The concept is simple: today’s kids are very disconnected from the land and their food. With everything so readily available to us in shops and supermarkets, it seems like most of us have lost the knack for a green thumb.
We never really take a moment to think where our produce has come from, or the hard work that has been put into having our fruits and veggies ready for us to use.
Schools around the world have been implementing a year-round gardening programme that allows kids to get one with nature, and learn about the process of growing foods that are an integral part of our diet.
The programme teaches students the process required for a seed to become a ripe fruit or vegetable, and in turn, they learn the benefits of growing your own food.
So how would it work?
Each school would be able to set up their own mechanics on how this would work, but to put it simply, schools would have a designated area that allows kids to learn and experiment, by attempting to grow produce themselves. In turn, they would be able to reap what they sowed in classes such as Home Economics.
Students would also be invited to attend during summer time, to uphold the upkeep of their produce. It would also, in turn, be a great opportunity to develop a sense of responsibility within the students.
In a time where kids are spending so much time in front of screens, and childhood obesity is seemingly on the rise, a programme like this would promote being outside, physical activity, and healthy eating.
Many experts agree that schools can and should play a role in changing children’s perspectives about food and providing access to healthy choices.
And it’s not just for health reasons. Something like this would also teach kids how to work in teams, and to appreciate the kind of work put in by farmers to produce food they consume on the daily.
Malta takes a vote
A post on a popular Maltese Facebook group ‘The Salott’ asked members whether they think schools in Malta should introduce a year-round gardening programme, and hundreds of comments unanimously agreed that it would be a great idea.
“We learn so much garbage in school we don’t actually ever use, and this would have been more useful from a mental health and skills point of view. If everyone cultivated green spaces in their own home we’d have less pollution issues and more skilled farmers to combat food shortages.”
“Gardening is such a positive experience for me and want more ppl to enjoy it.”
Some even suggested that schools should take it another step further and teach kids other basic skills
“Gardening and simple maintenance like plastering etc”
And to our surprise, we even found that some schools in Malta have already started implementing a very similar programme in their curriculum
“At St Augustine college we have the go green club and the gardening club”
“St.Michael’s School do! It is a great program to have!”
“That is what we have at Education Hub, Msida. Students grow their own veg and then cook it during Home Economics lessons.”
What do you think about this? Should schools in Malta introduce a year-round gardening programme?