FARMING FOR EDUCATION AND NUTRITION
The green light has been given for an important collaboration that perfectly combines our Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Inclusion and Prevention project groups. As of now, the DKB FOUNDATION is cooperating with the GemüseAckerdemie (Vegetable Academy) as part of its program extension "GemüseAckerdemie PLUS" to enable children with special needs to also have the chance to learn from nature and so get them excited about healthy nutrition and sustainability. To kick off this joint project, the play "Kulinarius Karottengold", produced by the EUKITEA theatre company, was held to attract future farming students from the Margeriten School in Borgsdorf, a special school with a focus on emotional and social development. In the play, the passionate gardener Paul explains why his tomatoes shine so well, how important sun, rain and wind are, and what else his plants need to grow. The play is also part of our foundation project "Lecker Essen" (Tasty Food), in which children learn more about the origin and manufacturing conditions of food and their contribution to a healthy diet during action days for nutritional education held at Schloss & Gut Liebenberg. In the year-round theory and practice-based education program of the GemüseAckerdemie, students cultivate their own vegetables and learn, in a practical way, where food comes from, how much work is involved in vegetable farming, and the significance nature holds as our basis of life. The cultivation and perception of self-efficiency take priority just as much as the consideration of actions and their effects. Interest and curiosity are aroused through means of practical application, everyday relevance and enthusiasm. The children’s thought processes are stimulated and they are supported and encouraged to discover their potential and to recognize themselves as valuable and responsible creators of a sustainable future. A special focus of this joint project lies in the further development of the education program GemüseAckerdemie PLUS, which not only aims to increase children’s appreciation of food but to combat the loss of knowledge and competence in the field of food production, alienation from nature, unhealthy eating habits, and to counteract food waste. The PLUS of the program consists mainly in the educational work to be done in order to compensate for unfavorable learning conditions. Children with special needs are individually supported and their specific strengths developed, contributing to the prevention of social isolation, exclusion, and lack of experience.