08 Jan School Gardens: A Worthy Pursuit
Horticulture Magazine has an interview this month with Anne Nagro. She is the author of “Our Generous Garden” a Master Gardener and a school-garden volunteer. She volunteers at the Woodland Elementary West harvest garden in Gages Lake, Illinois. She says what surprises her most about student’s reactions to the garden is “the number that think vegetables originate at the grocery store, admit to having never planted anything before or are surprised that you can eat something that comes from a plant.”
That has been my experience too. In spite of the wide world of gardening, many children still need help learning about agriculture, provision and even our eco-system. And there is nothing better than hands-on learning through a school garden.
A school garden can teach:
- The growing process from seeds to harvest.
- The importance of light, heat and water.
- How to care and cultivate plants.
- How bad roots can take over good roots.
- The importance of bugs.
- Plant reproduction.
Of course, there are many additional things that school gardens can teach. If you don’t have access to a school garden, teaching about gardening can still be easy. Grow a marigold in a cup on your windowsill at home or take your family to visit the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. There will be lots of kid and family-oriented programming and of course, education is behind each and every one of them.