Learning New Skills and Rehabilitating Old Skills


| 4/16/2019 10:30:00 AM


In my previous post, I gave a definition of “Horticultural Therapy”, according to the American Horticultural Therapy Association, it is defined as, “Horticultural therapy techniques are employed to assist participants to learn new skills or regain those that are lost. Horticultural therapy helps improve memory, cognitive abilities, task initiation, language skills, and socialization. In physical rehabilitation, horticultural therapy can help strengthen muscles and improve coordination, balance, and endurance. In vocational horticultural therapy settings, people learn to work independently, problem solve, and follow directions.” Gardening has many benefits other than just fresh, wholesome, and delicious produce, it is so much more.

I want to take some time to discuss further, each of the benefits that are spelled out in the definition.

Let’s start with, “assist participants to learn new skills or regain those that are lost.”

Learning is a lifetime achievement that never really ends. I like to say that, “A day not learning is a day not living.” Skills and abilities that we take for granted were actually developed very slowly over the span of our lives. We learned by watching our parents and family members, and then by mimicking them, then by assisting them, and eventually we were doing it all by ourselves, maybe not to a level of mastery, but we were doing it. Now this process was a dynamic and radial process, we learned many things in this way, all at different paces and starting at different times. The human brain is a miraculous thing.



Every day we are exposed to opportunities to learn and grow and, like a veggie in the garden we have two options, “grow or die.” Gardening is a wonderful opportunity to learn new skills and abilities. Mel Bartholomew, developer of Square Foot Gardening, knew the connection between gardening and learning. When working with children Mel, through his developed curriculum would teach the children the applications that gardening has with learning.





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