Summer vacation is upon us, and families all over Canada are finalizing travel plans. While excited to see and experience new things, your kids will be leaving behind one of their favorite at-home summer activities – gardening. And unlike the family pet, precious plants can’t come along for the flight, rail, or road trip. Fret not, because there’s a way to maintain your household’s love for horticulture. That’s right, in addition to the theme parks, outlet malls, and beaches that you plan on visiting, we encourage you to seek out community gardens in the destination/s when you’re vacationing this summer. This is especially true when visiting other countries on the continent and around the world. Unsure if visiting community gardens is a great vacation activity? Read on to find out why it will be fruitful and fun!

5 Reasons Why Your Family Should Plan Visits to Community Gardens and Farms When Traveling this Summer

I. Helps Prevent Learning Loss

Unfortunately for many families across Canada, summer travel fun comes at the expense of education. The information pathways that your children used all year begin to degrade as each week passes during the summer. By incorporating outdoor learning experiences that appeal to their interest in gardening, you ensure that your children’s thirst for learning is fed and sustained. Learn more about how to prevent learning loss during summer vacation.

What exactly will your kids discover by visiting community gardens when traveling? Keep reading to find out!

II. Learn About Food Crops in Different Climates

From experience at home with local community/school gardens your kids have learned about crops that grow in Canada. By visiting food farms in other areas with different climates they will discover what can grow under varying conditions. For instance, if traveling to Hawaii your ohana can learn about growing pineapples, mangos, papayas, taro, and more. Every destination has unique fruits and vegetables that your kids can learn all about.

III. Borrow Ideas for Your Gardens Back Home

By visiting foreign community farms your family will invariably discover new concepts for planting, irrigating, harvesting, and even decorating your garden spaces. It also gives you and them an opportunity to engage with other gardeners and learn about their methods. Most will be happy to share valuable insights, and may even ask your family to join in for a more immersive experience.

IV. Discover Crossover Opportunities

By talking with on-site gardeners/farmers and learning about the destination/s popular plants and crops, you may discover crossover opportunities to bring seeds back home for planting – just be sure that you comply with all Canadian customs regulations and that you don’t bring unautorised plants, animals and soils back to Canada. Many people are surprised to learn that fruits and vegetables common to vastly different climates can grow here in Canada. For example, did you know that lemon trees (and other citrus species) can thrive in backyard and community gardens in Western Canada?

V. Encourages the Family to Eat Healthy on Vacation

Most families take their foot off of the gas when it comes to nutrition on vacation. Convenient snacks and fast-food becomes the go-to as you bounce around from one exciting activity to the next. However, when you incorporate community garden/farm visits into your travel itinerary, you’ll enjoy access to “you-pick” opportunities and visiting local farmers markets where you can load up on healthy fruits and veggies to bring back to your hotel or vacation rental.

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