Read at : UNNews


New York, Mar  5 2010  2:05PM

The United Nations, together with the Guatemalan Government and aid partners, today launched a $34 million appeal to counter food shortages affecting 2.7 million people living in the Central American country’s so-called ‘dry corridor,’ which even before last year’s drought had one of the highest rates of chronic malnutrition in the world.  The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (<“http://ochaonline.un.org/”>OCHA) said today’s appeal will complement national relief efforts and provide support for food, health, nutrition, agriculture and early recovery, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene projects for six months for some 680,000 people living in departments in the eastern section of the country, including the dry corridor – Jutiapa, Santa Rosa, Zacapa, Chiquimula, El Progreso and Baja Verapaz – and the neighbouring Izabal and Quiché. Global acute malnutrition among children under the age of five in the dry corridor and the two neighbouring provinces is at 11 per cent, and at 13 per cent among women of child-bearing age. Both figures are above the emergency threshold of 10 per cent.  The dry corridor had faced annual food shortages before, but this year, the situation is exacerbated by a combination of bad weather and bad economics.

El Niño-affected rainfall patterns in the country lead to high losses in hillside and subsistence agricultural production.

Meanwhile, rising food prices brought on by the global economic crisis, a decrease in remittances, cost increases for agricultural inputs and a decrease in employment opportunities for unqualified labour has led poorer people suffering from decreased capacities to access food and basic services.

The situation of Guatemala’s food shortages has received increased international attention. The World Food Programme (<“http://www.wfp.org/countries/guatemala”>WFP) recently held a video competition about the 1 billion people hungry in the world and the two aspiring filmmakers who won the grand prize are heading to Guatemala to highlight the plight of the drought-ridden country’s people.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news



Best practices to counter food shortages in dry regions, where child malnutrition is one of the main problems. Besides “national relief efforts and provide support for food, health, nutrition, agriculture and early recovery, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene projects for six months”(short-term relief), long-term solutions can be found in small-scale farming and gardening (BAN KI-MOON).  “Global acute malnutrition among children under the age of five” can be alleviated with small kitchen gardens in which container gardening contributes to saving water.

Even if “rising food prices brought on by the global economic crisis, a decrease in remittances, cost increases for agricultural inputs and a decrease in employment opportunities for unqualified labour has led poorer people suffering from decreased capacities to access food and basic services.”, low-budget investment in construction of family gardens and container gardening would lead to long-term and sustainable improvement in the living standards of the people in dry regions.

2008 – INDIA/TAMIL NADU/SCD PROJECT : Successful container gardening in a family garden, providing fresh food in  a drought-stricken area with a minimum of irrigation water.
2008 – INDIA/TAMIL NADU/SCDA PROJECT : Simple and inexpensive preparation of a family garden
2008 – INDIA/TAMIL NADU/SCDA PROJECT : Low-budget initiative with high return on investment
2008 – INDIA/TAMIL NADU/SCDA PROJECT : Child malnutrition alleviated with long-term fresh food production (vitamins, mineral elements).
2008 – INDIA/TAMIL NADU/SCDA PROJECT : With a small part of the financial support for food aid, transporting food to the affected areas, a sufficient number of kitchen gardens and school gardens can be installed.
2008 – INDIA/TAMIL NADU/SCDA PROJECT : SCAD’s women selfhelp groups feel extremely happy with the small agricultural inputs for their home garden. A challenge for all aid programmes.

Child malnutrition, nutritional programmes, stop-gap measures and container gardening in family gardens (Willem Van Cotthem)

Very concerned about the problem of child malnutrition in developing countries, in particular in the drylands, I read with great attention IRIN’s article on ‘GUINEA: Child malnutrition – moving beyond stop-gaps’

To make things clear, I republish here the definition of Malnutrition terms used in the text:

Wasting is the main characteristic of acute malnutrition. It occurs as a result of recent rapid weight loss, malnutrition or a failure to gain weight within a relatively short period of time. Wasting occurs more commonly in infants and younger children. Recovery from wasting is relatively quick once optimal feeding, health and care are restored. Wasting occurs as a result of deficiencies in both macronutrients (fat, carbohydrate and protein) and some micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).

Chronic malnutrition, on the other hand, is commonly referred to as “stunting“, i.e. a failure to grow in stature, which occurs as a result of inadequate nutrition over a longer time period. It is a slow, cumulative process, the effects of which are not usually apparent until the age of two years. Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is the most dangerous form of malnutrition. If left untreated, SAM can result in death.

