Episode-2180- Growing Children in the Garden

No we won’t be talking about planting little Timmy and little Tammy seeds in the garden but rather how gardening can plant seeds of knowledge, compassion, resiliency and skills in our children.  One of my true heroes in the world is Geoff Lawton and Geoff made a statement that sounds almost absurd in some ways…

All the world’s problems can be solved in a garden!

Even I balked a bit at that statement at first, then stepped back and said well, metaphorically is how he means it.  But I realized when I looked at how he said it, he was dead serious.  So I stepped way back and said, is this statement true.

When I did so I realized you had to look at it though the right lens.  No one thing is generally sufficient to fix any major problem, so a true solution is one that sets things in motion.  It is that initial motion that creates inertia and that provides an opportunity for more things to be done, and in the end the problem is solved or mitigated as much as can be done at the time.  So true solutions are the catalyst, the spark of a solution, that create something akin to a trophic cascade.

What is a trophic cascade, it is when a small change creates powerful indirect interactions that can control or change entire ecosystems.  A classic example is how the reintroduction of wolves changed the course of rivers in Yellowstone.

So today we will ask the question, if a few packs of wolves can cause life to explode and a river to moderate and change its course, what might be the effect of teaching our children, how to do something as simple as grow a garden.

Join Me Today to Discuss…

  • Can we really solve the word’s problem with a garden
  • What is a trophic cascade and how can we hope to create one
  • What happens when a child learns about gardening
    • They learn patience
    • They learn actions have concequences
    • They learn to feed themselves and others
    • They learn to recognize patterns
    • They learn to solve problems
    • They learn the value of hard work
    • They learn that all living things have a place in our world
    • They learn that everything in life is a cycle
    • They learn that some things are beyond your control
    • They learn to teach
    • They learn how to find answers from elders, literature, etc.
    • They learn a hundred more things
  • How can this create a trophic cascade?
  • The difference between solving a problem and setting a solution in motion

Resources for today’s show…

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5 Responses to Episode-2180- Growing Children in the Garden

  1. That wolf video is a good way to illustrate your point but quite a bit of that video is untrue based on a few articles that have been written about that video in particular

    • Modern Survival

      Of the rebuttles I have read, they seemed to be mostly “rancher propaganda” and when I look at the claims of elk numbers declining to about 4500-5000 that doesn’t match what NPS says, well except during the winter when they fricken migrate.

  2. I am a full time garden teacher in Los Angeles. I work for a nonprofit, but we contract to install, maintain, and teach in the public schools. This is a great way to enact change in a large government bureacracy. I really enjoyed this episode, and i fully agree with the point. The garden is the ultimate classroom!

    BTW we are hiring. I dunno how many LA residents listen to yr show but feel free to share this info. And people can start a similar program in their own town, especially in warm climates. Thanks Jack!

    Here is a link to our program:

    The Garden Ranger Program

  3. A fantastic episode Jack, well put together, listened today during a big commute and it had me welling up in places. Sharing where possible, and will do my bit to enact a change.

  4. Such a powerful message. I think you nailed this one Jack, on point for so much of what is holding kids back today (and sometimes not just kids).

    The wife and I designed a poster based on this show. I didn’t expect it to take as long as it did, but I think folks might appreciate it.

    Garden Lessons Poster 2:3