Community gardens provide important and valuable benefits for children. Working together with others for a greater good fosters a strong sense of responsibility and enlightenment vital to becoming a productive global citizen and future leader.
Last month, my family was lucky enough to score the last available plot at our local community garden. We consider ourselves gardening newbies, so we are beyond excited for this opportunity to participate in such a wonderful educational and cooperative experience.
We’ve learned so much already, and look forward to gaining and sharing even more gardening wisdom with our fellow members consisting of both new gardeners like ourselves, as well as more skillful, accomplished growers.
In a world where conflict and hostility seem to surround us, community gardens create a space where a sense of peace, joy and cooperation blossom. Community gardening is one of those things that seems to bring out the best in people. It joins people in a common purpose and is universal in that it bridges social, cultural and economic boundaries.
Participants peacefully work together as co-stewards of a plot of earth with the unselfish goal of making the most productive, sustainable use of it. There are gardening duties assigned to each participant so that the common areas such as the compost bin and can be properly maintained.
It’s so important for kids to witness adults modeling these types of productive community interactions. It’s a great model of collaboration and teamwork for our little global citizens and future leaders!
The boys delight in fulfilling their responsibilities at the garden. From shoveling soil into the frame of our plot, to designing the layout of seeds and sprouts.
They are always happy to make necessary trips to the garden to fulfill their duties such as depositing our household compost contributions, and helping to tidy up the plot by raking and weeding.
We recently harvested sweet potatoes from the community plot!
Many community gardens, like ours, are located in rundown sections of a city where members pull together to take care of a small patch of green space in an effort to begin to heal the wounded neighborhood with respect, cooperation and generosity.
For children, the gardens are overflowing with opportunities for learning. They provide a place where kids can become familiar with the science of agriculture, and also acquire basic job skills.
Kids can begin to develop an in-depth understanding of where their food, clothes and medicines come from. There are also plenty of opportunities for learning about math skills, and basic business principles.
Community gardens can provide a wonderful, real-world example of the the importance of community cooperation, environmental stewardship, and sustainablilty.
Other benefits include encouraging a healthy lifestyle, and physically reconnecting kids with nature and the food system which will likely result in healthier, interconnected communities with an emphasis on a cleaner, greener environment.
It is wonderful to see that community gardens are sprouting up and providing all of these benefits and more in urban areas around the world!
Click HERE for *free* K-12 educational resources provided by Green Education Foundation (“GEF”).
GEF is a national non-profit organization committed to creating a sustainable future through education “to inspire K-12 students and teachers to think holistically about global sustainability concerns and solutions.”
Help your global kids benefit from the community gardening movement! Click HERE to find a community garden near you!
Click HERE to learn how to start a community garden!