• How much did the “crop” yield
  • How did you use it?  Raw or cooked?  Include new recipes.
  • Did you like it?

The Growing Connection at Collective Roots says it simply:
Cultivating Food…Connecting Minds….Harvesting Hope 


Earth Box Gardens

From earthbox.com: "Since 1994, EarthBox® has been the pioneer in container gardening systems. The patented EarthBox® was developed by commercial farmers and proven in the lab and on the farm. Our maintenance-free, award-winning, high-tech growing system controls soil conditions, eliminates guesswork and more than doubles the yield of a conventional garden…with less fertilizer, less water and virtually no effort!"

We used this system last year on our deck with amazing results and no work after the planting was done. The soil can be reused each year and because of the water reservoir, we could be away without the worry of watering. The planters have wheels, so the “garden” could be moved easily to avoid high winds and hail.

After receiving the Earth Box as a gift, The Buster brothers from Bounder, Colorado  (Grant, 18 and Max, 16) decided to make their own gardening system. Using locally sourced, low cost recycled materials. they created Global Buckets:  2  5 gallon buckets, 10 cents worth of PVC pipe and a plastic drinking cup.    Check out You Tube to hear their story. 

                                                                        Tomatoes             Red, yellow, orange, green
                                                                        Peppers                Red, yellow, orange, green
                                                                        Squash                  Green, yellow, orange
                                                                        Cauliflower           White, lime green, purple, orange
                                                                        Potatoes               White, yellow, purple  
                                                                        Beans                    Green, yellow, purple
                                                                        Eggplant                Purple, white

Plant what kids will eat but introduce new vegetables for taste tests. There is always a “way” to invite cautious eaters to be more adventurous! Make boats out of peapods and encourage creativity by having them design faces  on pizza (or on their plates) out of garden treasures.

 (Broccoli hair, cucumber eyes, tomato nose and a big red pepper smile can combine to make a veggie dip, salad toppings or vegetable soup!) Make a list of all the different ways you can use each vegetable. Check out our Vegetable Soup Garden, Salsa Garden and Spaghetti Garden listed below.

Every garden store and website for gardens has mountains of material to help choose products and supplies and find answers to any of your questions. You can spend lots of money or almost nothing at all. All the information for every part of gardening  is already out there. You can go online and find hundreds of sites for Kids Gardening ideas. Green Grandparents does not sell or recommend any specific products. We suggest “tried and true” methods that work with the most effectiveness and the least amount of work. We want you to enjoy the garden together! Our 3 top choices for Grand-Gardening are companies who have made a commitment to helping solve the world hunger problem.

And then add:


  1. Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert - This colorful book walks your baby through the gardening process from the seeds to the soup table, carefully labeling vegetables and garden tools. 

  2. The Ugly Vegetables by Grance Lin

  3. Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots by Sharon Lovejoy  Guidlines for 20 best plants for children and plans for 9 theme gardens

  4. Wicked Cool Sustainable Solutions for the Earth by Becky Johnson

  5. Check out the online chart to select the best gardening book for the needs of your family  www.gardeningwithkids.org
  • When did you plant?
  • When did it come up?
  • When each vegetable is ready to harvest

 Global Buckets: Two Buckets on a Mission ​

Is it possible two cheap plastic buckets can help reduce global malnutrition 


Square-Foot Gardening   by Mel Bartholomew


Square Foot Gardening is a system of  raised beds Square Foot Gardening is a system of raised beds made of wooden boxes 1ft x 1ft that can be used seperately or joined together in 3ft or 4ft square garden.  Each person can plant and take care of their own section.   With Square Foot Gardening you will get 100% of the harvest with only  20% of the space,  10% of the water, 5% of the seeds,  and  0% of the fertilizer compared to a conventional row garden.  And a BIG plus:  Almost no work and no weeds.

Check out these other websites for more information:  www.YourGardenSolution.org 



              SPAGHETTI GARDEN

2  spaghetti squash plants
3 tomato plants
4 basil plants
1 row of green onions
1 row of garlic
2 parsley
1 oregano


     2 other books with different methods of gardening we need to explore: 

  • Lasagna Gardening by Patricia Lazza 

                             A unique layer approach to preparing the garden

  • Vertical Gardening by Derek Fell Gardens that climb in small spaces 


Keep a When Journal:  

Gardening with grandchildren is a beautiful experience of connecting to the earth from planning to harvest. It is a project with a purpose.  From sowing the seeds or setting out the plants, children can be involved in the whole process. In climates where it is necessary to wait until May, many happy hours can be spent with seed catalogs during the winter….cutting and pasting garden plans.  Sharing the adventure and sharing the abundant harvest with neighbors or food shelves gives the garden a special meaning.

As grandparents retire and join the ranks of senior citizens, it is important to choose a garden that works for you and your grandchildren….that is what makes it “Grand-Gardening”….a grand experience together….not hours and hours of heavy labor.   As long as plants have 6-8 hours of sunlight, decent soil and enough water, the garden will be a success. When grandchildren are small…start small, in the ground or in containers with a few of your favorites.  Let them grow up experiencing and EXPECTING the wonder. Then they will be gardeners for life.

Spending time with grandchildren in gardens can teach us many life lessons. Patience is part of every step!  Waiting for the end result and watching for the all the changes, brings joy along the way. Understanding the balance of nature teaches tolerance, bad weather and crop damage helps children handle disappointment and provides opportunities for problem solving. A job well done and seeing the rewards of their work brings pride and self esteem. 

There are many ways to garden….I grew up with a mother who could grow anything without adding much to the soil except for cow manure. Her kind of gardening was fun for us because she planned early, middle and late summer menus around “what was ready to eat”.  

I can still hear her say, “Let’s go pick a salad” or “Who wants to pick a soup?” And I remember the wonder of peeking under the potato vines and taking just a few tiny potatoes for one of the early summer dinners…Creamed peas with the skinny little carrots from the thinning of the rows and the baby potatoes. 

don't throw it, GROW IT!  68 Windowsill Plants from kitchen scraps
by  Deborah Peterson and Millicent Selsman​

RED              Tomatoes,  peppers, radishes, strawber

ORANG        Pumpkins, squash, peppers, carrots 

GREEN         Beans, peas, lettuce, peppers, zucchini, squash             
BLUE            Blueberries

YELLOW       Summer squash,  corn,

PURPLE        Eggplant


This information will help you plan for the next year. **Note:  If you live in a year around garden climate, make a chart for the whole year so you can keep track of when new seeds should be started and other garden chores to include.  Northern gardeners have to do it all in a much shorter season. 

The 4 P’s apply to everyone:  Planning, Preparing, Planting and Picking. Whichever style of garden you choose, preparation is the most important AND the most work!


Grand Gardening

Green Grandparents

                  SALSA GARDEN

4 tomato plants
4 different kinds of peppers
3 sweet     1 hot
1 row of green onions
1 row of garlic
Parsley ​

​                            A  RAINBOW  BOUQUET

Plant a garden of edible flowers to use in salads and garnishes

Grandma's Incredible Edible Flower Garden     www.grandmas.wisdom.com
Check out the chart at http://homecooking.about.com

Everyday favorites:  lavender, thyme, dill, cilantro, day lily, squash blossoms, basil, chives and nasturtiums  http://whatscookingamerica.net



Choose your  favorite  vegetables  and  plant a  soup!