Have you ever thought about the fact that the very first place God chose for man to live was in a beautiful garden?
Often, when we think of the garden of Eden, we think of the fall of man and the heavy labor of gardening that came about as a result. But in the very beginning, gardening was a labor of love and the pleasure of God’s company in the cool of the evening on long walks in the garden was the perfect way to end each day.
For your crafting adventure today, we are going to create a garden.
In every survival world I have ever made, I have created a garden in one form or another. The most commonly grown item is wheat, because it is easy to find and abundant. You could complete your crafting adventure in creative for this lesson, but I suggest doing it in survival, and here is why:
~ In our lesson on Strategic Planning, your child made a list of things he needed in the area of his house. One of the suggestions was room for a garden or farm (the only difference being the size). This is a perfect opportunity for your child to practice strategic planning. They need to set up a functional layout, figure out how many wheat seeds they will need, consider the possibility of adding other crops in the future, decide whether or not they are going to make a fence, etc.
~ As with every activity, they need to make sure they are prepared. Have them make a list of the tools they will need (mainly a hoe and axe), and then have them make sure everyone is ready before they start.
~ They need the food for survival, especially if you have hostile mobs on. By creating a garden in survival, they will gain a better appreciation for the importance of farming.
~ No doubt you have heard, “Practice makes perfect.” Though it will not ever be perfect, the more your children work together as a community the better they will get at it. This is a good opportunity for them to help each other. Have one of your kids be in charge of the project and suggest that maybe he/she assign the others jobs and work buddies. Maybe one pair can get the required wood, get the seeds, make the tools, flatten the area for the garden, etc.
Ask your children what they think a perfect-scenario garden should have. Their list should include:
1. A big flat area
2. Water canals every 5 blocks. This makes sure that the seeds have plenty of water so that the food grows faster. For watermelon and pumpkin patches, I would suggest doing it every three blocks instead.
3. A fence all the way around with a strategically placed gate. Make sure that the area outside of the fence is the same as inside the fence for at least two blocks, so that no one can easily jump the fence.
4. If you want to, have a storage building just for the crops nearby. Depending on how big the farm is and how far it is away from your house, it has the potential to take multiple trips back and forth per harvest. By having an additional storage room you don’t have to make as many trips, since you only have to make sure the one chest at the house is full.
5. Light, light, and more light. Whether you make it under or above ground or inside a building, make sure it has light. If it doesn’t, it won’t grow at all. Unless it’s your mushroom farm. In that case the less light the better.
As you may have noticed, many of the items you can grow have specific requirements for them to actually grow, much as they do in real life. Cactus needs to be on a block of sand with a 1-block trench around it (or in the middle of a 3×3 area of sand). It is found in the desert and is not edible. However, it is useful for dye or as mob repellent. Be carefully when collecting it, for it is very prickly. Watermelon and pumpkin seeds should be put in the ground every other block , so that they have a one block area around them.
Watermelon can be found in the jungle or in special chests in mine shafts. Pumpkins are found on the plains or in mine shafts. Sugar cane must be next to water and is found wherever there is water. Cocoa beans only grow on jungle wood, so they can only be found in the jungle. Mushrooms (both red and brown) must be in the shade if not completely in the dark. They can be found in caves, or in the spruce forest. As for carrots and potatoes, they require the same environment as wheat. They are found only in villages or collected randomly from hostile mobs.
Gardening in real life is a lot like gardening in Minecraft, isn’t it? You need proper tools, properly spaced seeds or plants, light and water in the proper amounts, a place to grow, and a plan for storing the harvest! I love having a garden in real life. We plant lots of beautiful flowers, but we also plant tomatoes, cucumber, watermelon, cabbage, and have tried even more. It is an amazing thing to eat food from your very own garden!
Gardening for Kids Extension Activities
We have a fantastic list of 25 Ways Kids can Grow a Garden, which is perfect for hands-on learning and growing and eating the fruit of your labor. I love the ideas in that list!
Want more Minecraft ideas for your homeschool? Check out our 31 Day series!
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