Source: Action contre la faim

In this article on child malnutrition IRIN said that nutrition experts in Guinea are studying options for treating moderately malnourished children as funding shortages disrupt normal programmes using fortified flour. Local health centres ran out of supplies and had to use corn-soya blend (CSB), which is normally only used in cases of moderate acute malnutrition and provided through the UN World Food Programme (WFP).

It is said that WFP seeks funds to maintain CSB stocks in Guinea, although humanitarian workers and nutrition experts underline the need to find alternative and long-term solutions and a more sustainable strategy.

IRIN also confirmed that local nutrition workers are debating the viability of using ‘Plumpy’nut’ or using local foods, prepared specially for children’s nutritional needs.

Sheryl Martin of Helen Keller International in Guinea told IRIN: “Stop-gap measures may be better than nothing but a plan is needed to assure adequate funding for the CSB …………………” “We are all frustrated by the lack of funding and are doing the best we can in the short term.

According to IRIN Kasraï, Head of Action contre la Faim (ACF, Action against Hunger) stated that it is important to use an integrated approach – not only therapeutic feeding but also programmes to address the principal causes of undernutrition in Guinea, by boosting people’s livelihoods, ensuring proper breastfeeding and weaning practices and improving home hygiene and access to health services, sanitation and safe water. “The challenge is in finding a reliable way of ensuring that moderately malnourished children receive fortified [with vitamins and other micronutrients] and high-caloric diets in the home.

Mamady Daffé, Health Ministry head of nutrition, underscored that the combination of poverty and a lack of knowledge of children’s nutritional needs contributes to child malnutrition. He said even if families understand children’s nutritional needs, many do not have the means to meet them. “People’s living conditions must improve. Without this we will not be able to tackle malnutrition,” he told IRIN. “The cost of living is up; people cannot buy what they need to eat properly.”

As you can see, there are a lot of interesting ideas and views in this article.  Trying to summarize the points made by different people and groups, I came to the following personal conclusions:

  1. Together with the nutritional experts, the humanitarian workers and the ACF (see above) I believe that child malnutrition in developing countries (not only in Guinea) can only be reduced or extenuated if alternative and long-term solutions can be combined in a integrated approach to develop a sustainable strategy.  The funding of stocks of CSB is only a small part of this approach.
  2. Boosting livelihoods of every family living in poverty and threatened by hunger and malnutrition should be based upon the following major fields of activity:

  • (a)   Improvement of home hygiene and health services.
  • (b)   Production of local fresh food, applying container gardening in a family garden for every affected family.
  • (c)    Alleviation of poverty.

The best practices for improving home hygiene and health services are well known.  Funding of these practices is a conditio sine qua non.

Sustainable production of fresh food in a small family garden or a school garden can be achieved with a minimum of financial resources.  One can always start with small-scale pilot projects to show the efficiency of this method and then apply it gradually at a larger scale until chronic hunger situations in the country are completely extenuated.

It should not be too difficult to find donors interested in partnerships for the build-up of such a strategy.  The growing interest in container gardening, recently shown by global attention for “sacks gardening”, indicates time has come to accept that locally producing fresh food, full of macronutrients, vitamins and micronutrients, is far more preferable for meeting the children’s needs than continuing delivery of fortified flour, corn-soya blend (CSB), Plumpy’nut or any other sophisticated therapeutic foods, used to treat malnutrition.

If one wants to eradicate hunger, malnutrition and poverty, using an integrated approach, therapeutic feeding should surely be maintained as a safety belt for acute malnutrition situations, but more importance should be given to addressing the basic causes of hunger and poverty.  That’s where family gardening and school gardening, with container gardening in all its inexpensive but very efficient forms, are coming into the picture.  Give every family, every school a chance to produce in its own small garden vegetables and fruits, and there be no deficiencies of macro- and micronutrients anymore.  Mothers having at least one decent meal every day will be happier with improved breastfeeding.  Vitamin deficiencies will not weaken their babies anymore.

Let us foresee for a moment that people and school children will take good care of their own kitchen garden and produce a bit more vegetables or fruits than what they need.  That surplus can be taken to the market and offer opportunities for a growth of the annual income.  Alleviation of poverty can thus be incorporated in a sustainable strategy.  No more expensive nutritional programmes, no more need for stop-gap measures, no more child malnutrition?  It sounds unbelievable, but small-scale pilot projects have shown that it can be achieved in the future.  Why not giving it a chance?  Seeing is believing.

