A Deal for New School Gardens
Governments and international development partners are increasingly interested in school gardens. These have traditionally been used for science education, agricultural training or generating school income. Today, given the urgent need for increased food security, environmental protection, more secure livelihoods and better nutrition, perceptions of the potential of school gardens are changing. Some roles which are gaining prominence are the promotion of good diet, the development of livelihood skills, and environmental awareness. The belief is that school gardens can become a seed ground for a nation’s health and security; this idea is increasingly backed up by experience and research. The questions are: how much can be achieved, and how best to go about the task?
School-age children need a good diet in order to develop and grow well, to study, to be protected from disease, and to have the energy to get through the day. For the sake of their futures and their own children’s futures, they need not only to eat well, but also to learn how to eat well, and how to grow their own food if necessary. Schools are well placed to show children how to go about this, because at this age children are open to new ideas and young enough to pick up good habits and new skills easily. With the right conditions and support, school gardens can do all of these things.