Ang Perrier


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Permaculture Gardens at schools??

How many ways could students benefit from having Permaculture Gardens at school?

"Permaculture is a branch of ecological design, ecological engineering, and environmental design that develops sustainable architecture and self-maintained agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems."
(Taken from Wikipedia)

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    Oct 29 2013: Ang,

    I like to take this topic in anther additional, because I link this conversation in anther conversation

    Too me the benefits are clear and numerous, so let also ask HOW? And not just WHY?
    For the high tech kids of today and tomorrow, Permaculture-Teaching needs to use both a garden hole and a tablet.
    I personally use the internet and a drafting program before starting my hardscaping and planting. After all you just grab a plant and put in the ground and hope for the best, kids would benefit from learning about soil management, planting zones, vertical gardens, harmful and helpful insects, tips for weeding and so much more.
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      Oct 29 2013: I also think with kids one has to go easy. Permaculture is basically a whole philosophy and pretty complex. However, one can grab elements from permaculture and get kids slowly adjusted to the concept otherwise it can become overwhelming for them.
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      Nov 4 2013: I was looking at this as a teaching method to utilize concepts learned in the classroom. Teaching chemistry through water and soil testing, and biology through studying the plants themselves.

      Teaching kids how to cook with the food they're growing provides them will the basic life skills that too many young people are lacking. With single parent households or 2 parents working many kids have been raised on foods that require minimal prep time. Microwavable, pre-cooked, take-out, just add water...etc.

      We could be teaching our kids business tactics and ethics by showing them how much the school saves growing their own food and give them certain freedoms in deciding which ways to utilize that money to maximize the benefits for the school.
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        Nov 5 2013: I like the way you are thinking.

        I for one would find the business interesting, would it be better to use compose tea, chemical pest control, beneficial insists or just let some of the crop be lost? I think would make a great classroom topic, along with many others. Like how does the above options affect flavor?
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          Nov 5 2013: Trial and error experimentation where the kids develop their own hypotheses on the results of different techniques.

          I just feel like this could be the onset of a whole different way of thinking and learning. Keeping the kids more actively involved in the lessons and having it be something that they can take home and teach others about can really help in many ways.
  • Nov 20 2013: I have approached Florida Manatee County schools with this idea all 51 of them and pointed out to them out of the 8.4 million spent on the school food budget and only 2% bought locally is a crime. I will not give up! I have offered a Hy-bird plan for more immediate food production and they "just don't get it". Budget cuts, lack of personal and student involvement is there answer, but they keep writing the other 98% to processed food manufacturers.
    Sometimes I think I'm the only light bulb in the room.......that is on. In another life I must of been Tom Bodett, we'll leave the light on..........
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    Oct 29 2013: For students not into sports, gardening is a great way to keep them active.
    As the BBC just reported Gardening is 'linked to longer lives'

    Plus it will encourage healthier eating, and could save the school money by providing cheap fresh produce.

    FYI for you city folks: there is already a large group for this; it called the 4-H club.
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      Oct 29 2013: Saving the school money and preventing that slop called pink slime from ever being served again. Higher test scores because brain activity and retention is directly related to a healthy diet.
      Creating a strong, forward thinking generation of young people who can conceptualize and understand the benefits of working to achieve something. Feeling success in a way that steps away from the monetary success we've valued for far too long.
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    Oct 29 2013: This is a link to a national scheme run in Australia. While they can't offer you direct help they could offer advice and provide a good example of what is possible.
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      Oct 29 2013: Thank you for the link I appreciate it. I'm presenting this idea to a local school very soon and will need as much information and resources as possible.
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    Oct 28 2013: Why limit it to schools ? What about permaculture inspired public parks ? We could remake those parks into edible forests.
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      Oct 29 2013: Absolutely there is no limitation to this idea of fresh food for everyone.
      I'm thinking though that starting it in the schools and having the students do the work to bring about change will give them back a feeling of empowerment that has been missing from the last few generations.
      A lack of empowerment leaves people feeling powerless. They start to believe their votes don't count and that no matter what kind of fantastic idea they have it doesn't make a difference because there's nothing they can do to change things.
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    Oct 28 2013: Have you seen this TED talk?

    I think the broader project may now be called Green Bronx Machine.
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      Oct 29 2013: This is exactly what I'm hoping to achieve in my area schools.
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        Oct 29 2013: Wonderful! Now you have a resource to provide concrete ideas for implementation of your concept.
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          Oct 29 2013: I guess what I'm wondering is how far reaching are the benefits of teaching our children to respect the planet again?

          Is this the turning point? Is this the "thing" that we need to pursue full speed ahead to make "the" difference?
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        Oct 29 2013: I think that would be asking a lot from a single school program. One would need to investigate whether keeping a school garden makes kids less likely in general to do things one might consider environmentally unfriendly. More important, one would need to look at behaviors once they are adults.

        My guess would be that there would be no appreciable difference in the long run in behaviors related to carbon footprint. But only research can actually answer that question.

        Kids have been learning in school about respecting the planet, reducing pollution, and so forth for a very long time. Over fifty years, certainly, in many parts of the US.
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          Oct 29 2013: Kids have been learning in a regimented classroom setting about the planet. It's different when you have a hands on project producing results from hard work. Teaching kids about the harmful effects of instant gratification and about how good things come to those who wait.
          One of the biggest problems of the millenial generation is that they have been under the impression that anything they could possibly want is at their fingertips.
          Changing that mindset can have a substantial and beneficial impact.
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        Oct 29 2013: Is that your experience in Minnesota? That hands-on is a new or unfamiliar approach in this area?
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          Oct 29 2013: My experience is that it's been dying for a long time and that hands-on is not as respected as it once once. That the younger generations view hard work as a thing of the past and that technology is supposed to do all the work for them.
          Not to mention I'm from the cities.
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        Oct 29 2013: I hadn't fully considered how climate might effect the type of hands-on experiences in which students are regularly engaged. Have you by chance seen the Ron Finley TED talk? He does this in Los Angeles.

        And here is another valuable lead, originating in Berkeley, CA, but now something of a movement:

        It is interesting that you view younger generations as viewing hard work to be a thing of the past. I see secondary school students as working extremely hard, and those who participate here seem to express that often as well.

        What I definitely observe in curricula locally is that the formerly mandatory "shop" classes are few and far between, while courses in various uses of digital technology abound.
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          Nov 4 2013: Don't get me wrong there are plenty of things for us hearty Minnesotans to do during the frigid winter months but in any metropolitan area with a growing percentage of families living below the poverty line, being active outside is difficult.

          It's not just shop classes but anything that teaches a student how to live as an adult is basically obsolete. And these are the lessons that are most important for the poverty stricken. Learning these basics can mean the difference between striving and surviving.

          My grandma told me that when she was in school they learned how to manage a check book and all about ways to minimize household expenses like keeping electricity and heating costs down.

          I fear I'm repeating myself as I type this but with so many single parent households or families with 2 working parents there just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to really teach kids all about living life as an adult.