Horticulture provides an opportunity to teach science through application.  For children who come from an agricultural background in developing countries, learning math, science, English and problem solving, evolves naturally using plants since not all the information being learned is totally foreign.  They quickly become confident since much of the process is related to things that they have previously experienced.  Teachers who teach horticulture in urban schools to our home grown children in the United States realize quickly that growing things is often foreign to city kids.

The difficulty is that most educators do what most local gardeners do and that is start their gardens in the spring.  Traditionally, students prepare the soil, germinate seeds, plant and then go on summer vacation.  During the summer the weeds grow, watering on a consistent basis is difficult and the joy of harvesting comes at the wrong time.  FAILURE!

Teachers, get busy.  This is the time to get the seeds started and fall is the time to plant.  There are many seasonal plants that thrive in the fall.  In the Boston area, the ocean is a mega heat sink. The fall months provide plenty of time to realize ample harvests, nutritional lessons and a strong base for scientific investigations.  The problem solving learned through gardening teaches many of the basics for the scientific method.

I don’t believe it, eight days and none of my seeds have germinated.  It helps to read the package.  Most types of lettuce and fall plants take up to fourteen days to sprout.  I hope the next seven days prove to be more productive. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Extend the season even longer by covering the Square Foot Garden.  Build a cover from plastic and half inch PVC tubing.  This will get students to pay attention to weather conditions with a simple weather station.  It is all very exciting.  Please comment and let me know what you would do if you were a teacher in charge of developing a science program through horticultural.

 

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