Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Urban Farming and Peapod Life: Grow Kids’ Connection to Community, Culture and Curriculum

Collage: Children’s Lives Enriched with Gardening Images Credit: MS Office Clip Art
"Students in a mostly Latino high school in Chicago improved their grades in science and the eating habits of an entire neighborhood with a program that began by installing greenhouses on the roofs of the school buildings and spread to one of the main parks in the city.”
Read more: Fox News Latino

This report Urban Farming Improves Nutrition in Chicago Neighborhood by Fox News Latino in the U.S., indicating the positive impact of urban gardening on kids and their community in Chicago is just the latest evidence in support Peapod Life’s push into education. 

Overcrowding is a problem in many schools, and given the choice between building new greenhouses and new classrooms, most schools would probably opt for applying shrinking budgets to more learning space. Peapod Life gives educators a third option: indoor garden learning spaces. 

The connection between children and gardening is both elemental and elementary. I certainly remember working our family’s three-quarter acre lot in the summertime, not to mention countless trips to “pick-your-own” farms. It was a connection to the earth that I’m sure has served our generation well.

The National Gardening Association has “been working to renew and sustain the essential connection between people, plants and the environment” for over 35 years, and have a website dedicated to children’s connection with gardening: www.kidsgardening.org

One cannot help but wonder how urbanization and modernization are adversely affecting future generations, as children become less in-tune with the natural world, and more connected to artificial, synthetic and/or virtual representations of reality. Certainly, Jamie Oliver seems to think so. 

Peapod Life’s idea of combining an indoor garden space with a fully functioning learning space counters the disturbing trend highlighted by Jamie Oliver and others. It gives children living in urban centers a taste of living and working the land, an authentic connection with life. And this is only the beginning… 

Studies have shown that focus and attention improve dramatically with the presence of plants. Peapod Life’s indoor garden learning spaces could offer parents and educators a natural remedy for ADHD and behavioural problems, as opposed to over-medicating children. The healthy organic food they eat will help counter the negative neuropsychological impacts of MSG and other excitotoxins present in processed foods. 

Finally, no matter what their cultural origin, children deserve to connect with the best traditions of their past, including native dishes, ingredients, flavors, and recipes… and by connect I mean prepare from scratch. Peapod Life gives them the chance to grow, harvest and prepare authentic meals from scratch.  

Attila Lendvai VP of Strategic Development 
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build - Creators of Peapod Life

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