July 20, 2017
We are THRILLED to announce that another school garden is in the process of being set up! The students and teachers at Westside Elementary in Volusia County, FL. are working together to set up and plant 16 FarmDaddy Self Watering Containers. This school garden is set on a spacious property where kids can get their hands dirty and experiment with different types of growing systems. They have done an AWESOME job and we are excited to see the outcome of their hard work!
At FarmDaddy we highly encourage local schools to set up gardens. We strongly believe they offer numerous benefits to students, teachers, parents and the local community who are involved.
8 Benefits of School Gardens
1. Builds Teamwork
Working together with other students and teachers can foster good relationships inside and outside of the classroom. They provide the perfect environment to build a sense of community and social development which will become a needed life long skill.
2. Exercise, Sunshine & Fresh Air
Oh Yes! Getting OUTSIDE beats sitting in a classroom ANY day! Kids have the opportunity to get their hands dirty! They are able to expend some pent up energy that is helpful for them to be able to focus more efficiently in the classroom. Research has shown that being outside breathing fresh air can increase calmness and elevate mood.
According to Ather Ali, ND, MPH, assistant director of Complementary/Alternative Medicine Research at the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center "Exercise leads to an increase in natural killer cells, neutrophils and monocytes, which ultimately increases immune function.”
Last but not least, we all know the many benefits of vitamin D or AKA the "Sunshine Vitamin". Some of these include: normalizing the immune system, the growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases.
3. Creates Living Classrooms Without Walls
Kids learn about plants as well as the science behind how they grow. They learn what seasons to plant particular fruits and vegetables in as well as how to identify different types of plants. Gardening provides a "hands on" approach to learning that simply can't be achieved as easily through a text book. Another plus, a study from Rutgers Cooperative Extension show the students who participate in gardening have a considerable increase in grade point average.
4. Builds Anticipation
The excitement of waiting and watching to see a little seed sprout or a transplant grow and produce is an experience they will not forget! Witnessing the miracle of a plant growing gives kids hope and provides them with something to look forward to.
5. Brings Satisfaction
How REWARDING it is for a child to see their hard work pay off during harvest time! How SATISFYING it is to be able to taste the sweet tomatoes they have planted and watched sprout and grow! There is nothing that can replicate that "fresh from the garden" taste, nor the feeling of achievement it brings to have been a part of the process.
6. Teaches Valuable Life Lessons
There are so many great analogies and life lessons that can be attained through spending time in nature and by growing a garden. Even something simplistic as "What you feed grows" can translate into so many areas of a child's relational and scholastic life. As we all know it takes time for a garden to grow and blossom but with care and tending it can become something magnificent!
7. Encourages Self Sustainability
Kids learn they don't have to be totally dependent on their local grocery store but rather can become self sufficient. Students gain invaluable gardening knowledge that can be passed down to future generations. They learn they can control what goes onto the food they eat.
8. Builds Self Esteem
If you have ever had a child who struggles academically or has physical challenges you know too well how difficult that can be both for the parent and the student. Having an outlet or hobby such as gardening can be therapy for any student providing them hope and building their sense of worth, self esteem and accomplishment as they see the fruit of their labor.
Does your school have a school garden? We would love to hear about it in your comments below!