Developing a healthier lifestyle
- Community – after school, give back/donate, connect to seniors
- Time – maximize learning in a short period of time, survive the summer, internship like care
- Key teaching tools – farm to table, science (Concordia), business (sell or donate bounty), indoor and outdoor, single crop vs. companion vs. fore | mid | back, key components (oxygen, sunlight, soil/nutrients, water, wind
- Sustainability (soil, water, 20+ years, recyclable)
- School value proposition and funding
With the advent of electronics, games and other “indoor” activities, the rise of obesity and weight related health issues (diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol, etc.) has created a lot of concern about living a better, healthier lifestyle. But where does it start? Years ago the family dinner table was a major component – raw ingredients transformed into healthy and balanced meals combined with an outdoor culture created a wonderful foundation for healthy living.
As the country moved towards dual income households, it turns out we lost more than just the “family dinner”. We traded easy calories for balanced nutrition, we traded quick, salty and processed for slow cooked, natural and naturally flavorful. When you add the latch-key life and it’s uglier more sinister cousin the video game and we have a recipe for all sorts of issues.
As a raised bed garden company, Eco Garden Systems is not here to change everything right now – our goal is to re-introduce the art and science of growing fresh food to families, communities and most especially schools. Over the same time span discussed above, some parents have put more “parenting” on the school systems – from pre-school to college, from discipline to language to manners, etc., parenting has also evolved as they seek help in their busy lives in raising polite, smart and conscientious children. While this is difficult (classes are larger, not every teacher wants to be a parental figure, kids don’t always listen), this also provides an opportunity. The best road to a healthy lifestyle requires three components:
- Better quality food and ingredients – and a garden is the perfect way to make this happen
- Physical activity – so many studies show the health benefits of physical activity – especially gardening – for people of all ages. Gardening is a great stress and anxiety reliever along with developing a sense of shared purpose (read as Community) that will help broaden the student’s perspectives on people, interaction and outcomes
- In-depth knowledge on how food gets into the pantry – did you know that ~67% of kids in the LA school district were not able to explain where food actually comes from?? We need our future generations to embrace “slow food” and how they can be part of making the world a better place for themselves and others
As with any investment, the return should outstrip the cost – and with a 20+ year life span, an Eco Garden is a wonderful investment in infrastructure as well as the future well-being of every student that is able to interact with the garden