Our Children’s Role in the Grow Your Own Movement

By Deirdre J Baker

In this Article...

The importance of children in the Grow Your Own Movement, how we can encourage them to get involved in growing & gardening & why it is important to get them involved.

In recent years, the Grow Your Own movement has been gaining traction as more and more people around the world are realizing the importance of growing and securing their own food and by-products. The movement provides a practical strategy for sustainability while lowering our food-related carbon footprint. Many adults and organizations are getting involved, however, there is one group that is often overlooked in this movement – children. Including children is critical to the success of this movement and our food security. They not only gain knowledge and experience but also have the opportunity to contribute new perspectives and ideas. In this post, we’ll look at ways our youth may support the Grow Your Own movement, offer advice on getting them interested in gardening and farming, and explain how engaging them can help preserve this knowledge for the long haul.

Children are naturally curious and love to learn

One of the best things about children is their innate curiosity. They are open-minded and they love to explore and learn about the world around them. Children can gain valuable insight into the natural world and the interconnectedness of all living things. Through gardening, our children can learn about the importance of soil health, composting, the lifecycle of plants, seed-saving, and more. By including children in gardening, farming, and homesteading, we can foster a love of learning and respect for the environment that will stay with them for life.

Children are naturally very creative and more innovative than we often give them credit for. Children can see the world with fresh eyes whereas adults may be influenced or biased. They can see alternate approaches to problems and provide solutions that could help the Grow Your Own movement progress in ways we may have missed. For example, a child may come up with a new way to protect plants from pests or a creative solution for composting or storing food. By including children in the garden with us, we can tap into their abundant creativity and use it to make the movement even better.

Children are excellent at building community

Community is an essential aspect of the Grow Your Own movement. By working together, we can share knowledge, resources, and support. Our youth can create community much easier than adults and naturally welcome others and share their knowledge freely. They love to help and can be an important part of public gardening projects, organizing seed swaps, and spreading the word. By including our kids in the Grow Your Own movement, we can illustrate and solidify the importance of community which will benefit everyone and foster their natural networking abilities.

Including children is key to the long-term success of the sustainability and self-reliance movement

Sustainable living is at the heart of the Grow Your Own movement. Lessening our dependency on industrial agriculture, we can better safeguard our planet by growing our own food and providing security in our own families. If we want this movement to continue, we must teach the next generation what we know and encourage them to carry the knowledge forward. With the help of our kids, the Grow Your Own movement will live on for years to come and the knowledge will be handed on from generation to generation.

Children can help us promote healthy eating

We know that childhood obesity is a growing problem in our society. By including children in our sustainability efforts, we can promote healthy eating habits from an early age. When children grow their own food and understand the process involved, they will appreciate it more. They can also learn the nutritional values of foods and hopefully develop a love for healthy food that they can share with others throughout their lives.

How to Encourage Children to Garden and Grow Their Own Food

Now that we have discussed the importance of including children in the Grow Your Own movement, let’s talk about how to encourage them to get involved in gardening and the growing process.

Start small: Children can get overwhelmed easily, so it’s important to start simple and small. Begin with a small raised bed or a few containers. Involve them in the planning process and let them choose what they want to grow.

Make it fun: Gardening should be fun and relaxing, not a chore. Make it fun by incorporating games, songs, and stories into the process. You can also create a scavenger hunt to find different types of plants or insects both in and out of the garden.

Let them get dirty: Our kids love to get dirty, so let them! Allow them to dig in the dirt (with bare hands if they wish), plant seeds, and play with worms. Encourage them to explore and learn about the environment of their garden.

Offer rewards: Children love rewards, so offer them incentives for their hard work. This could be something as simple as a sticker chart or a special treat once their plants start growing.

Involve them at harvest time: Harvesting is one of the most rewarding parts of gardening. Your children will enjoy picking their own fruits and vegetables and seeing how their work has paid off. They will feel a sense of pride and accomplishment, which will encourage them to keep gardening each season.

Children Hold an Important Role in Securing the Future of Sustainability

By including children in the garden and the Grow Your Own movement as a whole, we can help secure the future of sustainable agriculture. Teaching them to garden and grow their own food, appreciate the natural world, and understand its connectedness, we ensure the sustainability of our communities around the world. By passing down our own gardening knowledge and skills to our children, we can connect with them more deeply and help create communities that are more connected to the natural world and better equipped to face the agricultural and ecological challenges of our future.

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