In the 21st century, archaic practices like farming by hand is slowly turning obsolete.
And we can’t blame anyone for that- the world is being intensely mechanized. Everything we can do, a machine can do better. Yet, the question remains- should we not teach the future generation how to grow food? Is it that useless in the current frame of society?
In fact, teaching kids how to grow food is quite a self-sustaining course in being responsible and careful. When a kid learns how to grow food for their survival, they would learn to value it. They wouldn’t be splurging and wasting it unnecessarily.
It also helps teach kids the benefit of being independent- the moment you learn how to manage your next meal, you are not dependent on any single person.
Actually, kids learn a lot more than just responsibility when they are taught gardening:
1. Responsibility- kids learn to be responsible when they nurture the plants into adulthood.
2. Understanding- understanding and empathy come from the knowledge of what is useful and harmful to plants.
3. Self-confidence- when the plant is ready to flower, kids earn self-confidence knowing that they can create something useful.
4. Nature lover- a green thumb is always a nature lover, no surprises there.
5. Physical activity- gardening is an activity that brings in toil and pain. If kids glean the fun in it, suddenly this activity becomes a routine.
But how to get kids to be interested in it? There are a few ways:
1. Simplicity works best.
2. If you want them to learn the importance of independence, you need to set them free with their own space.
3. Don’t give children tools that they can’t carry and can be potentially dangerous.
4. Teach them how to plant flowers that help in attracting beautiful birds.
5. Install water beds and scarecrows.
6. Make it interesting.
There have been several attempts to make gardening a compulsory coursework in schools. Raymond Blanc, the renowned chef from France is a major advocate for this. He believes that this will help kids develop ‘food empathy’- which is simply a better understanding of the world of food. This will help them grow healthy fruits and vegetables while indulging in their consumption too. They would stop focusing on junk food and partake in healthy eating.
Teaching kids to garden will also increase their sensitivity to the outside world.
At present, kids barely go out- they indulge in their video games and have no knowledge of the world outside. And this can pose a problem when they have to make their own way through this world. So, if a kid is taught to be independent from an early age, it will really help them see the world from a completely different perspective. And that will allow them to be truly free.
Also, staying outside will enhance their appreciation for nature and the beauty it upholds. For, there is nothing more beautiful than toiling in the sun to feel the breeze caress someone’s face in the afternoon.