Earlier this year, at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers’ annual conference in Liverpool, delegates voted to urge the government to put gardening on the curriculum. It was suggested that teaching gardening skills would help to combat obesity, but there are many other benefits to it than just that. Yes, teaching gardening gets children to be active and spend time in the fresh air, but it also reconnects them with nature.
Growing up in rural Suffolk, I remember a time when, on holiday from university, a friend of mine brought some friends ‘from the city’ to visit the farm she grew up on. I was really surprised when they exclaimed that they had never seen fruit and vegetables actually growing, having only ever seen them in their pre-packaged form. This disconnection with where food comes from surely has an effect on children’s enjoyment of it, and appreciation for the time and energy that goes in to growing it?