School Gardens - Individual

Posted by emily.marsh on Wed, 05/18/2016 - 12:59

Individual or Group Plots

Some practitioners felt that each school garden should be a product of the individual effort of a single child:

The idea of ownership and the rights of ownership, which come from the possession of a garden, induce the pupil to exercise his ability to make his possession as good or better than that of his neighbor. The natural result of this is industry. Business experience is an important result of harvesting and accounting for the products which are grown. The right of ownership and a respect for property rights are more largely developed from the possession of individual gardens than in community gardens. The idea that 'what's mine is my own' becomes very strongly developed, with the natural sequence that such possessions must be properly protected and all rights concerned respected. On the other hand, a party interest in a community garden does not so emphatically develop the idea of individual responsibility, and each one has a tendency to care less for the plants which another has shared in producing, with the result that responsibility is shirked, and there is lack of interest, with a consequent lack of industry. For this reason, in our work from the very inception the individual garden idea has been emphasized and strictly adhered to.

Corbett, L.C. (1922) The School Garden. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Farmers' Bulletin, Number 218, p. 4

Working in School Garden, Gees Bend, Alabama

Wolcott, Marion Post, photographer (1939) Working in School Garden, Gees Bend, Alabama. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-fsa-8a40108. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives.

G.W.S. Brewer illustrated a garden plan including 14 separate plots that could be used by either a single child or a team of 2 students:

plan of Nailsworth boys school garden

Plan of Nailsworth boys school garden, 1910. Brewer, G.W.S. (1913). Educational School Gardening and Handwork. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 11