Kids are learning different school subjects in the garden as they plant sprouts, and tend and water their plants over a long wait.
They are learning that It will be a long wait for the tomatoes, the peas, the carrots, the strawberries. It’s going to be a long wait for the dishes they will make with the harvest, the cucumber salads, blueberry smoothies, roasted rosemary sweet potatoes. But it will be worth the wait.
A hands on learning concept called Blossoming in Asheville will take the typical school curriculum outside the classroom, into the outdoors, while learning about food and the world – and the aim is to educate them about food, one student at a time.
“It’s so much easier to open children’s’ minds than to open adults minds,” says Jordan Diamond, garden specialist at Vance Elementary’s Peace Garden. “If you try to change the way the population of our country feels about food, children are where to start.”
The school’s garden allows Diamond to incorporate other elements of the curriculum as well — from history and social studies to math and science.
“It teaches kids what the real world is like outside of reading and writing and math — and it does actually integrate all of those things,” Diamond says. “You can write about your experience in the garden, use math to measure beds and count how many plants per square foot. It enriches and brings life to the school curriculum in this amazing, ideal way.”
Rachel Lubitz, garden specialist for Hall Fletcher Elementary’s learning garden, agrees. “I think it makes our students so much more aware — whether it’s aware of the story of their food, whether it’s aware that seasons bring perennial flowers, new insects or more ecosystem elements,” she says. “They’re so much more in tune with their surroundings.