The role of urban gardens, family gardens and school gardens (Willem Van Cotthem / IRIN / FAO)

For years we have been promoting family gardens (kitchen gardens) and school gardens, not to mention hospital gardens, in the debate on alleviation of hunger and poverty.  We have always insisted on the fact that development aid should concentrate on initiatives to boost food security through family gardens instead of food aid on which the recipients remain dependent. Since the nineties we have shown that community gardens in rural villages, family gardens in refugee camps and school gardens, where people and children grow their own produce, are better off than those who received food from aid organizations at regular intervals.

2007 – Family garden in Smara refugee camp (S.W. Algeria, Sahara desert), where people never before got local fresh food to eat

Locally produced fresh vegetables and fruits play a tremendously important role in the daily diet of all those hungry people in the drylands.  Take for instance the possibility of having a daily portion of vitamins within hand reach.  Imagine the effect of fresh food on malnutrition of the children.  Imagine the feelings of all those women having their own kitchen garden close to the house, with some classical vegetables and a couple of fruit trees.

No wonder that hundreds of publications indicate the success of allotment gardens in periods of food crisis.  See what happened during World War I and II, when so many  families were obliged to produce some food on a piece of land somewhere to stay alive.  In those difficult days allotment gardens were THE solution.  They still exist and become more and more appealing in times of food crisis.

2008-10-25 – Allotment gardens Slotenkouter (Ghent City, Belgium) at the end of the growing season

There was no surprise at all to read, since a few years that is, about a new movement in the cities : guerilla gardening.  Sure, different factors intervene in these urban initiatives, be it environmental factors (embellishing open spaces full of weeds in town) or social ones (poor people growing vegetables on small pieces of barren land in the cities).

Today, some delightful news was published by IRIN :”Liberia: Urban gardens to boost food security” :

“MONROVIA, 19 January 2010 (IRIN) – Farmers are turning to urban gardens as a way to boost food security in Liberia’s Montserrado County, where just one percent of residents grow their own produce today compared to 70 percent before the war.


The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is targeting 5,000 urban residents of Montserrado, Bomi, Grand Bassa, Bong and Margibi counties, to encourage them to start market gardens or increase the amount of fruit and vegetables they grow on their farms. Participants had to have access to tools and some land.  The aim is to improve food security and nutritional status while boosting incomes, said project coordinator Albert Kpassawah. Participants told IRIN they plant hot peppers, cabbage, calla, tomatoes, onions, beans and ground nuts. Health and nutrition experts in Liberia say increasing fruit, vegetables and protein in people’s diets is vital to reducing chronic malnutrition, which currently affects 45 percent of under-fives nationwide.


FAO assists primarily by providing seeds and training in techniques such as conserving rainwater and composting. The organization does not provide fertilizer, insecticides or tools – a concern to some participants. “You cannot grow cabbage without insecticide. It doesn’t work,” Anthony Nackers told IRIN.  Vermin, insects and poor storage destroy 60 percent of Liberia’s annual harvest, according to FAO.  And many of the most vulnerable city-dwellers – those with no access to land – cannot participate at all, FAO’s Kpassawah pointed out. But he said he hopes the project’s benefits will spread beyond immediate participants, since all who take part are encouraged to pass on their training to relatives, neighbours and friends.  And there is ample scope to expand techniques learned from cities to rural areas, he pointed out. Just one-third of Liberia’s 660,000 fertile hectares are being cultivated, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.


Let us express our sincere hopes that FAO will soon be able to show to all aid organizations that sufficient food production can be secured by the population of any developing country.  What is possible in urban areas of Liberia can be duplicated in any other country.  What can be achieved in urban gardens, can also be done in rural family gardens.  Why should we continue to discuss the alarming problem of those vulnerable children suffering or even starving from chronic malnutrition, if  school gardens can be a good copy of the successful urban gardens in Liberia?

Don’t we underestimate the role container gardening can play in food production (see https://containergardening.wordpress.com) and the pleasure children can find in growing fruit trees and vegetables in plastic bottles.  Pure educational reality !

We count on FAO to take the lead : instead of spending billions on “permanent” food aid, year after year, it would be an unlimited return on investment if only a smaller part would be reserved to immediate needs in times of hunger catastrophes, but the major part spent at the world-wide creation of urban and rural family gardens.

