This week on Growing a Greener World, we explore the critical mission of growing the next generation of gardeners by instilling a love of gardening in children.
My passion for gardening began when I was a child as it does for many gardeners. The turning point for me came after accidentally breaking off a branch from my parents’ favorite shrub. I panicked and jammed the broken branch into the ground. A few weeks later, I went back to check on it. To my surprise and relief, that branch had taken root. From that moment on, I was hooked on horticulture.
That defining moment was literally life-changing! Whether children discover the magic of plants on their own like I did, or they are taught by an adult, exposing children to gardening at a young age can instill a newfound passion to last a lifetime.
This episode features the story of Brie Arthur’s passion for engaging her two neighborhood children and planting the seed for a love of gardening. It’s Brie’s belief that if a child grows up gardening, they’ll be a better steward of the land when they’re older. Brie was introduced to gardening through her grandparents and through 4H in school. This led to her career in horticulture and has inspired her to introduce gardening to children through presentations at various schools.
Six years ago, new neighbors moved in next to Brie with two young children – Aidan and Abby. They began to help Brie with a few projects in the garden like planting and harvesting potatoes. Today, Brie’s ongoing and active mentorship of this young pair has transformed their lives in many positive ways.
In this episode, we also revisit a few of our favorite segments from past seasons that exemplify the importance and good that can come from educating the next generation of gardeners.
In season 1 we visited the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, CA where children participate in 12 to 30 sessions in the garden and the kitchen studying ancient cultures and botany.
In the process, they learn about teamwork, stewardship of the land, and the benefits of a healthy diet and social interaction around a table of freshly prepared food. This encourages children to think critically about the food choices they make not only for their own health but also for the health of the environment.
In Season 4, we talked to several children and educators at The Manhattan School for Children. This school strives to provide the students with a solid perspective of the environmental concerns that come from living in the city. The children get hands-on science experience in the areas of sustainability and conservation.
We hope you enjoy this episode and that it inspires you to teach gardening to the children in your life.
Links & Resources
*Disclosure: Some product links in this guide are affiliate links, which means we would get a commission if you purchase. However, none of the prices of these resources have been increased to compensate us. None of the items included in this list have any bearing on any compensation being an influencing factor on their inclusion here. The selection of all items featured in this post and podcast were based solely on merit and in no way influenced by any affiliate or financial incentive, or contractual relationship. At the time of this writing, Joe Lamp’l has professional relationships with the following companies who may have products included in this post and podcast: Rain Bird, Corona Tools, Milorganite, Soil3, Exmark, and Park Seed. These companies are either Brand Partners of joegardener.com and/or advertise on our website. However, we receive no additional compensation from the sales or promotion of their product through this guide. The inclusion of any products mentioned within this post is entirely independent and exclusive of any relationship.