I found this game "The Garden Game" at a thrift store, brand new and factory sealed. I grabbed it because the artwork is very nice. I had no idea how many hours we would spend playing it. You have to take care of your garden despite many obstacles. You must feed your soil, plant seeds, nurture plants, and deal with natural disasters. You get to reap rewards for your choices too, like harvesting and sharing with your community, even having harvest festivals if all goes well.
Over the winter we cozied up at the table with pots of tea and played hours of The Garden Game while dreaming of spring and getting ideas for our real life garden game.
If you play the game well you will reap a harvest. Every spring we each plant something that we like to eat and we are each responsible for taking care of it. My 9YO is pretty good about tending her little space, she was happy to dig up and eat these sweet mini carrots.
My 13YO doesn't enjoy gardening or gardens for that matter. She prefers foraging, climbing, catching animals, bird watching, identifying rocks, but not gardening. When we were picking out seeds last spring I urged her to at least pick out one things to grow. She likes salad so she picked mutli colored salad greens. She also read that they would be ready to harvest fairly soon. She planted them and that was pretty much the extent of her "gardening".
I wanted to just let them be, they were her responsibility.
But every time they were dried out and mostly dead I caved in and watered them. I shaded them. I couldn't help it! I can't just leave things to die needlessly. This is what lettuces look like if you ignore them. Cute little flowers on top and seeds, which I collected. I will plant them this year. My salad loving girl will enjoy eating them and it's fine by me that she dislikes gardening. Everyone has their own thing to do.
Now for this year's cast of characters...so far. Yesterday I planted two of my all time favorite things- nasturtiums and beets (you know I love my beets!). I think they are both beautiful and tasty so every year they are top priority to plant. This time the beets are 'candy striped'. I can't wait to see them!