I'm a big believer in having a garden and fruit trees to nourish your family. Then your kids can grab fresh produce to munch on as they run around the yard. Growing a garden is a fun hobby and teaches kids about how fresh fruits and vegetables are grown. And if you compost your produce scraps and yard debris you have a self sustaining soil mix for your garden to grow from, plus a really cool science experiment in your own backyard.
Here's some of the plants we have for some ideas, but with just a little research you can find out what grows in your area during each season. Limited space is also not an issue, you can grow a garden in a few pots if you don't have a plot. So even if you have an apartment balcony, you can grow a little patch of produce for the kiddos.
We have two small gardens in different parts of the yard; one that gets a lot of direct sunlight and one that gets a more diffuse light pattern. That way we have different lighting available for different seasons. We also have a few different fruit trees throughout the yard, but those take a long time to produce fruit and are only something you want to invest in if you're going to be in your house for a long time.
- We have a kumquat tree that is the most prolific and satisfying plants that we own. It requires very little and produces some of the tastiest, tangy little fruits. Kumquats are bite sized citrus that are eaten with the skin on. The skin contains the sweet part of the fruit while the inner pulp is tangy. Once our tree starts pumping out these little jewels we're out eating them as we go about gardening and playing outside.
- We also have a strawberry plant that the kids check regularly for flowers and strawberries. Keeping my toddler from eating them until they're ripe is a challenge, but it's great that he's excited about fruit.
- We have a pomegranate tree, but it hasn't come into fruition yet. But I'm excited for that day...
- During the Winter we grow salad gardens, which essentially are a hodge podge of mixed greens. My kids like to pretend they're Peter Rabbit and sample leaves from different greens. A nibble here and a nibble there and my kids have tried a little spinach and lettuce without complaining.
-With the exception of the middle of the Summer, we always have a cherry tomato plant going. They're easy to pop in your mouth and a make for a tangy snack.
-Snap peas are another great snack- crunchy and sweet and easy to grow if you have a scaffold for them to crawl. Along those lines cucumbers are also crawlers that make great snacks.
-Micrrogreens require very little space (they can even grow in a pot of need be) and only take about 10 days to harvest. It's immediate gratification and a great beginning gardening project. And microgreens expose your kids to a ton of different greens ins a single bite.