Garden Based Learning

Courtesy of BorderExplorer

    A garden based learning program is the most creative, inventive, and beneficial way to promote learning and conflict resolution. The lessons learned from a garden-centered curriculum are endless; life skills, self-reliance, personal skills, nutrition, problem solving, teamwork, and social development are all heightened from being a participant of a garden based program. The idea has been spreading across the country because of its ability to successfully bring people together for meaningful, constructive lessons. There is absolutely no age limit to the effectiveness of this style of learning. Our youth have proven that they thoroughly enjoy expressing their creativity and intelligence through gardening. This is important because one of the most pressing issues in our country is our children’s health and putting an emphasis on eating fresh food will benefit our student’s health.

Garden Based Learning Program

    A garden-based learning program tends to steer participants into leading more moral lives. An appreciation for nature is hard to come by in today’s world where our urban citizens hardly see a single patch of grass. Even our rural areas are clustered with shops and businesses. When a person is not in touch with nature, he or she is not capable of noticing his affects on the environment. A solid appreciation for nature also encourages curiosity and responsibility. The responsibility over the life of a plant is a very satisfying responsibility to have and leaves participants feeling more fulfilled, more in control, and with a raised self esteem.

School Garden Program

Courtesy of Kevin

    Another benefit that has been mentioned with garden based programs is the increase in nutritional awareness. The prevalence of packaged and processed foods has left many people out of touch with proper nutrition. Getting participants to care for the well being of their plants has a tendency to encourage the youth to be enthusiastic about fresh food. The satisfaction and reward of growing and cultivating your own food has produced youth who prefer fresh vegetables to packaged chips. The physical aspect is also worth mentioning: students physically dig around in the dirt, having fun while also exercising their bodies. Garden upkeep can be physically strenuous but also enjoyable. Just about anything that encourages students to be active is a good thing!

    The interest in how plants grow and how to optimize the success of the garden gets kids curious about scientific aspects of the process. Tending to a garden is very intricate and much needs to be known about nature to fully grasp the concepts. The hands-on action encourages youth to question things and really get a tangible understanding of the life around them.

    There are certain keys to success when operating a garden based learning system. The emphasis must be on positivity. Students will want to view the garden as a joy, not as work. Since the process of growing food tends to take a while, it is crucial to maintain interest. By enforcing the idea of cooperation, students will be excited to tend to the garden- to socialize, learn, and work together. Students must also feel as if they are contributing something important to the garden. If any student feels excluded, the garden will not be as successful.

    Our youth can benefit greatly from this spectacular idea. They are taught that work can be enjoyable, and that our environment is a miraculous, life-giving thing. There is hardly a price to put on that. Respect for our food and the work that is put into it is one of the most important things a person can learn.

For more information, check out these garden based learning resources.

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