Educating Children on Health and Nutrition in the Organic Vegetable Garden

What is Ackerhelden machen Schule?

  • Ackerhelden machen Schule is a non-profit educational project created by Ackerhelden machen Schule gGmbH for kindergartens and schools across Germany and Austria
  • Since 2013, we have been growing organic vegetables for and with children and young people and transferring knowledge about good food, a healthy diet, organic farming and the exciting processes of nature through fascinating practical experiences
  • Ackerhelden machen Schule aims to contribute towards a better understanding of organic farming and give participants the tools to make sustainable socially, ecologically and health-conscious decisions from a consumer perspective
  • Ackerhelden machen Schule is official partner of Bioland, Germany's biggest organic farming association
  • Available across Germany

Why do we do it?

  • We, Birger and Tobias, the founders of Ackerhelden, have known each other ever since our school years. Back then, we used to work in the school garden together, planting fruit and vegetable trees
  • The magic that you feel as a child when a huge plant grows from a tiny seed, which you can even pick and eat some of when it's fully grown, is something we have experienced for ourselves
  • We know that this experience can shape and influence people in a positive way and we would like to pass it on

Why is that so important?

  • The displacement of fresh, natural foods from our daily diet encourages us to urgently confront the issue of what we eat on a daily basis - for both ecological and health reasons and their consequences for the whole of society
  • We want to bring people closer to what they eat again - the earlier in life we establish these points of contact, the more sustainable the effect on people and in turn on society and the environment
  • Our experience has shown that if you give children the chance, they are explorers by nature - and little planting heroes, too!
  • The contact with the soil and with plants, the amazing taste sensations and successful exploits in the vegetable garden - these incentives give children lifelong tools for cultivating a healthy attitude to food
  • So that every single child knows radishes don't grow in a bunch... :-)
Planting time!
Planting time!

How does Ackerhelden machen Schule work?

  • Kindergartens and schools that would like to take part can do this in one of two ways: in the organic raised vegetable beds, that we set up directly on the premises of the relevant institute, or in the organic vegetable garden at one of our many gardening sites
  • We help to implement the project, lead on-site workshops, provide age-appropriate teaching material and advise the responsible persons at the various institutions
  • Do you need support with financing the project? Get in touch - we can discuss all the options with you

Organic raised vegetable beds

  • We set up the organic raised vegetable beds with the children directly on the kindergarten or school premises and do the planting together
  • We provide organic seedlings and organic plants for replanting and seeding throughout the season
  • We provide all the essential gardening tools and watering cans
  • In theory, we can set up the raised vegetable beds at any school or kindergarten - as long as the area itself is provided

Organic vegetable gardens

  • Our organic vegetable gardens measure 40 square metres and are already planted with many different types of vegetables
  • One section of the garden is kept clear so the children can sow seeds and plant - we provide the organic seeds and plants ourselves
  • We provide all the essential gardening tools and watering cans
  • The gardens are located on several sites across Germany

Our educational approach

  • In a joint introductory workshop, we convey the basic principles of maintaining a vegetable garden to children as well as the kindergarten and school staff
  • A regular e-mail newsletter with the latest tips as well as our e-mail service and telephone hotline provide information and support any time that you need it
  • Additional optional workshops are possible and can be designed to be flexible in terms of content and age group, as well as comprising various theoretical and practical components - e.g. re-planting and seeding, picking and eating, protecting vegetable beds ready for the winter, a seed workshop, "vegetable theory" using colouring books and much more
  • Furthermore, we provide age-appropriate educational material for children and teaching aids for pre-school and school teachers

Votes for the project

"Ökomarkt e.V. runs events for kindergarten and school groups on the Wulksfelde estate, suitable for all school types and year groups. After a visit to the pigs and chickens, or to the bakehouse, we head off to the Ackerhelden plots. This is where we really see organic farming come into play. The children have the opportunity to take part themselves and use their senses to explore how colourful and diverse our crops are. We'd like to thank you for your participation and look forward to a new year for the Ackerhelden!"

 

Martin Grunert, Ökomarkt e.V.

"This is our third time doing the Ackerhelden project and this extra-curricular group has really held our attention! Children from a wide range of different families and with very different talents take part and can learn from one another. Many have never seen a cucumber plant before, while others are little experts. All of them are curious and enthusiastic, especially as we even get to pick some of what we grow! Many school gardening clubs peter out because there is no-one who takes responsibility or the expertise is only half-there. With the Ackerhelden, we have a great level of support. We really enjoy spending time in the fields!"

 

Daniela Bulut, Europaschule Kamp-Lintfort


Would you like to take part in or support the project? Get in touch!

Susanne Seitter

 

Project Manager

 

Fon: +49 (0) 30 555 775 204

 

Mail: seitter@ackerheldenmachenschule.org


Ackerhelden machen Schule gGmbH

Rellinghauser Str. 334H

45136 Essen

 

Sitz der Gesellschaft: Essen

Zuständiges Registergericht: Amtsgericht Essen

Handelsregisternummer: HRB 27131

Geschäftsführer: Birger Brock, Tobias Paulert