We remain in FAO’s save hands. We wonder what keeps United Nations to envisage a “Global Programme for Food Security” based on the creation of kitchen gardens for the one billion daily hungry people who know that we have this solution in hand.  Let us spend more available resources on “Defense”, the one against hunger and poverty!

Benefits of growing your own food in allotment gardens (Sheffield Univ. / Willem Van Cotthem)

Read at : Sheffield Univ. – Environment Division



Producers of ‘home grown’ food can gain psychological and physiological benefits through physical activity and improved nutrition, as well as through self empowerment, engaging with nature, and participating in communal activities. Lack of physical activity and low intake of fruit and vegetables is linked to poor health, but little is known about how the health benefits of physical exercise and fruit and vegetable consumption relate to their environmental setting. Studies of these benefits have often focused on particular social groups such as the elderly or those with mental illness.



The paragraph above describes the major benefits of growing your own food in allotment gardens.  Key words are :

  1. Physiological benefits: physical activity, improved nutrition, improved health
  2. Psychological benefits: self empowerment, engagement with nature, participation in community.

In fact, these benefits also go for family gardens (kitchen gardens), school gardens and hospital gardens.  One can imagine that extraordinary improvement in nutrition and health can be achieved if people in the drylands and in refugee camps would be enabled to grow their own food, be it in allotment gardens or in community gardens.

I remain confident that international aid organizations and NGOs, sooner or later, will set up programmes and projects to install these types of gardens to combat hunger and malnutrition and to assure food security in hostile environments.

Small-scale gardening to combat hunger and to improve public health

I feel really proud when reading the page below in the “NIOU-NIEUWS”, a Dutch publication of the Comittee Maastricht-Niou.

This Comittee, created in the Dutch city of Maastricht, is already setting up different development programmes to combat desertification and to alleviate poverty for more than 2 decades  in Burkina Faso, not only in the village of Niou (Kourweogo Province), but also in many other villages, like Méguet-Zorgho.

I feel proud because I had this fantastic opportunity to participate with my team of the University of Ghent (Belgium) in the realization of the first small-scale community gardens for women and in some reforestation projects.  These community gardens, family gardens and school gardens not only provide fresh food, full of vitamins and mineral elements, but they also contribute to the improvement of public health, in particular that of the local children.

It cannot be denied anymore that one can easily solve the hunger problem of this world by creating small-scale gardens (community gardens, family gardens, school gardens, hospital gardens, etc.) in the drylands.

Food insecurity can be easily banned from all the drylands, if only the decision could be taken to spend less money on flying costly food from the developed countries to the developing ones, and to spend more on the promotion of small-scale farming or gardening. “Don’t bring food to this women, teach her how to grow it” !

It seems that the European Union is convinced of this, seen the financial resources recently offered to demonstration projects in five countries (see a former posting).

Let us that hope we are at a decisive turning point in the policies, heading for a better future through small-scale farming and gardening.

2009-06 : Een bladzijde uit het juni-nummer van het NIOU-NIEUWS
2009-06 : Een bladzijde uit het juni-nummer van het NIOU-NIEUWS

2009 Maastr. Groententuinen tekst

Appreciation for our project Seeds for Food (Fabio Ruiz Ortega – in Spanish)

A very interesting communication at the radio of the University of Guadalajara :

“Colotlán, Jalisco a 5 de agosto de 2009.
Estimado prof. Willem:

Le envío un saludo esperando que se encuentre bien. Me permití hacer una reseña sobre su trabajo en la estación de radio local de la Universidad de Guadalajara, en la cual participo con un comentario cada 15 días y que salió al aire el día de hoy. El texto es el siguiente:

“El profesor Willem Jozef Van Cotthem nació en 1934,  es profesor honorario de la Universidad de Gand en Bélgica, consultor científico para la desertificación y el desarrollo sustentable. Ha trabajado en Kenia, Algeria y Venezuela entre otros países  y ha organizado varias misiones científicas para la lucha contra la desertificación en África Occidental , Estados Unidos y China. Además de muchísimos estudios es el inventor del método TerraCottem para acondicionar el suelo para que retenga humedad.

