Contribution by Mr Mark Shillitoe
Last week PYP6’s garden project has begun. From now on, until November this year, the children will visit the Kindertuinen Delft to work on their own garden plot. Lovely fresh weather, a social cycle and getting their hands into the earth, the garden project is a lovely outing to look forward to each week.
The day started by discussing a short presentation about Kindertuinen Delft. The students made predictions about what they might learn and what to expect. At the gardens, the children met their guides Diny and Wim and got to work tending to their assigned plots. They then planted lettuce, radish, beans, forgetmenot and a viola.
It was a great first session and we are already looking forward to next week!
History of the Kindertuinen (Children’s Garden)
As early as 1924, a public primary school in the center of Delft addressed a letter to the then Municipal Executive with a request for support for setting up a school and children’s garden. This garden would enable the school to teach the children how to grow plants. In a children’s garden the focus of teaching is not on their knowledge of plants, but in their care and in the construction and maintenance of a small garden. The initiators believed that “the knowledge of growing flowers is of great value to the later life of the child.” In 1926, children gardened for the first time between the Kanaal- and Jaffastraat in Delft.
The Stichting Kindertuinen Delft was established in 1985. With a board of five members and fifty volunteers, this foundation offers primary school children between 8 and 12 years the opportunity to garden on their own piece of land at 4 garden complexes in Delft. Each year, more than 250 children are enthusiastically engaged in sowing, planting, planting, weeding, and harvesting. All work is demonstrated and explained, but the goal is to do it yourself. The care for their own garden and the result thereof is a great experience for children from an urban environment.