Attempts at nurturing

Attempts at nurturing

We have embraced a number of projects on our journey towards gardening for mindfulness, aimed at developing our sons senses of seeing, hearing, feeling and smelling. Through these sensory enhancements, we aim to ease his terrors, calm his mind and give him the tools to help control his random thoughts and concerns. At least to try, without always having to pump medication into him.

Our first project, which is ideal for this time of year, is the sowing and cultivation of tomato seeds. Though our son will not understand some of the detail, we will talk through how the plant has spent the previous season growing and producing the seeds that we are now going to plant, aiming to give him some understanding about these minute little things in the palm of our hands. We will reflect on the fact that each of these seeds holds a leaf, stem and roots that will with his care, grow into a new plant from which we can, with care and attention, grow to give us the tomatoes that we can eat.

A lesson we need to understand, is that we need to ensure we nurture it continually and once we have committed to sow the seeds, we cannot abandon them. We have to give them constant attention, considering their needs to allow them to grow. We will use this analogy in other aspects of relationships and life where constant attention is required to enable growth and health. This is an area that his Autism prevents him from understanding, or indeed wanting to engage with and so we hope this may be a tool to help him.

As with relationships, a plant grows and has differing requirements as it grows, we need to understand that, learn about it and provide it, so that ultimately the plant, and indeed the relationships can reward us by flourishing.

What we nurture, nurtures us in return.

Our chosen Tomato seeds were recommended by a [Flickr] friend and our first Gardening for mindfulness project starts here with ‘Attempts to nurture’

10 thoughts on “Attempts at nurturing

  1. A wonderful project, Paul. I love how you are relating the seed and the growing to how we grow and develop as individuals and in relationship with others. A great choice of variety here, they are lovely tomatoes.

    1. Thank you so much David, if successful, I hope Marc will be able to visualise the tomatoes and use this in relation to making friends and keeping them. We’ll see, though I expect it will require ongoing encouragement too. As always though, our immediate thought is to help focus is thoughts on the detail of sowing and feeding etc πŸ™‚

  2. Hi Paul,

    I’m delighted you’re trying Alicante tomatoes you should have great success with them. I’m sure Marc will take an interest in watching the seedlings emerge & develop.

    Have you sown the seeds yet? Might be a little early with frosts being a regular occurrence, the soil temperature needs to be a certain average for seeds to germinate, I forget what! You ideally need the flowers to develop when there are plenty of insects to pollinate them which is early May usually. I’ll start our seeds off the middle of February probably.

    Good luck! Love to Marc & yourselves of course xx

    1. Thank you Julie, well I do listen to recommendations πŸ™‚ I have split the seeds to try a few approaches. The first few I have (we have) sown in pots of seed compost indoors – another set of plant pots for the kitchen window sill – with poly bags over them to help the humidity. I’m told on the packet we should see them germinating in about 10 days and then we can prick them out and depending upon temperature, move them to the poly greenhouse. I have some seeds to sow in the poly greenhouse in February as you are and I’ve just put up my thermometer so I can keep an eye on things in there.

      This stage was a little too fiddly for Marc. beyond filling the pots with compost, but he did sit with me as we talked through what we were doing and each day we will visit the pots and examine for anything green beginning to pop through πŸ™‚

      Thank you as always for your support and encouragement, Julie xx

  3. Have you ever grown ‘Swift’ early potatoes, either in pots or growbags?
    Maybe would interest Marc, normally produce in about 10 weeks, planted late Feb.

    1. Hi Les, I’ve always looked at potatoes – Monty Don makes it look so easy – but never got round to trying them. I’ll have a look at setting something off as I’m sure you are right in that Marc would likely take to these too. I’ll keep you posted πŸ™‚

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