5 reasons to have a garden

As growing season begins, many gardeners begin planting their gardens. The above garden includes basil, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, beets, and green beans (photo courtesy of Lucy Leen).

Gardens are a great source for nutritious food and learning life skills, two very different things that provide endless value. Every teen should have a garden while in high school, and here is why.

Gardens teach responsibility: Gardens are like having a child or pet but on a smaller scale, of course. As an owner of a garden, you are responsible for caring and providing for your plants. You have lives depending on you: If you don’t do your job, plants will die. When looking at the bigger picture, this is a vital skill to have in life. As teenagers move through high school and college, they have to become more independent. This means taking care of ourselves, then eventually, if we choose to, taking care of our own kids. Having the experience of maintaining a garden can teach you the basics you’ll need later in life to make your transition into adult life easier.

Gardens teach kids to be more appreciative: Every day humans take advantage of things they should be grateful for. More often than not, we take advantage of the little things we don’t think that much of. For example, do you think of where and how the food on your plate got there every time you have a meal? The answer is most likely no. However, having a garden can help you acknowledge just how much it takes to feed the world. This newly enhanced appreciation can lead one to live a more sustainable and efficient lifestyle.

Gardens teach kids hard work: Ask almost any adult, and they will rant to you about how lazy the younger generations are. With all the advancements in technology in today’s world, kids are glued to their devices. The addiction to technology in the modern day youth often discourages initiative and self determination to explore new horizons. A garden can help combat this lack of motivation in youth by encouraging activity. Gardens provide a student with a task that requires them to work diligently to be successful. This is a great example of working hard to achieve your goals–a life skill that can transfer to the classroom or workplace.

Gardens teach kids environmental awareness: In a world where environmental degradation is at its highest, educating the youth is vital to improving the future. Agriculture is one of the leading causes of global warming. Mass farms produce an immense amount of gas emissions from equipment and fertilizers. There is a major push towards organic and small-scale farming to limit global warming. Local community gardens, home gardens, and organic farms need to become primary sources of food in the future. If the youth of America agree on this because they’ve grown up with a garden, they could be the next big step towards a cleaner world.

Gardens teach better eating habits: Homegrown organic food is full of nutrients, unlike the GMO-filled, mass-produced produce. Food harvested from a homegrown garden is full of flavor making it more appetizing for young kids. Constantly having fresh fruits and vegetables builds a kid’s likeliness to eat them. Establishing good eating habits as a kid encourages a healthy life, which will prove to have many benefits.


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