The Educational Vegetable Garden is one of the initiatives conducted by the Vale Botanical Park
The Vale Botanical Park has now rolled out its Educational Vegetable Garden project beyond Vale premises, in order to help young people learn about planting, cultivating and harvesting food crops through practical experience. This is one of the initiatives carried out by the Park for elementary school students in Greater a, and it has now been shared with the Shalom Experience Association, a charitable institution in Central Carapina, Serra, which assists 90 socially vulnerable children and adolescents aged six to 14.
The aim is to involve these young people in planting, cultivating and harvesting food crops, which can be used to make their meals. The institution’s vegetable garden has already been prepared, and during its first activity species such as parsley, spring onion, kale and basil were planted. From now on, the children will be responsible for taking care of the plants, overseen by the project’s social worker.
Besides benefits to the children’s health, the initiative has proven to be a valuable educational resource. The project’s activities are also focused on important concepts such as reusing food, soil conservation and healthy eating. The latter concept can be applied to the institution’s menu.
“I intend to show the children the plants’ importance and the possibilities of using them for medicinal purposes and condiments, besides emphasizing the value of preserving nature. It’s very important to have this connection with the land, to help children learn and value the products that come from it. Through the experience they will have in a small space, they will learn how to grow something big.”
Maria da Penha Oliveira Peres, occupational therapist at the Shalom institution and a herbal medicine specialist