s meals but also provide a fantastic sensory experience that takes your kids right into connecting with nature.
The HERBS Oasis Box
In the current month's Oasis Box (June 2023), we focus on HERBS. and specifically growing Basil, an easy herb to grow that can interest children cause it’s used in pizza!
The box is filled with all things growing herbs! Including organic expandable coconut coir brick, a nonwoven cloth planter, and organic basil seeds, along with colorfully designed step-by-step instructions tailored for kids.
However, learning about herbs doesn't stop there. The box also contains a beautiful booklet featuring pictures, word games, a secondary guide on growing mint from cuttings, a points tracking sheet for those who love tracking their progress, and more.
Additionally, we introduce a HERB DRYING RACK as an exciting hands-on teaching tool to educate children about herbs. And the best part? All the necessary supplies for building the rack are included right in the box, along with optional decorations.
To enhance the educational experience further, the Oasis Box provides a herbs-themed coloring page, a sheet of cut-out collectible garden talk cards, and even a small bag of organic dried hibiscus. By including flowers like hibiscus, we aim to captivate children's fascination with the idea that even flowers can be considered herbs. Every item in the Oasis Box is carefully chosen to create a fun and engaging experience while facilitating learning.
Growing herbs and food with kids is an exciting and fulfilling journey that creates lasting memories and leaves behind a powerful legacy. However, it's not always easy to maintain consistency in this journey. Developing green thumbs does not happen overnight. It takes time and commitment.
This is where the Oasis Box, the gardening subscription box designed for kids, comes in. It offers convenience, continuity, and ease, providing everything you need to grow herbs and vegetables while brightening young minds and cultivating a love for gardening. The box creates beautiful family memories that will extend beyond your lifetime and positively impact the lives of future generations in your family line.
If you're interested in joining the Oasis Box community, you can find the waitlist link below. Please note that the availability of memberships may vary depending on when you read this blog. Check it out HERE to see if you can join us on this exciting journey!
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, and we hope to see you in the Oasis Box community soon!