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Gardening for Teenagers


 
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scotty
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:17 pm    Post subject: Gardening for Teenagers Reply with quote

I'm teaching a very basic gardening course to transition year students and I don't know where to start. What do people think would interest teenagers in gardening?? I would love to hear people's opinions on this.
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mcgrueser
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think much will interest them really, but i guess something fast growing would be necessary so they can see results fairly quickly. Maybe peas would be a good one anyway-they can be interesting a they can eat the peas straight off the plant. The good oul spuds carrots and onions are surely on your list! Or at least scallions if they can't wait that long!
Just see what they like and maybe make a list and let them choose so that they can think about it from the start?...Good luck though, it can't be easy!
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Sive
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think gardening by its nature needs time, and you really don't have much of that, and to make things worse, most of the school year is outside of the main growing season.
What might work is for them to plant up containers that would beautify their school grounds and would need maintenance, and they could get a sense of achievement.
If they could also grow something from seed, they might just respond to that magic.
This is the sound-byte generation, and one gardening module in Transition year is just not long enough to teach them the necessary patience I fear.
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cathd
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think my approach would be to combine theory with practice. Teach some theory- then ask the students to plan a garden which will take a few years to be fully implemented. They start this year, then hand over to next year's transition class. For example they might start some fruit bushes, strawberry plants, or flowering shrubs in containers, then leave later classes to transfer them into beds. Or they could plan a four bed rotation and maybe get started on making the beds.
They still have two years in school to see how things progress, and in the stressfull pre-exam period in two years' time- they will have the garden they helped plan to admire and enjoy.

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scotty
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that's a good way to deal with it cathd. It's only a very short module so results are very limited. I think bogging them down in too much detail will bore them, but planning ahead for future years might inspire them.

I will get them to plant some easy fast-growing veg, however they won't be around over the summer to harvest them, so I'm a bit limited.

All I want to do is interest them enough so that they might consider gardening for themselves at some point.
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cathd
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If they throw down a few spuds- they can harvest them when they come back in September. Or any other crop that can just be left to 'look after itself' over the summer months.
Someone could take pictures of crops over summer and post on a facebook account to keep up interest!!

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Sb
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Create a perspex box and fill with seed compost. Then plant broad bean seeds out near the glass, so that the teenagers can watch the seed germinate as if they were below ground themselves.
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scotty
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is such a great idea sb! Sadly we won't be able to get the materials for it this year, but maybe for next year.
I did an hour with them already doing the very basics and they planted some seeds in pots. The practical side is what actually interests (some of them) most. They just get bored with the talking part!! I was surprised that some had veg gardens at home already.
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cathd
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scotty wrote:
that some had veg gardens at home already.


Why not sow some seeds that they can start in school, then take home and plant there? With full after care instructions.

Another thing that might interest teenagers is how to make a good compost heap- The whole environment thing is something most of them are interested in and it could save bin charges at home making you favourite teacher amongst the parents!!

( I've only put out two black bins so far since Christmas- we compost and recycle everything else)

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PeterEnglish
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a newcomer to this website, I missed your post the first time around. I know this is a late comment, but honestly, teaching "soundbite gardening" to a class of transition year students sounds like hell. Had I been around in April, I'd have suggested a sort of "community gardening" project, with your students working with elderly or disabled neighbours or a local nursing home. Much as we malign our teenagers, most of them are great kids but often feel happier and more at ease with a "grandparent figure" than with a teacher or someone their parents' age.

Can you give us update on what you did and how the classes went?
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