Since the start of the 2016/2017 school year, the association Maison de la Nature et de l’Environnement (Centre for Nature and the Environment) in Gard (France) has given 85 children aged from 6 to 11, from 3 schools in the Alès (30) urban area along with their teachers, the chance to receive assistance from an […]
Since the start of the 2016/2017 school year, the association Maison de la Nature et de l’Environnement (Centre for Nature and the Environment) in Gard (France) has given 85 children aged from 6 to 11, from 3 schools in the Alès (30) urban area along with their teachers, the chance to receive assistance from an environmental instructor in creating vegetable gardens and growing vegetables in their schoolyard. The goal was to help them discover and familiarize themselves with vegetables but also to discuss and share everything they experienced daily during these activities.
The project was organized in 4 stages, from October to December 2016:
- An initial presentation workshop on the theme of vegetable gardens, with the children producing drawings, followed by an examination of: ”Which vegetables can be grown, and how?”
- A discovery workshop to learn all about garden tools, with which the children were able to familiarize themselves by mimicking the work of gardeners
- A discovery workshop to learn about the growing plot (whether on the ground or in a container) which will be “farmed” by small groups of children in their school’s courtyard
- A workshop on planting winter vegetables: broad beans, peas, garlic, onion, shallots, ornamental cabbage, etc.
The children were also introduced to the notions of ecological gardening with a view to producing an insect hotel to understand the beneficial role they play in organic farming.
The vegetable gardening activities got underway again in March, including identification of the young shoots as they emerge from the ground. Next steps: natural treatments against diseases and pests, picking and tasting vegetables which have reached maturity such as the radishes and the planting of early potatoes.
At the end of the school year, another educational workshop has been setted up with the aim of discovering the history and geography of vegetables (where do they come from?) hanks to documentary research and then to produce a newspaper including the children’s work (their drawings, experiments and observations).
This project was supported by the Louis Bonduelle Foundation in its 2016 call for proposals