It was just a few days ago that we picked our first cucumber of the year at Walnut Hollow Farm.  We haven’t had much luck lately with cukes; squash bugs destroyed the plants 2 years ago and last year our spoiled hens found the ripening veggies quite tasty. It amazes me how excited I get about little things like this. As a child, toiling in my parent’s garden was a huge chore for me.  Now I Look forward to growing my favorite herbs, tomatos, eggplants, and other vegetables.  I share pictures on Instagram and report on growth progress and flowering to my husband.

It’s not just that home grown, organic foods taste better to me.  It’s more than that. It’s about nurturing.  Planting the seeds and watching the progress.  Sharing excitement and the bounty with friends. It’s part of what makes the summer months my favorite time of year.  I’m not an expert gardener by any means, but I learn something new every year.  It’s more about the experience for me.

Parenting requires a lot of nurturing and research shows that children who are nurtured are better equipped to take care of themselves as adults.  The National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention has identified nurturing as one of the 5 protective factors that increase health and well-being in families.  According to a 2016 article written by the Michigan State University Extension, parents can nurture by practicing empathy, establishing routines, using positive touch, and keeping children safe from harm.  Getting children involved in taking care of animals and helping you in the flower or vegetable garden are good ways to be nurtured and teach nurturing skills.  That’s a win!