MELINDA CARR HEMMELGARN, M,S., R.D.

Freelance writer, inspirational speaker, award-winning columnist & radio host.
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Who Needs School Gardens?

The January/February issue of the Atlantic Monthly featured a surprisingly caustic attack on school gardens. Better to focus on the book learnin' attests author Caitlin Flanagan.

I hope students who experienced a life changing course in a school garden will write to the magazine to set the record straight.

Studying the veins of a plant, listening carefully to the beating wings of a hummingbird, or inhaling the intoxicating scents of bergamot, rosemary and lavender, instills the miracle of life, and with a little luck, leaves the student willing to fight for the protection of endangered species, clean water acts, and against nuclear weapons.

Or maybe kids schooled in a garden merely learn how to cooperate, diffuse anger, work through hostility, garner better focus and stave off chronic, life-shortening disease through better nutrition – our first medicine.

I wonder how many students touched by a school garden went on to pursue careers in biology, entomology, pharmacy, medicine or environmental law? Who knows, maybe the doctor who saves one of our lives got his/her inspiration in a school garden.

Think critically, support school gardens, and eat well,
Melinda

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