Vegetable gardens: Now sprouting in Beijing schools

By Ruan Fan ( ) Updated: 2016-06-21 13:37:28

Vegetable gardens: Now sprouting in Beijing schools

The vegetables planted by the children from 23 schools. [Photo provided to]

Gai Xintong, a third grade student at Xinsheng Primary School in Beijing, has been taking care of the 20-square-meter vegetable garden at her school together with a bunch of other kids since this January.

Every day, she waters the vegetables while getting rid of the weeds. She said the half-year experience made her cherish everything she eats more than ever.

"I just found out that growing vegetables is such hard labor – we should not waste them anymore," Gai said.

Gai is one of the 798 students from 23 primary schools and kindergartens in Beijing that had the chance to experience vegetable planting, as the French Embassy in China launched the "Nurseries for Nurseries" competition last November.

Starting from this January, the participating schools, which all have team leaders to lead the project, started doing it either outdoors or indoors.

The schools also created a WeChat group to share experiences and best practices during the planting process.

"I hope the activity could help increase the kids' awareness of nature, the environment and the importance of healthy eating," said Mrs Amanda Galsworthy, spouse of the French ambassador to China who is also the initiator of the competition.

Galsworthy said that from a few months' observation, she was surprised to find "the activity has not only served the original purpose", but that it is meaningful in more than one way.

"Without any experience in planting, the kids don't know what to do, and some of them would go to their parents or grandparents, which helped family communication – something we didn't expect at the very beginning," she said.

Galsworthy said this is a precious experience that she hopes she could also bring to France.

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