Diversified school gardens – Preservation of cultural traditions and natural values

 
School gardens, dating back many centuries in Hungary, are one of the most complex tools of education for sustainable development and environmental education. Throughout their long history, school gardens were sometimes popular, sometimes unbeloved elements of education. Over the past decade more and more school gardens have been established in Hungary and in the Carpathian Basin. According to schools, the most successful strategy is to harmonize the educational program of school gardens with the local curriculum. Moreover, it is useful to join school garden programs with different other topics, such as preserving our heritage.

 

The EFOP-3.4.3-16-2016-00016 „Creation of an educational space in the Carpathian Basin” subproject of Széchenyi István University Faculty of Apáczai Csere János aims the integration of school garden education and heritage preservation, mainly focusing on agricultural folklore. Experience-based and action-oriented learning of these topics can help primary school pupils to understand the practical steps of sustainability. Széchenyi István University Faculty of Apáczai Csere János organized an online workshop on 8 April 2021 about the subproject. It also touched on the topics of the role of school garden-net in sharing knowledge and the best practices connecting school garden education and heritage preservation from the Carpathian Basin.

 

 

Awareness raising for food consumption, healthy diet, and food saving is part of the school garden education. Many projects and education materials of NFCSO can help children to avoid producing food waste, to manage it, and to compost. These topics were well-known over the past centuries, they were maintained as part of different nations’ heritage. Producing food waste is a good example, it was a taboo in the history of many nations. On the contrary, nowadays people need to call attention to food waste prevention. For this reason, the Hungarian Foundation for School Gardens is organizing an awareness-raising campaign targeting children. Another good example is the renewing of a 100-year-old good practice of composting, using a solution of six speicies of herbs. Nutrient management of soils is at the heart of interaction between National Food Chain Safety Office and Hungarian Foundation for School Gardens. The cooperation aims soil analysis of 10 school gardens for free of charge yearly. On the basis of soil analysis results the experts from NFCSO compile proposals regarding soil fertility management and soil conservation practice.