Introducing Farming to Children via Microgreens

School holidays make the best time for families to engage in fun activities with children. Learning does not have to stop when school is out. Growing microgreens with our young ones, allows the introduction and inspiration for our young ones to the sustainable future of farming. Here at Smiling Greens, it is always a pleasure for us to be able to admire our results through our journeys of growing microgreens, and we hope to be able to bring that experience to you in the duration of a week.

As our world population grows, so does our pollution footprint. We can inspire our future generations by educating on how we get our vegetables. The process of how we farm our greens should be taught to our future generations in order to inspire them on how we can reduce our carbon footprint, and how farming can be done more efficiently. 

Spark the curiosity of children by asking them inquiring questions such as, “Do you know how we get vegetables?” or leading questions such as, “Can you guess how long it takes for vegetables to grow?” Inquiring questions assess their awareness of the world around them. On the other hand, leading questions guide their focus into the topic at hand.

Visuals aid children greatly in their learning. Share with them pictures and videos of various farming methods in cultivating different types of greens. Allow them to see the modernisation of farming techniques; from needing a lot of land to requiring less and how some vegetables simply require water with no need for loose medium. Highlight how urban farming processes contribute to sustainability efforts.

Subsequently, invite them to embark on their sustainability journey in growing their own food, starting with microgreens. Engage in a little research together with the children to discover the different species of microgreens up to date. Draw their attention to the colours of the stems, shapes of the leaves, and their distinct height, which distinguishes them from the adult vegetables.

Red Cabbage microgreens have purple hues on the stems
The leaves of Green Italian Basil microgreens are more canopy-like than other microgreen leaves
The leaves of Sunflower microgreens, which are different from the leaves of adult Sunflowers

After which, watch a video or two that demonstrates how microgreens are grown. This will give them an idea of the growth cycle and prepares them for the wait they will have to go through before they get to reap what they sow. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that documents the growth of microgreens and how to grow them.

During the process of growing, log the growth of the microgreens together. They may draw how the microgreens look like to them each day from seed to harvest. This will allow them to capture the rate of the growth and make them look forward to the day of the harvest. Get them to look out for the health of the microgreens just like real farmers would. See if they could tell if the soil needs watering or if the microgreens need more light.

When it is finally time to harvest, taste the microgreens together before incorporating them into dishes. Engage in a simple cooking activity with the children to further allow them to see the move from farm to table. At the end of the day, discuss with them the importance of farming in our everyday sustenance.

You may consider getting the Microgreens Starter Kit from EverythingGreen if you would like to conduct a short project with your children. Most importantly, have fun discovering the joy of farming at home!

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