A thing of beauty and a job forever

Kobita Dass Kolli

Gardening, however basic, is an enriching experience. Just watching a new shoot emerging, petals of a bud unfurling, the scent of freshly harvested coriander or the beautiful colours of variegated leaves gives us great pleasure, especially in today’s rushed technology-filled life.

The activities in this project serve as an introduction to the possibilities of germinating seeds and nurturing them to grow into plants and trees and reaping their benefits, whether for pleasure or for food. More importantly it serves to introduce children to the wonders of the natural world in a way that is fun and likely to spark an interest that will last a lifetime.

Walk through the garden – an introduction
Begin by talking about gardens. What do children see, feel, hear, and smell in a garden or a park? Take a walk around the school garden or visit a park. It should be a sensory experience, to help see the world in positive ways.

There are seven basic requirements in order for plants to grow properly – temperature, light, water, air, nutrients, time (seasons), and space (room to grow). Discuss these with the children.

Plants can be grown indoors or outdoors for food, shelter, clothing, medicine, energy, and pleasure. Discuss the uses of the trees and plants in and around your area. Did you know that every part of the banana plant is useful! (even the root stock, for planting new plants).

The author is a Hyderabad-based illustrator and identity designer and holds an M.Phil in Plant Sciences. She is also a Nature enthusiast and enjoys working with fourth graders on nature awareness and gardening at Vidyaranya School along with Sadhana Ramchander (who has planned and initiated the module). She can be reached at kobi25dk@gmail.com.

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