Spring is here and it’s planting time. That is true for Makoto’s garden. (Makoto is a boy who is the main character of my “The Can-Do Karate Kid” picture book.) What are you growing? Here’s what Makoto is choosing for his garden.
In Makoto’s Garden for Color and Flavor
Makoto’s favorite color is red, so he tends to gravitate toward red foods. But if he didn’t like the flavor of an edible plant, he wouldn’t grow it, no matter how pretty the red. Makoto enjoys eating the harvest after all of his hard gardening work.
Watermelon* Makoto has wanted to grow it ever since eating an heirloom watermelon that his Nana grew in her yard. It had more flavor and a bit of tartness unlike any store-bought watermelon he’d ever tried.
Ruby Red Popcorn: Once dried, Makoto likes to put the whole small ear of corn in a paper bag and microwave it for popped popcorn on the cob.
Ruby Red Swiss Chard* is the only cooked green that Makoto likes to eat. His mom cuts the stems up and first sautés them before adding the leafy greens to the pot.
Favorite Flavors in Makoto’s Garden
Mint* plants from Nana just keep growing and that’s fine with Makoto. That’s because he likes to put a few fresh mint leaves into iced lemonade for drinking after karate.
Lemon Cucumber* is tasty and fun to grow. The cucumbers don’t look like typical cucumbers. That’s because they are short, round and yellow. When they are ready to pick, Makoto likes to eat them sliced with a little salt, along with cherry tomatoes for a snack, or even for breakfast sometimes.
In Makoto’s Garden to Fend off Slugs and Snails
Notice the *asterisked items above; slugs and snails don’t like them. Makoto hopes that these plants will also help keep away the Laziness slug monster and Procrastination snail monster that like to challenge him and make his life difficult. Below, you will find some more plants Makoto picks out to help fend off these aggressors. These are good for planting throughout the organic garden to keep away other bad bugs and to attract beneficial insects.
Feather Flower (also Makoto’s favorite red)
Geranium: Makoto’s Nana once told him that her grandmother always had geranium plants in the front yard. Makoto loves to grow red geraniums and carry on the family tradition.
Not everyone can have a garden like Makoto. But we can all grow things in containers. Maybe we can give it “the old college try” and grow just one house plant. That simple thing can help clean the air, provide oxygen, help you learn and bring you joy. What are you growing this spring?