When educators introduce children to plants and gardens, they foster a respect for the environment, helping them learn about natural materials and their own health and wellbeing. For many children, this may be their best chance to learn about the concepts that underlie all life on earth.
From the moment we first take babies outdoors, allowing them to sense the fragrances, sounds and sights of the garden, we begin communicating the value of living things. Keeping babies inside where we think they will be ‘safe’ reduces their opportunities for learning about their world (Bower, 2009).
When children grow their own food, they learn about a fundamental principle: what sustains life on earth. Edible gardening promotes both respect for the environment and a child’s own responsibility for good health. When children take part in growing fresh foods, they are more willing to try them. With so much unhealthy food marketed in other places, fresh food gets a chance in a service with an edible garden.