Gardening can bring any aspect of the curriculum to life. For example, figuring out how far apart to plant seeds or calculating the weight of harvested vegetables sharpens math skills. Learning whether it's the right season to plant peas or squash teaches science and connects students to the seasonal rhythm of nature. Vocabulary improves and language lessons are learned through the introduction of gardening terms, e.g. photosynthesis and germination. Geography and History aren't just subjects in a book; learn about Brussels sprouts and also the origins of the potato (it did not originate in Ireland).
Children gain self-confidence, learn responsibility through environmental stewardship, learn focus and patience, cooperation, teamwork and social skills. Students who grow their own organic garden learn the facts and benefits of organic food. Students who harvest the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor are more likely to make healthier food choices, be more physically active, and consume more vegetables.
The garden is a natural place of learning and growing. The lessons and responsibilities it provides are invaluable for children. As we are encouraged to have greener lifestyles, what better place to begin than with a school garden!
Gro-O understands the many challenges facing educators and the obstacles standing in the way of schools wanting a school garden:
Gro-O has developed a program that addresses these issues:
And to top it all off, the garden can provide food for the school cafeteria, students' families, or be donated to food banks. Some school gardens across the nation have become so successful and bountiful, schools have turned their gardens into moneymaking ventures.