Garden for Health
According to World Health Organization (WHO), WHO defines physical activity as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure – including activities undertaken while working, playing, carrying out household chores, travelling, and engaging in recreational pursuits (“Physical Activity, n.d.).
Physical activity. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity
Benefits of Gardening
Gardening can have many positives effects to our health in many surprising ways. It aids in improving our physical and psychological well being.
Tips and Tricks to Start a Garden by Alicia Williams
Seeding, Sowing, and Planting Mature Plants
Step 1 – Germinating Seeds
Peat pellets – Can buy at any local gardening store
Plastic tray & plastic cups with holes
Step 2 – Sowing
Potting soil for seedling
Garden pot or garden green house kit
Organic fertilizer for edibles
Step 3 – Planting Mature Plants
Potting soil for vegetables and herbs
Garden pot large enough for mature plant
5-gallon bucket – This is used for mixing fertilizer with soil prior to planting.
Organic fertilizer for edibles
Interview - Implementing School Gardens for Education
Jennifer Kakita is a teacher at Doral Elementary School in the Las Vegas Area. She is being interviewed on how she implements the school garden program to teach math and life science to elementary students.
Interviewee: Alicia Williams
Interviewer: Jennifer Kakita
What aspects of gardening help students learn Math?
Kakita: I’ve used area and perimeter for the garden beds. Then once they know about area we can teach the students about square feet. This is good for gardening to know how many plants can fit into a square foot. So, they are not only learning about math they are leaning about square foot gardening. Another math related thing I taught was bar graphing. We decided on carrots and we measured the greens of the carrots. Then they transferred the data into bar graphs.
What about Science?
Kakita: From an observation standpoint, kids stand around the garden during recess. They notice how sunflowers will face toward the sun. The point is the children start to ask questions like “Why are the plants green?” or “How does the water in the soil get to the plant?” When they get to the class room, all the things they learned in the garden are incorporated in learning about the life cycle.
What about nutrition?
Kakita: There are certain standards I must teach for nutrition that differs from gardening. The students learn about the nutrition label. For example; Flour. Then the students ask, “where does flour come from” or “what is bleached flour?’ It just creates an awareness of what they are putting in their bodies. Also, when we are with the gardener we teach kids about what food do for their bodies. The kids that say, “I don’t like vegetables they don’t taste good.” We say, “you may learn to like them but, this is why it is important to eat it.” It’s also important to connect the children to something they are doing, like sports. For example; “It will make you stronger” or “run faster.” Then it allows you to connect with them.
Anything else you would like to add?
Kakita: We started composting and we just started teaching kids what you can put in the bins. We have a garden club that made signs what they can put in the composting bins. They also learn ratios of composted items. We also have a vermicomposting (worms) in 3 different classrooms. In our class specifically, we are learning about worms and what they do for the garden.
Of course, they like to play with the worms.
Kakita: They like to feed them. The children will tear up small pieces of banana peel and feed the worms.
Having trouble deciding what to start planting in your garden? Learn more about seasonal produce here.
Not sure how to serve up all those seasonal goodies? Prepare dishes alongside a nutrition major who loves gardening in the desert.
Want to know more?
I’d love to hear from you and I’ll be happy to help.