El profesor Van Cotthem mantiene dos sitios en internet, desertification y semillas para víveres. Este último es un proyecto que consiste en reunir la mayor cantidad posible de semillas de lo que consume la gente a lo largo del año como papayas, sandías, melones, etc. y enviarlas a dos proyectos para la lucha contra la pobreza: uno de Unicef en los campamentos de los refugiados saharauis en Algeria y otro de la organizació SCAD en el sur de India. El objetivo es enseñar a la gente a cultivar sus propias hortalizas así como tener sus árboles frutales en jardines familiares, jardines escolares y jardines en los hospitales.  El profesor Van Cotthem ha dedicado muchos años a esta labor y ha sido un crítico de las ayudas que se hacen mandando toneladas de alimentos a través de diversas organizaciones que se tienen que hacer cada año pero que no ayudan a cambiar las condiciones existentes.

El dia de ayer nos anuncia un cambio importante en las políticas de asistencia de la unión europea, quien ha establecido un fondo de 34 millones de euros para apoyar la agricultura en pequeña escala en Africa, Asia y Latinoamérica a traves de programas de enseñanza para aumentar la productividad, la diversificacion y el mejor aprovechamiento del agua .

Dice el profesor Willem van Cotthem: Bolivia, Guatemala, Senegal, Nepal y  Philippines serán los proyectos de demostración que ojalá sean exitosos para que siga una aplicación universal a mayor escala. La agricultura en pequeñas granjas y en jardines familiares, escolares y en los hospitales son la clave para aliviar el hambre y la pobreza.”

Felicidades por su trabajo.

Fabio Ruiz Ortega.”

Food security – an unavoidable solution (W. Van Cotthem)

I was reading with great interest the content of the former postings on my blog http://desertification.wordpress.com


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a gathering at an American university that the daily reality for one third of the world’s population who live on less than $2 a day include decisions such as which of their children gets to eat.


Mr. Ban noted that one billion people around the world, known as the “bottom billion,” live on less than $1 a day and two billion live on less than $2 a day, and many if not most are children suffering from hunger and malnutrition.


Some families ended up eating one meal a day instead of two, explained Mr. Ban, with some family members going without food.  “Sometimes parents have to choose among their children as to who gets to eat, and who doesn’t.


He pointed out that families who spend more on food have less for health and education, beginning a social spiral which the whole society goes down.


The challenge of food security must be addressed immediately, said Mr. Ban. “We need to strengthen agricultural infrastructure, increase productivity and do away with unfair terms of trade.”


So far, so good for some parts of Mr. BAN’s speech at St. Louis University in Missouri last Friday.

Today, I can’t avoid dreaming, eyes wide open, of a world within which every family has its own allotment, its own kitchen garden (and not only the Queen at Buckingham Palace !).

Let’s dream  together, eyes still wide open : all the international organisations, nowadays carrying responsibilities for food programmes (WFP, FAO, UNICEF for the children’s health and education,  the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, etc.), working together to ban malnutrition, hunger, famine, starvation from this world, could start up a worldwide programme to construct family gardens or kitchen gardens and school gardensfor one third of the world’s population who live on less than $2 a day include decisions such as which of their children gets to eat”.  They would certainly find the necessary donors for such a global programme, because the survival of our whole human society is at stake.

Together with Mr. BAN I notice that “one billion people around the world, known as the “bottom billion,” live on less than $1 a day and two billion live on less than $2 a day, and many if not most are children suffering from hunger and malnutrition“.  So, why don’t we construct school gardens for these kids, not to make them richer, but to learn them  how to produce vegetables in the school yard for at least one decent meal with fresh food, vitamins and minerals per day ?

If it is true “that families who spend more on food have less for health and education, beginning a social spiral which the whole society goes down“, why don’t we stop that sliding down of the whole society simply by teaching the world poorest people how to grow their own vegetables and offer them their own small kitchen garden.

Don’t give them a fish, but teach them how to fish” or in this case “Don’t send them food, but teach them how to grow it“, for even in the most difficult situations of poverty, drought and desertification, we have already the most appropriate ways of soil conditioning, water harvesting and food crop production. Methods and techniques are well known; they have shown their cost-effectiveness.

If Queen Elizabeth felt the need to have an organic vegetable patch at Buckingham Palace of about 10 yards by eight yards in size, why do the poorest families of this world don’t get a similar patch for their own welfare , close to their humble home? (see my posting at https://containergardening.wordpress.com).

Impossible, you say ?  Just have a look at my former postings about the family gardens in the refugee camps in S.W. Algeria on this blog (a former UNICEF-project !).

