Whenever I (Michael) talk on the issues of food security, I always refer to the BIG THREE!
I believe there will be three major players in future food security, and they will be:
1) Individual gardeners,
2) School gardens, and
3) Community based gardens.
The reason why I believe school gardens will play a major role in future food security is because it’s the collective will and actions of ordinary people that will determine the quantity and quality of the food on our tables in coming years. This will seem counter intuitive to many people as most would think it’s the farmers, governments, agricultural institutes, corporations etc. that will provide us with food security. (I go into detail in my food security training course why we can’t rely on governments and corporations for food security. Come along to one of our training courses if you are interested in learning more about what’s happening with national and international food chains).
School gardens are really the first introduction to the whole concept of growing our own food and food security in general for this and future generations of people. What we have witnessed in schools over the last 100 years is a move towards class-based and theoretical activities in conjunction with the technical revolution. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I believe we should not set aside the practical skills of yesteryear and treat them as irrelevant and outdated. There needs to be a balance in all education.
The truth is every student can learn but not always in the same way or at the same pace. School gardens provide a platform to learn all the basic skills that students need such as maths, science, biology, English, ecology, environmental studies, horticulture and so much more. By encouraging every school to have a garden (even a small one) and food growing classes we are by default catering for different student learning needs and encouraging learning in an outdoor practical format. And at the same time students learn teamwork and practical skills such as food growing, looking after the environment, food harvesting and food security.