The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.Alfred Austin
nur·ture /ˈnərCHər/ 1) care for and encourage the growth or development of; 2) help or encourage the development of; 3) cherish (a hope, belief, or ambition).
To nurture someone, or something, is both a physical task and a spiritual one, and can give us a sense of purpose. There is scientific evidence that shows that taking a bit of time to connect with nature and nurture a garden can benefit us physically, mentally, and even socially. It can give us that tangible hope and belief that things will improve.
It doesn’t matter where you live. Your garden can be a backyard, a balcony, a window sill, or even just a small surface in your home. City living doesn’t mean you can’t get your hands dirty! Start small with a plant on your desk. Nurturing plants can help relieve stress and reduce anxiety, help you to focus on the here and now, develop a growth mindset, and even provide a bit of a workout. You will likely find that the results of your encouragement, care, and patience for your garden are very rewarding, no matter how small it may seem. Don’t forget to get your children involved! Our students love their urban gardening classes, and the benefits they gain are countless. Children are calmer and more centred after gardening lessons, they learn to be patient and that things don’t always go as planned, and they also get to reap the fruits of their labour!
It makes sense that there are so many positive sayings related to gardening and nature. Go with the flow. Sowing the seeds of hope. Weathering a storm. Hope springs eternal. And we hope that you are able to take some time to get your hands dirty, get your head in the sun, fill your heart with nature, and feed your soul.
Sandra Bosnar-Dale & Isabelle Kunicki
Co-Founders & Directors of The Clover School
If you are looking to get your hands dirty and want to go beyond the plants on your windowsill, the Toronto Urban Growers are here to help. Urban agriculture is alive and well in our city, and the Toronto Urban Growers want everyone to work together for greener city spaces that we can all benefit from. From how to get started on your gardening journey to where to find a garden share space, you are sure to find some great resources here that can help get you connected to nature.
TORONTO URBAN GROWERS
May is National Asian Heritage Month in Canada, which gives us a more focused opportunity to reflect upon and learn about the history of Asian people and culture, and also celebrate their contributions to our diverse and vibrant country. One way that we can do this is through storytelling. For our younger readers, Chapters Indigo has put together a list of books that cover a wide range of genres, from Asian history, culture, biographies, and fiction
You may also want to check out Book Marks‘ thoughtfully curated list of 25 Books by Asian-American and Pacific Islander Writers to Read Right Now. Each book has a brief review and a quote, and even though the list is from last year, it features fantastic authors and choices. Our bookshelves are certainly getting fuller!
NATIONAL ASIAN HERITAGE MONTH READING LISTS
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority hosts exciting and informative webinars and e-learning activities, educational workshops, and public consultations. Upcoming webinars include this afternoon’s webinar (2PM EST) Nature in Your Classroom: Soils, which is aimed at a younger audience. You will be surprised at what you can learn about the soil that you’re using for those gardening projects! They also have Backyard Birds Through the Season (Wednesday, May 12) and an insight into the wonderful world of frogs (Frog Watch is on May 25) on their calendar of events. Come explore nature, culture, and the environment in Toronto and the GTA with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA).
TRCA’S NATURE IN YOUR CLASSROOMS: SOILS
Mindfulness means paying attention to all five of our senses in the present moment without any judgement. Our students have already been strengthening their mindfulness muscles, learning how to focus on their breathing, as well as learning other techniques that allow them to relax and refocus with the wonderful help of Goldminds.
There is no better time to encourage your child to practice mindfulness, as it is proven to improve self-regulation, decrease stress and anxiety, and improve attention. We are already fans of Goldminds, and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
GOLDMINDS: MINDFULNESS FOR KIDS + TEENS