I saw an interesting story this morning over at the San Francisco Chronicle talking about how as part of a recovery program teens are asked to volunteer to work in the organic gardens at the center where they reside. “In addition to contributing to a healthy diet, gardening gets teens outdoors and involved in a hands-on activity. Surrounded by the peacefulness of nature, the garden can be a meditative place to relax in between therapy sessions, educational lectures and 12-Step meetings. It also introduces teens to various recovery concepts and builds their confidence.” To those of us who love gardening and landscaping it comes as no surprise that working in a garden can have huge benefits to how these troubled teens view themselves and the world around them. Good luck to all of them.
Another story about getting kids involved in gardening comes from the Northampton Chronicle in the UK. It seems that their idea center around getting kids to visit and get involved with the gardening movement at an early age. “The youngsters learn about the different parts of the plants that get eaten whether it is the flower of a cauliflower, the stem of some celery or the root of a carrot. And they have a tasting session to really get the idea.” In addition to getting more people involved the food grown is distributed locally to those in need, seems to me it’s a win all around for this project and who knows how many bright and creative landscaping minds will be sparked by their time spend at the community gardens.
And finally today I saw that in Antioch, Illinois they just dedicated more space to expand the community gardens for residents. For just 25.00 you get the rights to grow veggies and flowers in a 10×12 foot plot of land. The town trustees are thinking of expanding the number of plots next year from the current twenty because of demand. Besides the obvious benefit to the community of civic pride and neighborliness people in the project will be giving some of the produce to a local project to help families that are in need.