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Children Need Gardens

Articles: Children Need Gardens

Our children no longer learn how to read

the great Book of Nature

from their own direct experience or how to interact creatively

with the seasonal transformation of the planet.

                  - Wendell Berry

Eager preschoolers monitor their bean's progress in the garden.

"Teacher Veronica, Teacher Veronica!" A three-year-old child calls me over to a corner of the preschool playground. Small puddles of water dot the yard, the remains of the early morning rain. She points excitedly to her find—an earthworm exposed on the ground—while using her other hand to keep her peers from stomping it dead. An impromptu conversation ensues with the steadily gathering preschoolers of the important relationship earthworms have to soil, plants, and to gardening. Our discussion converts those who wanted it dead into admirers; they are especially impressed with the fact that the head of an earthworm is so unlike theirs.

The discovery of a lone earthworm sparks an invaluable lesson about our interdependence with nature, our differences, this small creature's important role, and delightfully piques the chi...

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