Organic Garden

Jan.16.2018

Introduction

Organic Garden Program, founded in 2006, is one of the Roots & Shoots participatory environmental education initiatives. It aims at building vegetable and herb gardens at schools and involving students in the process to teach them about sustainable agriculture and organic gardening. The entire process is done without using chemical fertilizers, pesticides, synthetic growth hormones nor GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).

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Ecology Construction

Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth Chairmen Xi Jinping stated: “the construction of an ecological civilization is a fundamental plan for the sustainable development of the Chinese nation. The Chinese nation has always respected and cherished nature, and the Chinese culture spanning over 5000 years has nurtured a rich ecological culture. The prosperity of ecology leads to the prosperity of the civilization, and the decline of ecology leads to the decline of civilization.

China signed the “Convention on Biological Diversity” (hereinafter referred to as the Convention) on June 11th, 1992, and was one of the first countries to sign and ratify it. The Convention aims to protect biodiversity, sustainably use components of biodiversity, and share the benefits of using genetic resources in a fair and equitable manner. China successfully bid to host the 15th Conference of the United Nations “Convention on Biological Diversity ”(COP15). On September 3rd, 2019, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment and the Executive Secretary of the Convention jointly announced the theme of COP 15: “ecological civilization: building a shared future for all life on earth.” This theme amply expresses China’s determination to build an ecological civilization.

The Organic Farm Project helps schools establish organic farms on campus, guides students to use the familiar community as a base for field learning, understand urban biodiversity, explore the sustainable ecological elements in Chinese Culture, and cultivate students to establish a correct and scientific outlook on environmental protection to contribute to the construction of an ecological civilization with unique Chinese characteristics.

Goal

Roots & Shoots Organic Garden is a place that nurtures hope. Through hands-on involvement with organic agriculture, students will understand its importance on the human community and be able to apply such skills in real life to better the environment near them.

Project Impact

As of January 2018, 90 local and international schools ranging from kindergartens to universities in the Yangtze River Delta region have built organic gardens on campus. The program also published the Organic Garden Curriculum, Earthworm Compost Pamphlet, Planting Cards, Organic Garden Diary, and other resources to help students establish their own gardens.

Organic Garden Training 

Shanghai Roots & Shoots organizes six organic garden trainings each year (three in each semester) for teachers in participating schools and volunteers. The training will allow participants to understand the meaning of organic and learn hands-on organic gardening techniques. Participants will gain a more comprehensive understanding of how to build an organic garden at their schools and how to effectively manage it.

Organic Farm Tour

Shanghai Roots & Shoots also organizes organic farm tours for student and corporate groups to experience the beauty of organic farms. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, participants can clear their minds and enjoy the peace and tranquility that nature brings.

Schools with existing Roots & Shoots groups can directly apply to participate in this program. After receiving the application, Organic Garden Program will contact the applicant and provide training, curriculum, seeds, and a volunteer to help the school start the garden.

If the school doesn’t have a Roots & Shoots group, the school has to register  with Shanghai Roots & Shoots first (Registration Form) . After registration, the group can then grow the garden.

Corporate Involvement Adopt-A-Garden

Corporations can participate in the Adopt-A-Garden program to both achieve corporate social responsibility and fully involve staff in community service to help them understand the importance of organic farming on the environment. During the cooperation (usually a year), not only will the school receive professional gardening tools, seasonal seedlings and high quality soil, participating students and volunteers will also get professional training. Shanghai Roots & Shoots will organize an organic farm tour for the participating corporation.

Adopt-A-Garden Case Study: Disney Earth Day

Individual Involvement

Individuals can apply to become organic garden volunteers. Shanghai Roots & Shoots will recruit volunteers every February, March, August and September on our website or WeChat page. A volunteer’s main job is to teach weekly/biweekly organic garden lessons at assigned local school for a minimum of one semester to assist students in building and maintaining the garden. The Organic Garden team will interview to select appropriate volunteers. All finalized volunteers will be given relevant training and get assigned to a school organic garden. At the end of the semester, the Organic Garden team will evaluate and recognize outstanding volunteers based on school performance feedback.

Download:OG Mentor Application

The Gift That Keeps Giving

With enough care and love the garden will bear fruit of students’ hard work. Students can share their harvest from the garden with their friends or hold a charity vegetable sale at the school.

Of course, witnessing the improvement of the school environment due to their hard work is the most rewarding gift for the students, teachers and volunteers.

For more information, please call (021) 63523580 -812 or email jenna@srschina.org .

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