Wednesday, April 15, 2009

10 Reasons Why Kids Need a Garden

• It’s fun to grow your own food whether it’s just one pot of herbs or a multi-rowed mini-farm.
• Homegrown crops taste great!
• Kids are more likely to eat previously rejected goodies they grow themselves.
• Fresh picked fruits and veggies have more nutrients than produce that’s been sitting around.
• A much greater variety of cultivars can be grown that won’t be found in grocery stores.
• Chemicals can be minimized or avoided.
• Gardening saves money. A few dollars worth of seeds can yield a harvest worth much more.
• Gardens save energy. Many food products must be shipped hundreds or thousands of miles to the grocery store.
• Growing your own food is empowering, teaches valuable skills, and encourages self-sufficiency.
• It’s Spring!

For some hands-on inspiration, check out these photos of First Lady Michelle Obama and friends planting the White House Garden. A PDF of the layout can be downloaded from the same page.

Here are some books to get started

My First Garden
by Wendy Lewison, illustrated by Miki Sakamoto
Little Simon
16 pages (board book)
ages 2–5

A mother and daughter dig, plant, and water a flower and vegetable garden.

First Garden Activity Book: Fantastic Step-by-Step Ideas
by Angela Wilkes
DK Publishing
ages 4–8
48 pages (spiral bound)

Planting a salad garden, making unique sandwiches, pressing flowers, and windowsill gardening are some of the projects illustrated with photosgraphs. Stickers and seed envelopes are included.

The Vegetables We Eat
by Gail Gibbons
Holiday House
Age 4–8
32 pages

Young gardeners will discover many veggie
options from edible leaves to succulent stems to tasty roots.

A Librarian's Guide to Cultivating an Elementary School Garden
by Bonnie Mackey, Ph.D. and Jennifer Mackey Stewart
Linworth Publishing

160 pages

A comprehensive handbook about school gardens that includes:
Data on improved student performance, environmental literacy, and eating habits.
Funding sources, garden designs, maintenance requirements.
Lesson plans, material lists, book resources, web bibliography.

The Ultimate Step-by-Step Kid’s First Gardening Book
by Jenny Hendy
Lorenz Books
256 pages

This book won’t be released until May... it has 150 projects for ages 5–12 that are illustrated with over 900 photographs.

Wildlife Gardening
by Martyn Cox
DK Publishing
ages 4–8
80 pages

Shows how to plant a habitat with food and shelter for wild creatures such as bees, butterflies, and bats.

Gardening with Children
by Monika Hanneman et al, illustrated by Sam Tomsello
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
120 pages

Making a root-view garden, chlorophyll prints, a hummingbird feeder and more from the the home of the oldest children’s garden in North America.

Happy digging!


jama said...

Thanks for the lovely post. These titles look very interesting!

Infant Bibliophile said...

Excellent post! I'll be linking to this post in the next day or two from my site.
Lynn from Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile