Safety & Comfort

Safety and Comfort

The physically demanding aspect of gardening is often overlooked during project or crop planning. It is important to remember, particularly when working with kids, to take preventative measures while in the garden.

Student workers should never be deprived of doing physical labor. Hard work builds a realistic picture of growing food and creates a sense of ownership and pride. Although, maintaining an idea of what activities are appropriate for different ages is necessary. Kindergarteners would not be well suited to move two truckloads of mulch, but they could definitely go through the pile and pick out sticks that are too large. An 8th grader would probably not be challenged by picking up sticks, while hauling mulch is feasible and even enjoyable when working with a great crew.

Don’t forget to tend to your students as you might tend to your plants. Students usually need reminders to drink water, apply sunscreen, and take regular breaks. It is necessary to have a first aid kit readily available while working and easy access to bathrooms. A student might not give warning signs if they are overheated or dehydrated, so it is important to check-in regularly.

A great way to bond while in the garden is to provide quick snacks and refreshment breaks. Tasting different tomato varieties or sampling kohlrabi is a way for students to learn more about their produce, while enjoying conversation with their gardening cohorts. Bringing snacks, iced-tea, or popsicles to the garden also often creates fun times and happy workers.

Tips and Tricks for Working With Young Gardeners237.07 KB