Saturday Star - - SPORT -

KIDS are al­ways game for some­thing dif­fer­ent. Imag­ine funny-shaped car­rots, weird and won­der­ful coloured beet­root, blue peas and yel­low beans?

When grow­ing veg­gies is fun, kids are likely to be a lot more en­thu­si­as­tic about eat­ing them, es­pe­cially if they can pick the veg­gies them­selves.

That’s the think­ing be­hind the range of RAW veg­gie seed that aims to en­tice a new gen­er­a­tion into the gar­den.

“Younger gar­den­ers want to grow some­thing dif­fer­ent,” ex­plains Mar­laen Straathof, who put the col­lec­tion of RAW veg­gies to­gether.

The search for some­thing new has that ‘back-to-the-fu­ture’ feel of time travel be­cause what’s new is in fact old.

Most are open-pol­li­nated, nonGMO, heir­loom va­ri­eties that were jet­ti­soned be­cause gar­den­ers wanted uni­form, blem­ish-free veg­gies.

Car­rots that look like radishes, pink cel­ery or yel­low beet­root may seem quirky, but they are all heir­loom va­ri­eties, says Mar­laen.

“Many young gar­den­ers don’t have the space for a veg­gie gar­den, or live in apart­ments. So, th­ese va­ri­eties are suitable for grow­ing in con­tain­ers on a bal­cony or pa­tio, or in very small spa­ces.” KIDS need to have their own space: a bed that re­ceives plenty of sun and is close enough to a tap so that wa­ter­ing is easy.

En­list dad’s help to pre­pare the soil be­fore plant­ing. Dig over the soil, loos­en­ing to a depth of 30cm.

Break down hard clumps, and re­move sticks and stones. Add in com­post, bone­meal for root growth and a long-last­ing fer­tiliser like Vig­orosa.

Rake level, wa­ter well and leave overnight be­fore sow­ing the seed.

Af­ter sow­ing the seed, press down the soil firmly but gen­tly with your hands to bring the seeds into con­tact with the soil and wa­ter well.

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