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Learning through Outdoor Experiences in the Garden: MEC

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Melanie Elena

on 7 September 2012

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Transcript of Learning through Outdoor Experiences in the Garden: MEC

Environment Movement Community Why bother? Children in the Garden.. What is a
vegetable garden? Case Questions Organic Gardening is a sustainable practice.
It involves growing food without the use of harsh chemicals and inorganic fertilisers that pollute our soil and water. The vegetable garden within our school would rely on the use of compost to supply the soil with nutrients. "Exposure to healthy foods,
moderate physical activity, and positive social interactions while gardening in childhood can lead to a lifetime of gardening" (Yost & Chawla, 2009, p. 1). By: Melanie Wedlock Children begin to take control over the foods they select and consume. Eating behaviours during childhood tend to carry over into adulthood, and childhood is a crucial time in life for the development of positive attitudes and behaviours towards the environment (Ratcliffe, 2007, p. 3). Children are able to take an active role in their environment, they are able to build on their knowledge of their surroundings and gain respect for it. By engaging in the garden learning experience the children are looking after the environment and preserving our natural environment.

"Sustainability involves actions that will extend into the future to maintain the quality of the environment that will support future generations, (Littledyke, Taylor & Eames, 2009, p. 27).

As cited in Blair (2009), Francis (1995) highlights that "when children become involved as gardeners or farmers rather than as passive observers of gardens, a deeper significance and meaning is established, (p. 19).
Children need to have ownership over their food choices, and parents should be involved in the implementation and adoption of food growing and cooking based activities (Jones et al, 2012). Learning
through Outdoor Experiences in the Garden to promote Sustainability Why should we create a sustainable garden? Having fun supports learning, and creating a sustainable garden at school will not only provide students with a fun and interactive activity, but will also help them to enjoy the many benefits of gardening.

What children will learn about through gardening:
- Environmental impact of gardens - Recycling - Where food comes from
- Saving water - Greenhouse gas emissions - Healthy foods and nutrition

Skills that children will learn through gardening:
- Responsibility - Creativity - Physical Activity
- Reasoning and Discovery - Nutrition - Cooperation
- Love and Respect of the environment - Understanding - Self confidence The benefits of gardening.. In the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program (2007) gardening and cooking programs are integrated into the primary school. They work form the belief that changes to values and lifestyle come from pleasurable experiences. First hand experiences of growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing food teaches children about choices that direct their consumption towards being healthy, physically and emotionally, and provides the knowledge and skills for children to grow, use and share food. Learning in the garden helps to promote awareness of the significance of local environments, and promotes supportive intercultural and interpersonal interactions, and also empowers children to have influence in family choices (Littledyke et al, 2009, p. 135). Children's behaviours to gardening.. The movement within the environment, involves the action of gardening itself. Children are exposed to the outdoor environment where they will need to walk around discover their surroundings. They will move soil into different areas and plant seeds and seedlings by digging up the dirt, and then use watering cans to collect water from the water tanks and water the garden. The children will store the watering cans and garden tools in the school's garden shed which is located opposite the garden area. Movement Environment When designing and implementing a school garden many people of the community are needed to make it successful. Children are able to work alongside teachers and parents to design the layout of the vegetable garden, and other people of the community need to be considered whom materials need to be sourced from (e.g - hardware stores, builders etc). Once the vegetables have grown it is possible that the school can sell some of the produce to the community to raise money to continue funding their vegetable garden and possibly extend the size of it. Community
Worm Compost
We will use a worm compost that children will help to create.
Worm farming involves worms eating organic waste and turning it into liquid fertiliser and worm castings (the organic material that has been digested by the worms).

Worm farms are a great way to recycle food scraps and other materials, you can use:
- Cooked vegetables and stewed fruit leftovers - Stale biscuits and cakes
- Fruit peelings (not too much orange or lemon peel) - Saw dust
- Vegetable scraps and peelings (not too many onions) - Soaked cardboard
- Coffee grounds and tea bags - Crushed egg shells
- Hair clippings and vacuum cleaner dust
Items that people normally throw away can be used in the garden. We will use paddle pop sticks and old forks to display vegetable seed packets. An old chair or table can hold container plants. Tyres, old containers, old bath tubs and water troughs can also be used for planting,
Our school garden and compost project is a great teaching tool and is a wonderful way to connect children with the natural world. Providing children with a healthy environment to work and grow in will give them a sense of respect, responsibility, and accomplishment. References Blair, D. (2009). The Child in the Garden: An Evaluative Review of the Benefits of School Gardening, Journal of Environmental Education, 40(2), 15-38. Retrieved from http://www.csupomona.edu/~smemerson/business318/articles101/childrens%20gardens.pdf

Casis Elementary vegetable garden: Central Texas Gardener - YouTube video Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=Usfe3I_j0lI

Ratcliffe, M. (2007). Garden-based education in school settings the effects on children's vegetable consumption, vegetable preferences and ecoliteracy. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Proquest Dissertations and Theses. (UMI 3283796)

Jones, M., Dailami, N., Weitkamp, E., Salmon, D., Kimberlee, R., Morley, A., & Orme, J. (2012). Food Sustainability Education as a Route to Healthier Eating: Evaluation of a Multi-Component School Programme in English Primary Schools, Health Education Research, 27(3), 448-458. retrieved from http://her.oxfordjournals.org.ezproxy.lib.monash.edu.au/content/27/3/448.full.pdf+html

Littledyke, M., Taylor, N., & Eames, C. (2009). Education for Sustainability in the Primary Curriculum: a guide for teachers. South Yarra: Palgrave Macmillan

Yost, B., & Chawla, L. (2009). Benefits of gardening for children. Children, Youth and Environments Center for Resarch and Design, 3(1). Retrieved from http://www.peecworks.org/PEEC/FV4-0001B456/S01795C40-01795E71

Images sourced form Google - www.google.com Children should be given the opportunity to explore their environments. Sustainability? Compost Worms Water Tanks We will use water tanks to collect rain water, and use this water to keep our garden alive and healthy.
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