Create an Environmental Ethic with Gardening

Ravi harvesting Pitanga
My son harvesting Pitanga (Eugenia uniflora)

Hart and Moore have declared that the culture of childhood that played outside is gone and children’s everyday life has shifted to the indoors. Sadly children’s opportunity for direct and spontaneous contact with nature is a vanishing experience of childhood. One researcher has gone so far as to refer to this sudden shift in children’s lives and their loss of free play in the outdoors as a ‘childhood of imprisonment’. Childhood and regular unsupervised play in the outdoor natural world are now hardly seen. The researcher Pyle calls this the ‘extinction of experience,’ which breeds apathy towards environmental concerns.

Research clearly shows that for children to have a love for nature and a positive environmental ethic, they need regular contact with and play in the natural world.

So grab your child’s hand and lets go!

Gardening activities can become a powerful teaching and learning tool. And if you don’t have any experience in gardening, don’t worry. The less the better, as you will be traveling side by side with your child/ren. Together you will be following the growth of a garden to a place of rich awards and a full tummy!

My mum always told me that there are three golden rules to gardening:

  1. plant what you like to eat
  2. plant what you like to smell
  3. plant what you like to look at

If you follow these rules you will always be satisfied with your garden. When planting with children, start with these 10 easy vegetables or have fun with eating 20 edible flowers. There are also projects such as making garden stepping stones or mini quirky gardens to make you garden space beautiful.

Hot BUZZ: Read more Young Children’s Relationship with Nature by Randy White

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