“The future will belong to the nature-smart—those individuals, families, businesses, and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of the transformative power of the natural world and who balance the virtual with the real. The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.”Now more than ever kids need to dig in dirt and spring is a great time to get out and start a garden. Digging in dirt is relaxing and calming. It also stimulates our senses - smell, touch, taste. When I think of being out in the garden, I think of the smell of wet dirt after a good rainstorm, the prickliness of an artichoke plant, and the sweet taste of cherry tomatoes warmed by the sun and eaten right off the vine. Gardening allows our kids to see the cycle of life, to understand where our food comes from (it's not grown in the grocery store as I recently heard a first grader say to her friend), and to reconnect with the natural world.
|Digging for potatoes at Petaluma Urban Homestead|
Live in an urban environment without a gardening space? A potted garden allows kids to dig and connect as well. Or get together parents and teachers at your local school and start a community garden. There are grants available for starting a garden including one from the Whole Kids Foundation. Weekend trips to nature trails in National, State and County parks also allow for exploration.