Farming Metropolis places a great emphasis on getting children and teens involved in establishing and maintaining community urban gardens, but not without some criticism. I would like to address the concerns reported by communities and provide reasoning for the emphasis on children and teens.
The most common complaint I get is that children and teens would better spend their time focusing on school and homework. To that I say both yes and no.
Let me explain!
Yes, homework is important. But, should they be doing homework all the time? I don’t believe so (and I don’t think your children do either). Extracurricular activities are important and a garden would be a great place to do it. Keep in mind that we are talking about a community garden; I do not mean that your children and teens should spend hours each day in the garden, but rather whatever time they would like to provide. While gardening, children and teen may garner real world skills on building planters and using space efficiently and handling plants. In addition (and possibly most important) the children and teens benefit from hands on activities that further their knowledge on different fruits and vegetables and their growing environments.
Yes, a fulfilling education can never be overvalued. But, are your kids learning about food in school? Jamie Oliver, a well-known chief and activist personally investigated this and he found a very disturbing phenomena. The children of a class that he visited were not capable of identifying whole vegetables such as potatoes and eggplants. In his TED Talk, Jamie described how school curriculums are missing materials that are essential in today’s obese America. If the children and teens aren’t getting this in school, how wonderful would it be if they could get it in their community or in their very own home.