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Our School Garden: Gardening With Blind Children

Updated on September 4, 2014

The Kentucky School for the Blind Garden Project

Ideas for our school garden are germinating, and along with them, this webpage!

School gardens are exciting places where children and teachers can work together to produce fruits and vegetables, and in the process learn many skills. Ecology, life cycle, genetics, soil science, seasons, weather, and nutrition are just a few of the subjects that students will learn in a garden. Science lessons spring to life when a child encounters a worm while digging in the soil.

Children learn responsibility when required to care for sprouting seeds and fledgling plants in the classroom. They learn about nutritional choices when they bite into cherry tomatoes they have grown from seeds. High school students learn vocational skills when they sell a load of produce at a farmer's market.

Gardening is a life skill students will take home to their families and their neighborhoods or communities. They will take these skills with them into adulthood.

Our school garden is an exciting place! We cannot wait to see it grow and develop, and our children along with it!

Photo credit

Our School Garden Poll I

Do you have a vegetable garden at your school?

See results

Gardening with Blind Children - Our School Garden at Kentucky School for the Blind

Our school is special, because we are home away from home for around 70 blind and visually impaired students. Our students range in age from 5 to 21 years of age, in kindergarten through high school graduation. About half of our students are reside in the dormitories on campus during the week and go home on the weekends. The other half are day students who live at home and commute daily to school.

Gardening with blind children presents some unique challenges, but they are easily overcome. Gardening can be mastered by partially sighted or totally blind people with a few adaptations.

Many gardens are started by sighted adults for the enjoyment of blind people, but we want a garden where our blind children are actors and agents, not passive recipients of experiences. Blind children often have things done for them, but our school garden is a place where blind children will make something happen.

One of our first jobs as parents and teachers is to learn how to garden with our blind children.

Starting a School Garden - Suggestions for Our School Garden

School Gardens and Resources - Ideas for Our School Garden

Resources and ideas for school gardens.

Resources for Our School Garden

As we start our school garden, a few reference materials are helpful.

How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers
How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers

In this groundbreaking resource, two school garden pioneers offer parents, teachers, and school administrators everything they need to know to build school gardens and to develop the programs that support them.

 
Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea
Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea

The author is founder of The Edible Schoolyard, a gardening and cooking program on the campus of a Berkeley, CA, middle school. An organic garden on school grounds is tended and harvested by students, with hands-on ecology and nutrition lessons woven into the curriculum. The book details the history of the program while passionately touting the physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits that arise from it. Bright photographs show the engaged youngsters at work.

 

Instructional Activities for Our School Garden

School garden activities for use with students kindergarten through high school.

Our School Garden is Part of a Green Community - Our School Garden's Community Partners

Louisville, Kentucky is a city with a growing emphasis on sustainability. We have many green initiatives, community gardens and backyard farms.

If you have experience with a school garden, we would love to hear about that too!

Please let us know what you think of our school garden!

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    • AlishaV profile image

      Alisha Vargas 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Great idea! Knowing where food comes from and being part of the process is so important and really gives the kids some important skills.

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 5 years ago

      When you consider that 2012's Master Chef winner was a sight-impaired woman, competing with some very strong competitors, gardening by touch and smell makes a lot of sense. I suspect this year's cooking show opened a lot of people's minds even further about human potential and capability.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      It's probably one of the best ideas I've heard in a long time. Getting kids involved in gardening is advantageous to all in every way possible. Wonderful page!!!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I think it's a fabulous idea! There's a community garden near my home that is in part maintained by area school kids. I think some would be shocked at just how much kids love to garden these days, no matter where they are or what their abilities are.

    • TriciaLymeMom profile image

      TriciaLymeMom 5 years ago

      Fantastic...so many kids don't get to experience gardening any other way. Featured your lens on https://hubpages.com/living/little-gardeners

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      Learning about nature is part of learning about life. I'm pleased that you have a school garden. It's a great idea.

    • srsddn lm profile image

      srsddn lm 5 years ago

      Your lens is of special interest to me. It remained as one of my unfulfilled tasks. I am sure you might have thought of placing information about each plant in the garden in audio/tactile form to help your students to understand each plant. I am sure your students will learn enjoying nature. Best of luck to you for this project.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      School gardens have been a part of my curriculum for years. It allows me to work it into all my subjects while involving the class and community. I'm so pleased to see this. Squid Angel blessed.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 5 years ago from California

      What a wonderful experience! All kids should have the experience of working in a garden.

    • Ribolov LM profile image

      Ribolov LM 5 years ago

      Nice lens, great pictures and a lot of good informations. Thnx for this lens!

    • Julia Morais profile image

      Julia Morais 5 years ago

      Great lens on starting a school garden. Something every student and teacher should read.

    • julescorriere profile image

      Jules Corriere 5 years ago from Jonesborough TN

      Brilliant. Simply Brilliant. Blessed.

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 5 years ago from Sweden

      So much information about having a garden. I wish I was back to teaching children again.

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      This is a great lens I like the information and will be coming back to read more of your work.

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 5 years ago

      Very enjoyable lens! I work in a special school and our garden is maintained by the upper years who also cook with the ingredients and sometimes sell things they make for school funds.

    • profile image

      seosri417 5 years ago

      great lens...

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      What a wonderful idea! Your lens is truly inspirational! Keep up the good work!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Enjoyed reading about schools doing gardens, I think this would be great for all kids and something positive to do outdoors. *blessed by a squid angel* for a great topic.

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      I can't think of any better idea for school to provide that special something for the students - than growing their own plants, maybe even food. :)

    • goldenecho profile image

      Gale 5 years ago from Texas

      This is so great...and I can see how a garden would be just as enthralling to blind children as to sighted children. Gardening engages all the senses, not just sight.

    • profile image

      StaCslns 5 years ago

      I think school gardens are a great idea, I wish more of them did this! This is a wonderful lens!

    • profile image

      MaggiePowell 5 years ago

      Our school has a garden, and we are lucky enough to have a garden teacher who not only helps the kids plant and maintain the garden, she also teaches them to eat what they grow.

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 5 years ago

      Gardening is so much fun and not to mention kids will learn so much from this. Sundae ;-)

    • profile image

      Ruthi 5 years ago

      What a wonderful life-enhancing experience for the children to have a school garden; especially so for the visually impaired students. My blessings and a bit o' sunshine.

    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 5 years ago from Florida

      Nice lens! Gardening is a great activity for kids to do and learn from; plus, it helps them get excited about veggies.

    • sherridan profile image

      sherridan 5 years ago

      My kid's school won an award for their environmental garden - they loved it and learnt a lot.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Great idea. It is so important to give youngsters a chance to appreciate nature and learn about growing things.

    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 5 years ago from Northern California

      Looks like so much fun. We've had a garden at home for ~ 6 years. The girls are getting better about taking care of it. What a wonderful life-long skill to be teaching the students.