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Garden Lifestyle

Share the Gardening Love

Now’s the time to help kids get connected, just not to the latest technology.

A big pile of zucchini is one way of connecting kids to the garden.
Photo/Illustration: Jodi Torpey

The American Horticultural Society Wants You!

As part of the organization’s Youth Gardening program, the AHS wants you to take the pledge to share your love of gardening with a youngster in your life. 

One of the big goals of the AHS is to connect people with plants and inspire all of us to become better stewards of our planet. But as with any large vision, the dirty work begins at home.

That’s especially true for the organization’s Youth Gardening program. As vegetable gardeners, we especially need to encourage the next generation of gardeners to get outside and get planting. There needs to be a continuous stream of gardeners to follow in our muddy shoe prints.

The Youth Gardening program helps kids explore their environment and fosters a love of growing plants. Research shows that when children help in the garden, they learn valuable skills that can last a lifetime.

“Opportunities to garden can help children develop social skills, enhance school curricula, bring families together, and demonstrate the link between nature and food, clothing and shelter,” says the AHS.

The AHS sponsors an annual National Children and Youth Garden Symposium, recognizes the best new children’s books about gardens and nature, and provides a number of resources to help its mission.

The group is encouraging gardeners to sign a pledge with no strings attached. The pledge is simply a way to promise you’ll share your love of gardening with the children in your life. If you don’t have children of your own, look for ways to volunteer at your neighborhood school, at church, at a Boys and Girls Club, or with any local nonprofit dedicated to helping youngsters thrive.

Take the pledge and then look for outdoor opportunities for…

  • Planting vegetable, herb and flower seeds or transplants in a small garden or containers.
  • Visiting a community garden on planting day.
  • Starting a compost pile or a worm farm.
  • Looking for four-leaf clovers in the lawn.
  • Planting flowers to attract butterflies and bees.
  • Keeping track of the birds that visit a birdbath.
  • Putting peanuts out for the squirrels.
  • Reading one of the AHS award-winning children’s books.
  • Growing a tall sunflower hideout.
  • Harvesting fresh greens and making a salad.
  • Growing some spuds in your duds!

What ideas do have for sharing your love of gardening? Please add them to the list!

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