Have a look at the picture below and judge for yourself : if such a kitchen garden is possible in the Sahara desert, why not everywhere else. Even a much smaller one would do, don’t you think ?

2006-05 Kitchen garden in Aussert camp (S.W. Algeria)
2006-05 Children in a kitchen garden in the Sahara desert, close to the hospital near Aussert camp (S.W. Algeria)

I strongly believe that family (kitchen) gardens and school gardens are an unavoidable solution for the hunger and health problems of this world.

It suffices to believe in it to find ways and means for the realization of such a programme, full of beauty and supreme human feelings.  Isn’t that one of the the main goals of the United Nations and of many of the aid organizations ?  It’s not a dream anymore, for reality knocks at our doors.  Why would we keep our doors locked for such an idea, such a fantastic solution (that’s what the people, having already a small kitchen garden, told us) ?

So, who takes the lead ?  The winner takes all the honours !

Just wait and see ?  No, don’t wait anymore, let’s do it together, tomorrow or the day after.

Allotment gardens and container gardening in the Philippines (R. HOLMER)

I received an interesting email message from

Dr. Robert J. Holmer
Periurban Vegetable Project (PUVeP)
Xavier University – Research & Social Outreach
Manresa Farm, Fr. W. F. Masterson SJ Ave
9000 Cagayan de Oro City

telling me : “I just came across your great blog on Desertification which I started to read with great interest and joy since you share the same ideas about food security as me. Your comment on allotment gardening reflects exactly my sentiments. …………………………..  and possibly we can convince more people on the benefits of these programs, including container gardening.

The pictures I added are from two school gardens where we are establishing so-called container gardens to maximize space and to encourage pupils to replicate this at home. We also provided rainwater catchment since even in the tropics freshwater is becoming scarce (and the technology – as simple as it may be – was basically not known).

2008 Students filling plastic bottles with soil to set up container gardening
2008 Philippines : Students filling plastic bottles with soil to set up container gardening
A rack with plastic bottles for succesful container gardening in a small area (vertical gardening)
2008 - Philippines : A rack with plastic bottles for succesful container gardening in a small area (vertical gardening)
Efficient rainwater catchment with simple tools
2008 - Philippines : Efficient rainwater catchment with simple tools

In addition, one of our former staff members just started his Ph.D. thesis on ‘bio-char’ which you also mentioned on your blog. I added his thesis proposal for your reference.

Attached also a little brochure we just came out with as well as the link to our 103 “Philippine Allotment Garden Manual“, which may give some useful ideas to people in other countries (puvep.xu.edu.ph/publications/AG%20Booklet_final.pdf)”.



Every School Needs A Garden (Kermit’s Team)

Read at : Google Blogs Alert for: link:http://desertification.wordpress.com/

By Leslie(Leslie)

Second in a series from old Organic Gardening Magazines. My father was cleaning out his night stand and found a stack of 1973 OG magazines. Knowing I was into that sort of thing, gave them to me to read. Now, it takes me quite some time …
Kermit’s Team

Every School Needs A Garden
Join the 1973 effort to put a garden into every schoolyard – starting with the one in your own neighborhood

By Jerome Goldstein

Last spring, students at the Helen Keller Junior High in Royal Oak, Michigan, planned and planted a 20×25 foot garden in the school courtyard after a series of organic gardening sessions. With the help of teacher Ronald Canton, they planted radishes, lettuce, peas, gourds and pumpkins. We had so big a harvest that 40 students took food home and we still had enough to distribute to teachers,” reports Canton.

Environmental education specialists Bud Souders and Tom Fegely of East Penn School District in Emmaus PA, used the nearby Organic Gardening Experimental Farm as an outdoor classroom to get youngsters personally involved in compost-making and gardening.

Continue reading Every School Needs A Garden (Kermit’s Team)

Bring back gardening to our elementary schools (Google / Inquirer)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening


Bring back gardening to our elementary schools

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted  06/12/2008

Nowadays we can safely say that gardening is no longer emphasized in our elementary schools. There is no comparison between the school gardens of the past and those that we have now. Is “school and home gardening” still included in today’s elementary curriculum? In many elementary schools, the garden sites suitable for teaching the pupils how to raise vegetables are being planted with Gmelina trees. Which is more important to the education of our kids—planting Gmelina or raising vegetables? It’s high time that our Department of Education officials asked themselves this question, especially now that we are facing a food crisis. Continue reading Bring back gardening to our elementary schools (Google / Inquirer)