Teaching Gardening to Children, Part 2: Helpful Resources

Cynthia Coe is a Christian formation consultant and writer of the Abundant Life Garden Project, a children's curriculum by Episcopal Relief & Development. This post is adapted with permission from her personal blog.

After spending a LOT of time online and in the bookstore, I have found these are my go-to books for teaching gardening to children in easy-to-understand terms:

tudents work on square foot gardens atop raised beds. Courtesy of Kelly Norell for Episcopal School of Knoxville • Mel Bartholomew, All New Square Foot Gardening. This is a brilliant way to teach children (and others) how to garden easily and efficiently. This method also provides children with a defined working space, along with easy-to-follow directions. Website is www.squarefootgardening.org. 

• Reggie Solomon and Michael Nolan, I Garden: Urban Style. These guys explain gardening in terms all new gardeners can understand. This book is geared to people who live in urban areas with very little space in which to garden and who want to hit the “easy” button. The photos in this book are inspiring. Website is www.urbangardencasual.com.

Two books by British authors that deal specifically with gardening for children are also worth looking at:

• Stefan & Beverley Buczacki, Young Gardener (London: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2006). This book features large print and language suitable for children. If you want something for children to read themselves, this would be the book.

• Karen Liebriech, Jutta Wagner, and Annette Wendland, The Family Kitchen Garden (London: Timber Press, 2009). This book is much more detailed and includes information pages on growing many individual vegetables, fruits and herbs.

Note: These books are geared for the British market; you may need to tweak your use of them to adapt to your specific location and hardiness zone.

Happy planting!

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Photo: Students create square foot gardens atop raised beds. Courtesy of Kelly Norell for Episcopal School of Knoxville.

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