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News from the Good Food Project

Children are Natural Gardeners

Children are natural gardeners. They are curious, like to learn by doing, and love to play in the dirt. Working in a garden, a child can experience the satisfaction that comes from caring for something over time, while observing the cycle of life firsthand. Gardening gives children a chance to learn an important life skill, one that is sometimes overlooked in standard school curriculums. Gardening is also a great way to each environmental awareness by exploring the workings of nature. When children are involved with gardening rom an early age, it is gratifying to watch their interest and self-esteem grow as their gardening efforts yield good results. Some relatively easy to grow crops include sunflowers, lettuce, radishes, bush beans, potatoes, carrots and pumpkins.

Give children their own garden bed. Whether you use raised beds, containers or ground plots, be sure to give each child their own separate plot. Keep it small, very small for younger kids. Put their plots right in the middle of the action, with the best soil and light. Set them up for success. Give them serious tools. With tools like a hoe and spade you can easily saw the handle shorter. Engage them in the entire process from seed to table. Children learn better when they understand the context of their activity. They will learn that gardening can be fun. And they are contributing to the family well-being. Besides planting and nurturing their garden beds, be sure they alone do the harvesting and preparation of their crop for the table, no matter how modest the offering.

Show off their work. Take a photo of their harvest and send it to grandparents. The attention given to their work is the best motivator for children to stay involved with a project.

#childrenlearninginthegarden #workingtogether

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