Laterna Magica, Amsterdam – herb and vegetable garden with children | The Netherlands | 2016 –
With our son we were lucky to find a primary school for my kid where a relatively big vegetable and flower garden is attached to children’s playground. Children from age 2 till 12 can join and according to their age do different things: we are seeding, experimenting, from what seeds what can grow, we are planting, watering, cleaning, harvesting together.
Gardening is an excellent ‘method’ to learn in a playful way. We are working with soil, mud, we are digging and playing with water, everybody is dirty (lekker vies) and have fun.
But in the meanwhile we learn a lot about nature, the needs of the plants, we are discovering little animals; ants, worms, snails, insects. We also learn how to take care of things from day to day. We see how fruits, vegetables grow from the beautiful flowers and how tiny, weak plants die if we don’t give them water. We have plenty of courgette, rhubarb, potatoes, tomato ending up in the kitchen of the school right from the garden where other children make delightful dishes out of them. We learn how to work together, how to share, how to co-operate.
We are digging out the ripe potatoes and in the meanwhile learn that only that part is edible which lies in the ground, but also we are learning to count them, after all we have more than 1o8 piece of potatoes from one bed. Furthermore, we can talk a little about Vincent van Gogh, who has painted ‘The potato eaters’ (De Aardappeleters), since painters and fine art is the topic of the week, anyways.