The Next Young Stewards of the Earth
I want kids to understand where their food comes from. I want them to get outside in nature and away from the video and TV screens. I feel this is important for many reasons – but mostly, I feel that if children do not get outside in nature and in the garden, they are less likely to want to preserve it.
By gardening, growing their own food and getting their hands in the soil, kids will have a compassion for all things green. We can't let them lose this connection.
I am very involved in Educational Gardens here in Los Angeles. I have spent the last few years helping to create and maintain gardens in public schools and use them within the core curriculum.
With a new school year upon us, many people are thinking of doing the same thing. I am getting lots of questions about where to go for basic information.
If you are interested in school gardens, here are some resources to help you get started:
1) A great resource that collects gardening news and information is Kidsgardening.org. This great website is run by the National Gardening Association and has lists of classroom projects, a primer for parents, and even a list of grants from organizations who put a premium on kid's gardening.
The site also has a store which sells supplies, tools, seeds, worms, and books: I recommend Schoolyard Mosaics: Designing Gardens and Habitats as a great starter book.
2) My home state has a great resource called the California School Garden Network. But even if you don't live in California, this website is extremely helpful. It contains information for a curriculum based on gardening, contains videos with gardening tips, and has many free PDF downloads! My favorite is called Gardens for Learning: Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden. I highly recommend it!
3) Recently, we filmed an entire episode of Growing A Greener World at the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, California. Besides being beautiful, educational, and delicious, the Edible Schoolyard has dedicated itself to helping others build gardens as well. You can purchase two very useful books at their site: the first is called The Garden Companion: Inside the Edible Schoolyard Classroom and the second is called The Kitchen Companion: Inside the Edible Schoolyard Classroom.
4) And last, but certainly not least, I highly recommend you watch our episode on The Edible Schoolyard. We showcase the whole story of this amazing place and how they are truly creating the next generation of young stewards of the earth.
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