‘Intergenerational gardening is the act of older adults passing along plant information, gardening skills, and cultural traditions to younger generations.’
Age is no barrier for gardening. Since 2018, both old and young volunteers have intermingled at EdibleScapes. A priority for us has always been to make the gardens accessible to all regardless of age, background, or ability. The landscape slope limits some physical inclusion, however, people with mobility conditions can access our nearby fellow community garden 500metres away, The Nerang Community Garden.
EdibleScapes Gardens has been a shared garden space that has enabled different generations to learn together and from each other by doing together purposeful and meaningful activities. Intergenerational learning has occurred as a consequence of being exposed to different generations during volunteer gardening activities. Often this has occurred during school holiday periods, where volunteer gardeners who are looking after their grandkids bring them to the garden.
Successful gardening depends upon the persistence and acquisition of relevant knowledge, skills, and sensitivities and passing them on from generation to generation among urban gardeners. Community and communal gardening spaces play an important role in the dissemination and acquisition of knowledge and sensitivities through community learning activities.
At EdibleScapes, learning is not so much about transferring knowledge, skills, and sensitivities from one generation to another to enrich the quality of the lives of “seniors”; but rather, the focus is placed upon contributing to intergenerational exchanges. This allows both young and older generations to learn from each other to their mutual benefit.
Intergenerational gardening is a win-win for young and old. While seniors enjoy the sense of fun and energy young children can bring, children develop social skills and awareness. Parents receive social and peer support through shared experiences with older generations. Few people are willing to admit that elderly and young people share many common characteristics, including:
· Changes in development
· A needs for companionship, and
· The desire to be understood.
Seniors need to remain physically and mentally active and ensure their knowledge is not lost and they can build meaningful relationships with local families.
“Not everything that grows in a garden is a plant”. Gardening is just one of the many activities where intergenerational transfers can happen.
EdibleScapes envisage a safe environment for cultural and life experience sharing:
· A space for seniors to share their stories and knowledge of gardening.
· A space where children can learn as they help older gardeners grow fruit, herbs and vegetables.
Key principles of the Intergenerational Garden include social learning in communities of practice; participatory and experiential learning; and lifelong and intergenerational learning. The intergenerational aspect brings together younger and older gardeners as they share time, stories, and food and strengthens the local food systems through practical gardening. The ability to interact with both youngsters and seniors will expand their world and, hopefully, bring more joy to their lives through learning about both gardening, healthy eating and sharing recipes and food across cultures.
EdibleScapes are establishing an Intergenerational Garden Program which targets children and their parents, and people aged 55 and over. The aim is to help foster connections between different age groups, which may include grandparents and their grandchildren. However, the group is not restricted to seniors with grandchildren or young children with grandparents. We encourage older people to come on their own and parents with young children to come and we hope to be able to create connections between them. Participants need not be related.
Expression of interest:
· Intergenerational gardening coordinator team members
· Intergenerational gardening participant members
The coordinators will help to organise program activities, contribute to writing a participation agreement and creating a safe environment for children and seniors. Please became a member of the Intergenerational Gardening Facebook group to express your interest:
INTERGENERATIONAL GARDENING Events
July Intergenerational Gardening