Garden values and lessons
I am totally biased but I think gardening is the solution for everything, it teaches us, our kids and our grandkids vital values and lessons for life.
This is a valuable attribute that we can all learn from gardening. In this world where many people want instant gratification and have no patience, learning that things take time to grow but that we can learn to enjoy the whole process is very important. Seeds too are a great way of teaching children patience. Help them catch your enthusiasm, excitement and anticipation waiting for seeds to germinate and then help them appreciate the wonder of the process as the new seed emerges.
Planning skills and time management
A garden project such as creating a vegetable garden is an opportunity to help kids plan what they will need and the order and priority of jobs that need to be done to create that garden.
Gardening with others teaches kids how to work as a team and how to share tasks and activities.
A love of nature
Whether watching insects crawl across a flower or scurry in the soil; observing the interesting colours, shapes and textures of leaves or flowers; noticing the intricacy of a seed pod or pine cone; or just being aware of the amazing diversity of form of trees and plants around them; nature really is AWESOME! And as adults, we need to be sure that we do not lose our fascination with this either!
Older children can even be given the responsibility of planning out their own space or designing their own portion of a garden, and then caring and tending the plants in it.
Gardening is based on science – the biology of plants and what they require to grow and the amazing biology of the soil. This also follows into an understanding of cause and effect – depriving new plants of water in the hot weather can cause it to die, and allowing young plants to be overwhelmed with weeds will cause them to struggle.
An understanding of where food comes from.
Growing vegetables and fruits at home is a great way to help children understand the sources of food and the importance of fresh home grown or organic produce.
Recycling is really a way of life and it is great to see how many schools are teaching this. Recycling organic matter to make compost and reduce our waste is incredibly important to the health of your soil and your garden, and also the health of the planet! Setting up a worm farm or a compost system allows children to understand recycling and the flow-on benefits for the garden that recycling has to offer.
Gardening works all the major muscle groups, improves strength and endurance, and increases mobility and flexibility. For adults some studies suggest that 45 minutes of gardening is equal to a 30 minute gym workout.