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Green Conversations with an 8 Year Old

Om Namah Shivaya!

One of the best things about being a parent is getting a glimpse of the world through a child’s eyes! It can be an opportunity to reflect on your own childhood and early discoveries, which helped shape your own interests and gifts. After a tumultuous 2020, a new job, a move, and settling into a new home, a wonderful dialog began with our son regarding a new garden, and making our surroundings more vibrant and full of thriving green friends. It may not be the most instructional conversation, but a child’s love of Nature comes through with a flurry of colors and whimsical ideas. The imagination is truly a wonderful gift! Enjoy this peek into Nicolas’ dream garden.

Here we go:

Anadi: What have you been doing the last 11 months to keep your heart happy, since a lot of your favorite places have been closed and you haven’t been able to see friends?

Nic: Fishing and planting seeds.

Anadi: What have you been planting?

Nic: Beans, lettuce, carrots, and cat grass, of course.

Anadi: Of course. I’m glad you remembered to plant for your cats, too. Do you think the cats will enjoy the sprouts?

Nic: They help me check on the plants every day.

Anadi: Now that we’ve moved to a colder region this winter, you’ve had to start your garden inside. Is there anything more challenging about beginning your seedlings indoors?

Nic: I guess you have to check the soil more often inside. Because it can get dry. Making sure it’s moist is important.

Anadi: And since there are two cats in the house, how do you keep pets from sniffing, chewing and digging in the new plants?

Nic: I found one of our laundry baskets has holes in it, so I put it upside-down over the planter box. The sunlight can go through the holes and the fresh air, too. And the cats can’t get too close!

Anadi: Did that work out? Did the seeds sprout without a problem?

Nic: They sprouted super-fast.

Anadi: Do you think you’ll migrate the plants outside when they get bigger or keep the garden going indoors?

Nic: I’m going to move some outside and keep the cat grass inside. I really want to find out how big our carrots can get. I can’t really do that inside.

Anadi: What’s your favorite plant to grow?

Nic: Beans. They sprout fast and get tall. Tomatoes are harder and take forever to get ripe.

Anadi: Do you have any favorite trees or plants at the ashram in San Ramon?

Nic: Not really. But I like to see the sheep, bugs, and newts. There are a lot of newts by the pond.

Anandi: Could the newts survive without the plants at the pond?

Nic: No. They need rocks, minerals and water, too.


Anandi: Just like plants! Since we have a yard for planting now, have you thought about any trees you might like to plant out back?

Nic: Two redwood trees. About five feet from each other so that I can hang a hammock between them. And I want to plant a LOT of apple trees. I got a lot of practice digging holes to plant apple trees in the orchard. I dug four holes!

Anandi: Do you remember apple picking at the ashram last year? What do you remember learning at the ashram that might help your new trees for the backyard?

Nic: There were some wire baskets that were put in the tree holes to protect the roots of the baby trees.

Anandi: From what? I forgot…

Nic: From GOPHERS! (pauses and face lights up!) Oh my gosh. I just had a great idea!

Anandi: What’s that?

Nic: I could dig a hole 10 feet deep and make a pit.

Anandi: And what would we do with a deep pit in the yard?

Nic: Make a compost pile! We just need to get a shovel and some worms to make it work; the best gardens have lots of compost.

Anandi: That’s an awesome idea. We should research it for when the ground thaws. It’s too cold to start that project for another month or two. Hey, what do you think about starting a beehive in our back yard?

Nic: We would need a lot of money to get the hives and the special suits that the beekeepers use. Bees don’t like it when you go near their hive. I learned that the hard way.

Anandi: Yes. I remember. But maybe if we grow lavender near the bees, like they do in San Ramon and in Maui, the bees will be relaxed and happy?

Nic: I guess we could try…but it might be better to get chickens instead.

Anadi: Are you going to build the coop?

Nic: I just need bigger tools. I could do it. And I’ll name all the chickens, "Chicken 1, Chicken 2, Chicken 3, Chicken 4 and Chicken 5."

Anadi: I like the idea. Let’s keep brainstorming this spring and ask around. Is there any other plant you’d like to start in your indoor winter planter?

Nic: Yes! Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins! They’re the best. Oh, a lemon tree, blackberry bushes and blueberry bushes. We can make blueberry lemonade!

Anadi: Should we plant a rose garden this spring?

Nic: Why not? I’ll just keep digging. And dig and dig and dig and dig and dig and DIG.

Anadi: Anything else we need to add or keep in mind as we get ready for springtime planting?

Nic: Well, there are wolves in the county. If anyone is out in the garden, remember to kneel down to their level and stay very still, so that they know you don’t mean them any harm.

Anadi: I’ll try to remember that, but I might forget while I’m running away from them and screaming for help.

Nic: Mommmmm!

Anadi: I was remembering that Amma would regularly bless and kiss the new seedlings that were going to be planted in the San Ramon orchard. Since we can’t see Amma right now, do you think there’s anything we can do to receive Amma’s blessing for our new plants and trees?

Nic: Just put a picture of Amma up on the tree. Also, we could water our new plants with Holy Water from Devi Bhava.

Anadi: And that will be just as good as in-person blessing?

NIc: It’s actually even better because Devi Bhava water IS Amma. And if we add water from the Sacramento Headwaters where the water comes out of the volcanic tubes, then the plants will be super blessed. We can give the holy water to the chickens too. Chicken 1, Chicken 2, Chicken 3, Chicken 4 and Chicken 5 will be protected and happy.

Anadi: Well, we have a lot of work to do. Are you excited?

Nic: Yeah!

Anadi: And what might you say to someone who may not recognize that kids can make amazing gardens come to life, as you’re planning to do?

Nic: Hey, dude! Come and see my garden for yourself! No, really! Come see it for real!

Anadi: Great idea. Hopefully they become inspired to add more beauty to Mother Earth, too.

Nic: And maybe they’ll get Chicken #6! Happy Springtime and Gardening to All!

Aum Amriteshwariye Namaha!

Anadi and Nicolas Watrous are new residents in Siskiyou County, near Mount Shasta in CA, USA. They live with Nic’s dad, James, sister, Noel, and two garden-loving cats: Flash and Max.

GreenFriends North America invites Amma's younger children and youth to share their Nature activities, thoughts, art, poetry, etc.... all Nature related. Please submit material to info@greenfriendsna.org

Read an excerpt from Man and nature from the Q1 2021 newsletter >>


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