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ERIC Number: EJ1054171
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0965-4283
School Food Gardens: Fertile Ground for Education
Beery, Moira; Adatia, Rachel; Segantin, Orsola; Skaer, Chantal-Fleur
Health Education, v114 n4 p281-292 2014
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to respond to food insecurity and environmental sustainability through school food gardens in Johannesburg, South Africa. Design/Methodology/Approach: Permaculture is a method of organic agriculture where the garden design maintains a stable and productive ecosystem, mimicking natural processes and thereby creating a more natural and sustainable environment. Organic permaculture food gardens were established and integrated with the curriculum at two schools over the course of one year. A nutrition study of dietary intake and assessment of dietary diversity score was undertaken with a sample of 68 children. Findings: Permaculture food gardens can contribute to children's physical, mental, and emotional health and can be a resource for teachers and learners. To achieve sustainability, practical and cultural challenges must be addressed. Research Limitations/Implications: The project was implemented at only school sites, findings may not be applicable to all schools in all settings. This assessment was conducted after one year of implementation, impacts, and sustainability would be best assessed after three years. Conclusions are therefore based both on this case study and on the wider literature. Practical Implications: When implementing a school food garden there must be long-term support and mentoring for school staff. Social Implications: The value of a school food garden goes beyond the provision of nutrition and addressing food insecurity. Participation in gardening can increase students' interactions with the natural world, and contribute to skills development, academic achievement, and well-being. Originality/Value: This paper informs discussion and practice related to school food gardens' influence on holistic health and broader educational benefits. It is of relevance to health promotion and education practitioners, school garden developers, and funders.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa (Johannesburg)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A