5 Reasons to Teach Kids Permaculture

We’re really excited about our new kids’ section – Pip Kids’ Patch – so excited in fact, that we have teamed up with our friends at Little Permies to present an open circle forum at the Sustainable Living Festival on the topic of “Learning Nature”.

Come along and help us discuss the question “Why do little (and big) people need to get their hands dirty, explore and understand connections in nature?” We reckon there are lots of reasons, which is why we’ve gathered together some fabulous thinkers and doers from our community to talk about how we can start the revolution, but here are 5 reasons to get you thinking:

1. The way we educate our kids today will determine the society of the future

A land of flooding rains.
Photo by Brian Yap

As our society heads in some pretty scary directions, the way we educate the next generation will have a huge bearing on how effectively we can turn this ship around. Already we’ve seen some huge changes occurring in childhood experiences of the natural world over the last generation. Kids are now more able to identify characters from Pokemon and Star Wars than they are native animals in their local environment.

2. We’re losing our collective nature smarts


Photo by Spiral Garden

The “eigth intelligence” – our nature smarts, or ability to identify plants, animals and “read” the landscape – is falling away while increasingly regimented assessments of literacy and numeracy are a unbalanced focus of the learning curriculum. In the adult arena we see this reflected in the defunding of natural sciences like zoology and botany, while the more lucrative and human-centric fields of genetic engineering and microbiology prevail.

3. We’re disconnected from our food systems


The mass exodus from rural living to cities has left kids of more recent generations with no familial link or access to the country, heightening the severance of our minds from our food’s origins. Meanwhile we see the hyper intellectualisation of our relationship with animals – kids are aware of big picture issues, like terrible factory farming conditions, but this doesn’t mean they have any increased connection to their food. Similarly children learn about and are concerned by massive issues like climate change, and yet may often have no strong bond to the environment.

4. Nature heals


Photo by Camelia TWU

The capacity for nature to inspire imagination, wonder, calmness, peace, connection to self and others is now being recognised as a human necessity, and an effective remedy to many maladies of the modern era

5. If children don’t love nature, they won’t fight for it


Photo by DB Young


Pip Magazine and Little Permies will present an open forum for all people (big and small) to discuss how we can reconnect our kids, ourselves and our society with the natural world and make space for self-organising wild places in our busy, screen-oriented world on Friday February 13, Sustainable Living Festival Melbourne.

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