Already published on my desertification blog on March 17, 2007
Nice comment Hans STROCK (Great Big Plants) March 17, 2007
Posted by willem van cotthem in success stories – best practices, horticulture/gardening, food / food security, hunger / famine, capacity building, desertification, water, forestry, rural development, ecology – environment, poverty. trackback , edit post
I received this nice comment from Hans STROCK:
“Thanks Willem! I’m glad you had a chance to check out the site! Sorry about the delay in response, things have been hectic lately. It’s good to see other people who agree with keeping kids involved with gardening. It’s always important to give children some culture and experience they can take with them when they get older. I think all children should have something fun and creative they can do. It helps them feel good about themselves. Keep up the good work!”
Well said, Hans ! In the western countries, so many people are complaining about the fact that young people are only interested in TV-programs. Why don’t we offer them a chance to do something useful and fun, instead of leaving them hanging (or laying) around in front of the TV-set? Impossible to change their attitude ? Yes, if you start early enough (e.g. with pubers). And what if you start even earlier, let’s say in primary school? I am sure kids love to do practical gardening in a very simple way. As a biology teacher I always got fantastic reactions when my pupils (12-18 years old) got an individual project to grow different plant species from seeds. They did it in plastic bottles at the window sills in my classroom ! They learned how to grow things with a strict minimum of water ! And they loved to write their personal report with observations and drawings. That is: EDUCATION WITH A PRACTICAL SENSE.
I am currently working out a similar project for the kids in the refugee camps in Algeria. Those children will most certainly be happy to have a “useful task” to grow vegetables in plastic bottles. There is not only the educational aspect of learning something about gardening, but one can also imagine how proud the kids will be to bring from time to time some vegetable (lettuce, parsley, onion, garlic, herbs, tomatoes, etc.) home. An later on they can always use these new skills (capacity building) to start gardening for their families. Wherever they are or will be!
I would like to suggest also the possibility of growing young fruit trees in plastic bottles at school. At the end of each school year, the children could then take “their tree(s)” home and plant them there. It would be a remarkable contribution to public health (vitamins through fruits), but also to reforestation in hostile environments like the Sahara desert in Algeria or, more generally, in all the drylands.
I really believe in a successful contribution to the combat of desertification and the alleviation of poverty when kids would do some gardening, be it in plastic bottles or even plastic bags, at school. Anyway, it can help to get rid of all those millions (billions ?) plastic containers (bags and bottles) dwelling around in the developing world (care for ecology and environment). A nice way to recycle those things, isn’t it ?
Any comments ? You are welcome.