As you all know, we had our creative network session 2.0 last week. The main idea that came out of that was to set up a school program which aims for children making healthier decisions for themselves in the future. The total program will consists of a nutrition course, cooking classes, field trips and a school garden where children can grown their own vegetables and fruits. I came across GreenHeart Education, a program that offers consulting services, presentations and workshops to help green the heart of education. Including in their suggestions are school gardens, which I will tell you a bit more about in this blog.
Information alone can never become knowledge, and knowledge never becomes wisdom without some kind of rooting in the good soil of experience.
— James Raffan
So what exactly are the gains of having a garden at school?
Children learn to focus and be patient and to cooperate with one another
- They gain knowledge about the process of food growing, and where exactly produce comes from
- “learning while doing” addresses different learning styles and intelligences
- The (aimed) result is that children become more healthy and fit, as they spend more time outdoors and later on start choosing for healthy food
GreenHeart Education also has the following tips and suggestions for setting up a school garden:
- To spread the workload, parents and community gardeners can be invited
- Be sure to have organized volunteers to take care of the garden during holidays, they can take the crops home as a “thank you” and split some with the local food bank for example
- Keep track of the growing process of the garden by photos and a journal for instance. Include the garden in the schools’ newsletter and let local media know about the successes.
- Keep the garden lessons fun and hands-on
- Keep new children involved by making planting decisions, as the original group will eventually move on
I am convinced that this is a great way to increase awareness about food in a society and am a bit disappointed I did not get to experience this at school during my childhood. Did your school have a vegetable garden? Please share your experiences!
For more information visit the website of GreenHearted