Having a school garden can be one of the best things you can implement at your school for many reasons. From science education to healthy living having a school garden can change the hearts, minds, and lives of the students at your school making them strong, smart, and environmentally conscious adults in the future.
The first and most obvious benefit of having a school garden is the important and powerful educational impact it will have on your students and on your school. By having a school garden, students can actually see the science in action and can have the ability to participate in hands-on activities. Going out into the garden transforms the school experience from being a passive learning environment to an active one. The kids will learn natural science by growing vegetables and taking care of the garden rather than sitting in a classroom doing worksheets. There will be an increased motivation to learn, not only because your students will be able to go outside, but also because they engaged in a rewarding and creative process. Through their education they get the ability to grow something and then harvest it once its ripe. These small experiences and teaching moments can be game-changing for students who learn more effectively through hands-on methods. Also, research has shown that this type of learning has vastly improved test scores for schools and all kids involved in some kind of gardening program.
Social Skills and Community Centered Benefits
Another benefit of having a school garden is the ability for your students to work together, grow together, and engage in enriching and fulfilling activities. A school garden will not only teach patience, but also dedication to seeing their work (gardening their vegetables) to their end. The students have to be committed to their garden and because it will be in part their own work, they will want to be. The students will communicate, form bonds, and learn teamwork skills through gardening. Also, by growing their own food, they are able to eat it after and share it with their fellow peers, friends, and family. This alone builds a strong sense of community with your students and can inspire them to think of others and have a real sense of pride from sharing their hard and rewarding work. Your students will learn their role and their impact in the lives of others and how they can make a real difference to those around them.
As mentioned before, your students will be able to eat the very vegetables that they have grown. Not only is this so fulfilling for your students, but it also engrains healthy lifestyle habits. By having a school garden, you are teaching them how to grow their own food which will follow them throughout their lives. They will gain an appreciation for eating healthy foods because it is their own and delicious. Your students can carry this love of healthy eating and sustainable growing throughout their school years and into their adult life. It will also improve the quality of food being served in your school’s cafeteria. There are so many long lasting benefits that come from having a school garden.
The sustainability taught through gardening is existentially important. With the present climate crisis, teaching the youth of today the importance of taking of our plant is a ground-breaking and necessary step in preserving their lives and our planets future. Your students will learn the significance of taking care of the Earth and in turn taking care of themselves. They will gain a respect for nature because they are literally taking part in it in ways that they may not have access to at home. This awareness of the way nature works and how they can have an impact on it is essentially important in cultivating stewards for the environment. Through the natural science and biological education, their team-building skills, and their healthy lifestyle habits, your students will pave the way for the future of environmentalism.
School gardens will change the lives of your students and your community in so many ways. If you have decided that a garden is right for you and your school, then Farming the Future has the resources that will help you get on your way. You can go to our page (LINK HERE) for more information on how to find a grant to get your school garden up and running. Stay tuned for more tips and advice on gardening, science education, and more!