It’s time to get those little hands dirty (as if they needed a reason). Gardening and interacting with the earth is a the perfect way for kids to learn about the environment, plants and growth, and where the food they eat actually comes from. Fortunately for families, Southern California is home to several nursery and garden centers that provide hands-on, dirt-between-your-fingers experiences for kids. Here is a look at four great garden centers and nurseries to get your family involved in the ecosphere.

Kids Gardening

City Farmers Nursery
City Farmers Nursery is a family-owned, independently operated garden supply nursery located in the heart of San Diego. They specialize in unique items that big box and chain stores do not carry. City Farmers takes great pride in organically maintaining every plant, bush and tree as Mother Nature. The Nursery encourages visitors to drop by, visit the farm animals, organic produce stand, or attend a free gardening or cooking classes. One of City Farmers’ hallmark events is the annual kids pumpkin-growing contest, which kicks off every June. For 24 years, City Farmers has been encouraging future farmers by handing out seeds and teaching kids to grow their own pumpkins.

4832 Home Avenue
San Diego, Ca. 92105
‪619-284-6358
Online: cityfarmersnursery.com

Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center
Located in National City, Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center strives to connect and motivate students and families from diverse backgrounds through organic gardening, environmental stewardship, and nutrition education. Through food, education and community engagement, Olivewood’s goal is to reconnect students and families to the natural environment. They offer weekly one-hour guided tours of the Learning Center grounds and program. Tours include garden and kitchen class observation and are also an opportunity to meet other people interested in edible education, gardening, and school lunch reform in our region.

2525 N Avenue
National City, Ca. 91950
619-434-4260
Online: olivewoodgardens.org

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Suzie’s Farm
Suzie’s Farm is located on 70 beautiful acres of USDA-certified organic farm that grows more than 100 different types of crops each year. Their products are found in San Diego Farmer’s Markets, grocery stores and restaurants, and through its Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Suzie’s Farm is located near the Tijuana Estuary, 13 miles south of downtown San Diego. The property owners encourage families to enjoy the farm through farmer days, public tours, educational field trips, and special events. Suzie’s Farm also features special seasonal u-pick events including strawberries in May; tomatoes in August; and pumpkins in October.

1856 Saturn Boulevard
San Diego, Ca. 92154
619-662-1780
Online: suziesfarm.com

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Summers Past Farms
This unique family-owned farm is located just outside San Diego, but it’s worth the drive. Summers Past Farm features beautiful gardens full of flowers, birds and insects, as well as a nursery and gardening store. They are known for their fairy garden supplies where kids can create their own fairy gardens, and their annual summer fairy festival where families picnic, mingle with fairies and show of the garden creations. Summers Past also offers a variety of cooking, gardening and arts and craft classes. While you’re there, take advantage of their inexpensive family photography sessions in the garden.

15602 Olde Hwy 80
Flinn Springs, Ca 92021
619-390-1523
Online: summerspastfarms.com

planting

Where do you go to get those little hands dirty?

–Leah Singer

Photos Courtesy of: City Farmers Nursery , Olivewood Gardens, & Suzies Farm

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