Gardens are being used in schools, universities and nonprofits to create a healthful environment for education, improved self-esteem, and economic empowerment for students and families. For example the Yale University's "Sustainable Food Project" brings people together around shared food, shared work, and shared inquiry. Exploration, research, testing, and evaluation are career skills that are learned in the garden. For more about community gardening and empowerment see my article, "Gardening as a Tool for Career Development" in the National Career Development Association’s Career Convergence online magazine.
First Lady Michelle Obama and California's First Lady have been promoting gardens in schools for health and learning. This is an exciting trend for improving health and education. Gardening kids get excited about planting, maintaining, and eating vegetables. They learn responsibility while seeing results for their work.
"A lot of answers to life's questions can be harvested from a student garden. A child who nurtures a tiny lettuce plant is more likely to enjoy a salad. As the plant grows, the child develops, learning about nature, nutrition and responsibility." Read more about schools with successful community garden programs in the article, "Seeds: School Gardens Offer Learning Opportunities" Debbie Arrington online !2/12/2010.
We are planning a winter garden for the first time. According to the Urban Organic Gardener website, coconut shells make great starters for planting winter greens. Blogger Mike Lieberman believes in the importance of growing at least some of your food.
I'm not a natural gardener. None of my thumbs are the slightest bit green, but I think there is value to being outdoors and growing and caring for a garden. When I water the plants I am connected to something living and growing and providing me with health and nutrition.
70 minutes walking