Teaching Kids To Farm?


I was flipping through Good.com the last night and in their post they talked about if students should learn to farm?  It’s an interesting question and I can see so many arguments for and against it.  Growing up I was fortunate enough to take 2 year of shop class and 2 year home economics.  This is quite rare for even my age, in an time of fast food, I literally have no friends who know how to cook, sew, build something from wood.  At one point the fact that none of my friends cooked struck me quite hard when I had to show my girlfriend at the time how to boil pasta!  Life skills such as these are so important for men and women, young and old; I mean you gotta eat right?

One thing that I did not get was how to grow food, obviously in line with such tasks of cooking, woodworking, welding, sewing and child care.  This is a true gap in my knowledge, up until my grandparents, almost everyone gardened to some degree, but today very few do now.  What is interesting that now as an adult and growing in my pursuit of self sufficiency and environmentally consciousness, I find myself lacking a green thumb.   What is missing is the cultural knowledge of how to grow, to make our own food with our bare hands.  Back 2-3 generations everyone knew a little about it, if you needed advice, you could ask your neighbor.  Better yet, you could ask the farmer himself, because he was local.


All of these reasons are certainly defensible, but at the same time I know we also need to be hunkering down on the core subjects of academia.  Working in the non-profit sector, I am working within the schools to solve issues that impact the bottom line.  We are in need of a change, of a plan that will take our schools to the next level to achieve a high quality education for all students, does gardening have a place in our schools?

  1. I’m interested in the website you mention, good.com, and I’d like to read the original post. can you provide a link?

    • Sorry, the actual address is good.is They do these weird post where they simply ask a question. So I decided that linking to it wasn’t all that worthwhile, so I took that basic question and made a post on it.

      To see it check it out here: http://www.good.is/post/Should-We-Teach-Farming-in-Schools/

      It is a great website, hope that helps!


  2. Gardening/farming can have an important place in schools! Simply requires a little imagination… which sadly, can be hard to come by in educational systems.

    There is a school in Toronto (Ontario, Canada) which has a “Garden Club”. It’s run by volunteers, and supplied by donations. The kids come after school (and throughout the summer, I believe) to work in the garden which is on school grounds. They choose what is grown and have a part in designing the garden. All the produce grown goes to local food banks. There is a bit of irony in that, as most of the kids come from very low income families and will likely be able to eat the produce themselves.

    I’ve heard of other schools having gardens, tended by kids, which supply the school cafeteria. Something EVERY school should have!

    Besides teaching this after school, there are lots of ways to incorporate this into the classroom. Instead of learning about science, biology and ecology with abstracts, why not use the real thing?!

    • I couldn’t agree more! My high school had a vocational program, one of them was horticulture, every year they would grow poinsettias and sell them as a fund raiser. It became fully self funded.

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