The School Vege Patch Revolution
As many of you know, I have three beautiful children. Each one of them is unique, and bright, and very special to me in their own way. Each of them has a glowing personality, and they share a kindness and love for nature and other people that fills my heart on a daily basis. It’s amazing to see your children grow up and develop their views, and if there has been one thing I have always tried my hardest to do as a parent, it is to teach my kids to respect animals, the environment, and people from all cultures and walks of life. They continue to amaze me every day with their generosity and warmth.
Many of you may also know that I frequently visit schools to talk to students about bees, teaching them about the reasons that apiary is so important for the world. It’s a pleasure to go into such great school environments in Victoria and see the different ways that education is catered to the needs of different learners. On some occasions, I get to see school set-ups that really give me the warm and fuzzies; situations where kids are encouraged, on a daily basis, to get back to basics, learn valuable life skills, and look after the world they live in.
One of these situations or set-ups is the school vege patch and garden. Why this isn’t part of every school I don’t know; it really is such a simple and inexpensive way to teach kids so many life skills and social attributes that will make their lives more enriched, happier, healthier. What’s even better, as far as I am concerned, is that the school vege patch or garden is the perfect micro-environment for connecting kids to the bees—here we can see how bees flourish first-hand. We can choose plants that bees love most, and make sure some of those appear so that kids get used to having bees around them and start to learn about the types of plants they can encourage their parents to incorporate into the garden at home. Some of these favourites include oregano, thyme, borage, lavender and sunflowers.
So, as I recently posted, let’s encourage our local schools to have a well-functioning, organic vegetable garden that encourages the bees to visit our kids on a daily basis. If the garden is maintained by a student group so that it stays healthy, children will see how easy it is to grow their own foods. They will be inspired to stay in touch with what matters most—the environment and each other—by growing their own produce to make their own meals. They will be encouraged to work together, to get their hands dirty, to connect with nature on a daily basis, and to share the load, and the fruits of their labour, with one another. There’s so much to love about a bee-friendly organic vegetable garden in every Australian school!