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Gardening is a unique activity that teaches many lessons. It is a physically demanding activity that can grow your muscles while you grow your food. This rewarding hobby could evolve into a cooperative, communal activity that builds bonds between those who work together to grow the plants and those who enjoy the fruits of this labour. At school we have seen how gardening with children makes this pastime more meaningful and pronounced.


During our gardening projects at Kairos, I have noticed how gardening teaches patience. Many times, a child has asked me, the day after we have planted a seed, whether it is ready yet, or after a week or two of a plant having sprouted out of the ground, I have been asked whether we can eat it yet. Gardening teaches patience. Whether it is a radish or a bean, nothing grows overnight, and nothing is ready to eat after only two or three weeks. Gardening teaches you to value what you eat so quickly. We cleared, we dug, we weeded, we watered, and we waited for many weeks. All this for a few handfuls of food. Imagine what it takes to keep everyone fed.


Many children appreciated that gardening is hard work, especially when starting out. This was apparent when children brought in their seeds, keen to begin planting and see the growth. If only it were so easy. They learnt that one must first prepare the soil. Clearing, digging, mulching, weeding. Spades, forks, rakes, and wheelbarrows. Sweat, complaints, moaning and whining. But when the little seedlings begin to grow, when you see the flowers turn to fruits, all is forgotten, and there is only joy.


Although one can be a lone gardener, it is much more fun when doing it with others, and obviously, you can get a lot more done. You feel great achievement when you can see what you have done together. You feel pride as you watch others enjoying the produce of your labour. It is easier with cooperation; it is meaningful when done for a community.


Gardening is an excellent activity for children. Even when you don’t get a lot done. Being outside and seeing their reactions to finding a worm or a funny-looking rock is enough to see the value in an old, profoundly human activity that is so much more than growing a few plants.

~Teacher Jason

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