Last night, I met most of our gardeners in person for the first time at our garden planing workshop. It was great to see the excitement as they mapped out and made their plans for the upcoming growing season. For most of our gardeners this is their firsts garden as well. Meeting so many beginners reminded me of my own beginnings and why I started gardening in the first place.
This was our first workshop. In fact, this year is a first of many. It’s Grow Morristown’s first year of existence as a GA partner site & Garden Grant recipient as well as my first year as a site coordinator. This is Hamblen County – Morristown’s first ever backyard gardening program.
Simply accepting applications for the program has been an amazing experience for me personally. It has reminded me of all the reasons that my family stared our own backyard garden 10+ years ago. When asked the question, “What would participation in this program mean for you and/or your family?” applicants answered with surprising repetition. I could completely relate! The responses could be stated simply as “love of family, love for children!” Parents want more family time, exercise, whole foods and an opportunity to set a strong example of health!
There is no shortage on scholastic & human developmental studies citing the benefits of gardening. There’s even more evidence to the physical benefits of growing and eating your own foods. Here is a compiled list … I’d say this applies equally to adults as well as children!
- Gardening encourages healthy eating.
- Gardening fosters family bonding.
- Gardening teaches responsibility.
- Gardening creates environmental stewards.
- Gardening engages all of the senses.
- Gardening enhances fine motor development.
- Gardening helps learn to plan and organize.
- Gardening introduces kids to scientific concepts.
- Gardening develops math skills.
- Gardening teaching patience.
It’s important to note that these responses were not just about young children. We also have a couple of adult participants wanting more quality time, exercise and sharing healthy foods with their parents, not just the kids.
I’ve never really questioned why I love gardening. This experience has led me to ponder exactly ‘why’ I love it so much. It’s all the same reasons. I appreciate the personal insights and I’m excited for the year of many firsts!