Learning at the school garden

India Requires All Schools to Have Kitchen Gardens
  • A one of its kind initiative, Edible Schools has been launched by MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in Kalpetta, Kerala in association with Botanical Garden Conservation International (BGCI) to familiarize school children with food crops and family farming. 
  • The aim of this program is to engage the children in food production and farming activities under the guidance of trained and caring leaders, who lead the children into discovery and exploration of soil, water, biodiversity and the science of agriculture production and consumption.

Teaching gardening in schools

  • This project was launched in 2 schools of Waynad – Hill Blooms School, Mananthavady and Government High School, Thrikaipetta, in January, 2021 and it is a huge success till date. The programme was initiated by developing a nutrition garden and fruit garden at both schools following COVID 19 protocols. 
  • These gardens were designed on approximately 870Sq.ft land and fruit trees were planted as part of the campus greening. The nutrition garden has been cultivated with mostly leafy greens such as Amaranthus, Spinach, Curry leaves and Moringa and the commonly consumed vegetables such as Brinjal, Okra, Beans and Cow peas as well as medicinal plants , fruit trees, wild food plants and larval hosts have also been planted. 
  • The first harvesting from the nutrition gardens at the edible schools was done by the students and they were guided by their leaders. They were very excited to see their produce as well as fruit garden saplings of Guava, Custard Apple and Mango seeds growing into healthy trees. 

Although during pandemic the students couldn’t visit the school campuses much, the nutrition gardens have been extended to their homesteads. Training was given to the students for the collection and multiplication of the seeds of wild native trees like Venga, Njaval, Athi etc.  The seedlings planted by the students will be handed over to MSSRF and hence, the students will be a part of the reforestation programme

reference-https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/teaching-from-the-garden-creating-transformative-learning-landscapes-at-schools

https://rodaleinstitute.org/education/school-gardening-curriculum/