Inspiring an early love for gardening in our kids is a way to encourage healthy minds, healthy bodies, and a healthy planet.
There is an echoing sentiment across industries that gardening of any kind, from putting a desktop plant collection together to growing your own container full of fresh herbs on your patio, is a way to play to the long game for health–health of our minds, bodies, and, of course, the health of the planet.
As adults, we understand what playing the long game means: you plant seeds and patiently (or sometimes impatiently) watch the plants grow. Some are ready to enjoy in a few months, while others take a lot longer.
Why not do some smart, timely nurturing with our youth? If kids aren’t noticing plants all around them, how can they develop a life-long appreciation for the many benefits of nature?
Gardening cultivates a growth mindset. It is a way to nurture a sense of curiosity, awe, and wonder in the natural world. Gardening is the perfect place to cultivate future leaders, the leaders who will be responsible for protecting our planet, developing a cure for the diseases that plague us today, as well as to cultivating ways we can all learn how to harness the power of mindfulness.
We need to think like a leader and garden like a leader.
Gardening, as we like to say, getting a little dirty for good, operates like a good business should. It makes the every day seem at once familiar and strange. The garden incites curiosity and conversation in both the experienced gardener and the novice alike.
At its best, the act of gardening inspires creative thinking. The simple, yet complex patio garden and desktop gardening experience mirrors what I see as the ideal platform to learn: an open-ended engagement that drives circuitously, to knowledge, the kind of knowledge that can only be attained by an engaged audience. Interacting with gardening shows how plants impact our daily lives and how gardening opens opportunities in art, science, technology, and business.
Kids in the garden feel free to experiment and see things from a new perspective every day. Gardening is about juxtaposition; it’s about mixing and matching, contextualization, comparison, tasting, noticing, and learning. It is about constant rediscovery and remaining open to the unexpected. It is in the experience of gardening that magic happens.
This is our moment! By introducing gardening experiences to our kids, we can teach them how plants impact our overall well-being. The wellbeing of our mental and physical health and the health and wellness of our planet. Working together, we are a powerful force in growing the next generation of leaders.