This Saturday, May 11, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the Blacksburg Farmers Market will present their annual Gardening Day, with free expert advice for adults and fun games and activities for kids.
In addition to enjoying the normal offerings of local produce, fine foods, and farm- and nature-related crafts available from vendors, families are invited to gather under the big tent, where local gardening experts will give out tips and children can enjoy activities and music by Waltzy the Wonderdog.
The Blacksburg Farmers Market is located in Market Square Park, at the corner of Roanoke Street and Draper Road NW in Blacksburg.
For more information, visit: the Blacksburg Farmers Market webpage or Facebook Page.
Some nature-related points about gardening that this event may help bring to life for the children include:
- Local produce is better for the planet than fruits and veggies trucked from far away or shipped from overseas. All the fossil fuel that is burned to bring the food hundreds or thousands of miles from where it was grown to your dinner table creates a lot of pollution! Much less pollution is made when produce can be bought from local farmers.
- “Organic” fruits and vegetables are also better for the planet because they are grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Pesticides and herbicides not only contribute to pollution as they are produced and transported, but also if they are misapplied to an area and excess chemical runs into local streams – causing algae overgrowth (fertilizers) and/or killing fish and other water animals.
- Bugs can be a good part of a healthy garden! “Good” bugs, such as ladybugs and garden spiders, catch and eat insects that damage crops.
- Composting leaves, grass, and fruit and veggie scraps is a great way to keep extra waste out of the landfill and to add nutrients back to garden or landscape soil without using chemical fertilizers.
- Creating a backyard Wildlife Habitat is easy and it helps all sorts of animals, from insects to songbirds and from squirrels to frogs, have a safe and healthy place to live. Also, when a backyard is good habitat, the kids (and adults) who own that backyard have many more opportunities to see, hear, and enjoy wildlife. May is Garden for Wildlife Month.
Spending time in the garden with an adult is a great way for kids to get used to being in nature and get over early fears of insects and worms. Additionally, garden chores can provide a small source of income for kids if parents are willing to pay a penny per weed pulled out by the roots or berry picked or caterpillar (gently) removed.
Last, but not least, time spent gardening helps kids get their “Green Hour” for the day – allowing their minds to retain information better by letting them take a break from hard concentration (as they experience in school) to a softer, less direct attention.
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