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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Roots and Shoots: Raising a Future Gardener

"Now that I’m a parent, I’m wondering how to share my enjoyment of gardening with my daughter as she grows up. Vegetable gardening has a certain cachet for families these days. It’s become cool to take your kids to the farmers market and teach them about buying locally and seasonally." continues

Even a baby can have a good time in a garden. 

In both the Haldane and Garrison school districts, students spend time in greenhouses and learn about growing and preparing vegetables. There is increasing awareness of the value of vegetable gardens and recognition that it can help instill good eating habits in childhood.

Carolyn Llewellyn, a farm and nature educator who works with Glynwood, Manitou School and the Haldane “Farmer in the Classroom” program, and Dianne Olsen, who led the “Families Growing Together” program for the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Putnam County for many years, shared ways that parents can get kids off the iPad and into the garden. The most important part is to make it fun, they both emphasized...

“The garden is one of the best classrooms for children (adults, too). Kids learn science in the garden: math by measuring, engineering by planning, biology by learning how plants grow, ecology by learning about the interaction of plants, air, water, insects, and pollinators,” said Olsen. “It isn’t just concrete skills, though. Olsen said: “Kids learn patience. They have to wait for seeds to sprout and for vegetables to ripen. When kids work together in a garden, they learn cooperation, teamwork, acceptance and respect. They learn how awesome and talented and creative they are.”