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Little Green Fingers
With half term behind us and the last weeks of the school term ahead why not get your pupils involved in some practical work out in the open air?
What better way than by marshalling support for a School Gardening Club? Fresh home-grown fruit and veg are now appearing on market stalls, at the car boot sale or on rickety picnic tables outside church halls, farms and rural lanes, and soon we will be invited to go off to “pick our own”.
Rethinking Cities researcher Edwina Hayward has been cultivating top tips from school gardeners and participants alike from two Talk the Walks that took place in the last 12 months. Edwina has put her findings together in a useful two page hand-out that you can download from the Rethinking Cities and Talk the Walk websites.
Children love to see their efforts rewarded, and although the time-scale may not be as immediate as perhaps completing a video-game, a school gardening club is one such way that this can happen. It teaches lessons of care and maintenance, responsibility, perseverance and preparation, as well as skills ranging from digging and potting, to sowing and weeding. From awareness of seasonal differences, to the synergy between the natural environment and the food growing process, there is no better way of exposing inner-city children to the art and skill of permaculture.
You may have all the right intentions, but setting up a gardening club in schools can prove more difficult than you may first envisage. Having spoken and listened to those with such experiences Rethinking Cities have drawn up a few of the key lessons learned, and hope that they may act as a guide to anyone else with the zeal and goodwill to help inspire the next generation of budding home-growers. Happy growing!
Date added: 7 June 2011
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