School is not only for learning during classes! The school grounds are:
- A source for improving children’s diet and health.
- A source of healthy influences (like clean drinking water, physical activity).
- An area for learning (about nature, agriculture, nutrition).
- A place for pleasure and recreation.
- A continuing lesson in respecting the environment and taking pride in one’s school.
Setting up a school garden will help you gain skills you can use, and get some delicious and nutritious food!
Where should you start?
- Discuss your project with your teacher and find a ‘garden leader’ (the school principal or an experienced teacher) who will help you set up the garden and organize your work.
- Find out how education authorities, health services, agricultural services and the local council can support the school garden, including funding possibilities.
- Involve volunteers to help you, for instance among parents, community members, students and ex-students of the school.
- Find tools and equipment, seeds and seedlings. The costs need not be high. If you start small, everything can be acquired over a few years. Often, equipment can be borrowed, and you can save your own seeds.
- Decide what you want to grow: local plants, adapted to the local climate, are cheaper as well as safer. Even with a small garden, you will have more success if you have a variety of crops, not just one or two.
- Organic approaches are better for the environment and cut the cost of fertilizers and insecticides. Persuade the school to adopt some good resolutions. In our garden:
-We will protect the soil and conserve water.
-We will use plenty of compost and mulch.
-We will rotate crops.
-We will not use artificial fertilizer.
-We will bring organic rubbish to school for compost.
-We will do a bug patrol every morning.
Find out more about school gardens in this UNICEF article