How gardening can make you feel free

This week I received a copy of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening Courses for grown ups, who work with kids;

I’d been asked to write an article for it, about how gardening makes me feel free and how it can help me, when I’m feeling stressed and worried about stuff; here it is…..

Learn, Inspire, Grow

At first when I was a toddler – gardening was about getting dirty and wet – and I was really good at that! At the age of 5, I was poorly for quite a while and found that the fresh air and being surrounded by nature helped me feel better. At the same time I started to get involved in gardening at school and home, planting seeds and growing food and it gave me that real connection with nature.

Gardening is really important in schools as it’s a good way of teaching kids where their food comes from. It’s nice for us kids to put a seed in a pot, watch the seedling grow, then you harvest it, cook it and eat it #boom! It also improves our health, as I think the air is fresher. It’s good exercise, like when you’re digging, lifting and moving around the garden, it’s a very active thing to do and even when it’s raining it makes you feel like dancing!

There’s something special about growing your own; two of my favourites are peas and potatoes.  Peas are great, you watch them grow, pick ‘em, eat ‘em and the pods can go on the compost heap – it’s win, win. I love the idea that you don’t know what you’re going to get with potatoes, it’s like a pick ‘n’ mix, a massive potato, a tiny little potato!

When I’ve got an issue in life that’s stressing me out, gardening makes me feel calm and relaxed. I’ll go outside and it really clears my mind. It almost makes you forget about everything that’s bad in life and helps you escape any worries that you might have. It helps your mind and other things; the gardening environment comes in to your brain and takes all the worries away, it takes you to a different world. When your brain is crowded with problems, you can use all your senses, lift your arms and stand there forever. If I’m stressed at school with homework, tests, teachers and friendships, I’ll go outside into the garden and immediately the flowers, the trees, the plants make me feel relaxed and it clears my mind.

It’s a good way to bring you together as a family too, like when me and my Dad are in the garden, I harvest the produce and take it to my mum in the kitchen, she cooks it, we all eat it and somehow it tastes better, it becomes a team effort.

Writing a poem in the Community Orchard, aged 7

 

Gardening can help with different subjects at school; such as when you’re laying out a plot, it helps you with planning skills. You can be creative and use it for art lessons or in biology you learn all about photosynthesis. And for English, great poets and authors were influenced by the countryside, like Beatrix Potter – she talked all about Peter Rabbit in the garden!

 

 

 

 

I was 8 and at primary school when I won the RHS Young School Gardener of the Year. Now I’m 12 and at high school, I’m becoming more independent and seeing gardening as a life skill and future job. Gardening and cooking the food are my first steps into education and employment and it’s providing me with the skills I need to succeed in life.

I don’t know where I would be without gardening!


Here’s my gardening message…..

To kids that haven’t tried gardening and don’t think it’s cool, I say, give it a try. As I said, there’s nothing better than growing food like peas, but you can always try some wicked plants, such as carnivorous plants that feast on flies or plants that grow in the air, I’m not joking, air plants don’t need soil. There are plants that make you feel better (herbal) and there’s always that sense of achievement when you dig up that potato that you’ve grown yourself and eat it. You won’t know ’til you try it!

To head teachers and teachers I say get kids involved ‘cos it can help kids, who really struggle in the classroom. Being out in the fresh air really helps and there’s different teaching opportunities that can relate to most subjects; check out the RHS Campaign for School Gardening’s website for more info

To parents I say encourage your kids to get involved in the garden or even grow a few things on the window bottom, it’s a good family thing to do together

and to community growing groups it’s a good way of bringing people together; I’ve volunteered with Operation Farm since I was 4 and done some great things, I’ve really enjoyed every minute


It’s the Big #SoupShare this week folks, so next Saturday I’ll be chopping lots of veggies for the Harvest soup; have a great week

About greenfingeredgeorge

First ever RHS Young Ambassador A Gardening Geek and Nature Nerd!
This entry was posted in Cooking, Events, Gardening, Local Food, RHS Ambassador, RHS Campaign for School Gardening and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to How gardening can make you feel free

  1. Donna says:

    Couldn’t agree more! Great as usual 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Steve says:

    Wonderful write up George, and all very true! Well don!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maggie says:

    Once again you’ve cracked it George, great piece of writing, should really get youngsters motivated, nothing quite like the smell of the soil when you dig up a potato – one of my first memories of visiting my Gran in Ireland was helping to bring in the spuds from the ‘ haggart ‘ ( veggie plot between the house & the river ) plus a head of cabbage then both cooked in a black pot on the turf fire , memories. Xxx

    Like

    • Hi Maggie, the ‘haggart’ I love the sound of that! I dug up some potatoes yesterday they are violetta ones, so they are purple!!
      I love that feeling when you’re pulling up spuds – like treasure
      yes happy memories x

      Like

  4. Joan Mycroft says:

    Wow George this is very powerful but also so true, we need to get children outside learning to love the great outdoors. I am sure it will help when children and adults are under stress. Well done for putting this out there.

    Like

  5. gwylfalife says:

    Great article, George. I was lucky that my school had a Horticultural Science course to O’ Level 9 back in the early seventies!!) Although there was only six of us on it it was magic! Tony.

    Like

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