Kids gardening at school or at home (Willem)

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:

http://greatbigplantsblog.com/

greatbigplants@buzzoodle.com

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! Continue reading Kids gardening at school or at home (Willem)

Gardening on Patios and Terraces (About: Gardening)

One knows how difficult it is to grow plants in very dry regions. A lot of information is published on xeriscaping, which corresponds in fact with growing drought adapted species under dry conditions. It becomes more problematic when we have to grow food crops in dry areas, most of them having a high transpiration rate. Drought tolerant vegetables are quite exceptional. Therefore, in order to have more people living in desert-like circumstances growing fresh food, we are nowadays promoting container gardening to solve those problems. Indeed, the growing of vegetables (producing leaves and fruits) in containers offers opportunities to enhance water and fertilizer use efficiency (no infiltration of water in a permeable soil, almost no leaching of nutrients). Moreover, costs for containers can be limited to almost zero by using plastic bottles or bags (see the former messages on my desertification blog: <www.desertification.wordpress.com>).

Marie Iannotti’s message on “Gardening on Patios and Terraces” describes ideas along the same lines.
Read at :

About: Gardening – Free Online Courses
“About.com Gardening Guide” <gardening.guide@about.com>

Small Space Garden Design: Gardening on Patios and Terraces

from Marie Iannotti
Our definition of garden is changing with our lifestyles. If you don’t think a patio or terrace garden qualifies as a proper garden, you would be amazed at what’s being grown on rooftops and ally ways in our cities. Patios and terraces have become outdoor rooms and they are being decorated to be an extension of the home. And this gives them an innate advantage over being a garden bed. You can garden to your heart’s content and never feel like you’ve left civilization. For many people, especially those who are downsizing to condos or with young children at home, gardening on the terrace, whether in containers or in the surrounding soil, the perfect circumstance. Continue reading Gardening on Patios and Terraces (About: Gardening)