Cultivation in the Classroom
We are no longer a society in which every person has followed the food on their tables from the seed being planted in the ground or the chicken being hatched from the egg. Previously knowledge about growing and preparing food was passed down from generation to generation. That’s how it was for thousands of years. Children grew up in the midst of this knowledge. And the knowledge was concrete. Today, daily life is abstract. Food comes in a package, and someone else has slaughtered the pig and baked the bread.
The project Odling på schemat (Swedish for Cultivation on the schedule) wants to offer children concrete natural experiences with support from gardening experts and trained educators, based on the curriculum goals of Education for Sustainable Development. Pleasant learning experiences in the garden have the potential to arouse children’s interest in organic farming, biodiversity and the significance of wild and domesticated pollinating insects to sustainable food production.
The goal is to create and offer a school gardening program with cultivation from soil to the table, including beekeeping, so that children have the opportunity to experience nature up close with their fingers in the dirt.
Pilot Project in Gottsunda, Uppsala
In the spring of 2014 a pilot project (funded by Axfoundation) was started in the Gottsunda area outside Uppsala, conducted by the Swedish Association for Outdoor Learning and Bee Urban. Six groups of students from three schools were involved in the project. School gardening was done in Matparken, Gottsundagipen, Uppsala.