This innovative education model gets kids rapping, planting, and cooking in marginalized neighborhoods of London.
Music is a universal language, but until last week, I never imagined it could be used to teach kids to love gardening! A group called May Project Gardens from London, England, is doing precisely this – using music, specifically hip hop, to get kids excited about vegetables, both growing and eating them.
Food insecurity is a huge problem in London, as it is in every city worldwide. The use of food banks is rising, as is malnutrition and obesity, and lack of connection with the sources of one’s food. According to MPG, in the UK nearly one million young people between the ages of 16 and 24 are not in jobs, school, or training.
May Project Gardens strives to create opportunities for youth through its innovative musical learning model, known as ‘Hip Hop Garden.’ It goes into youth centers in neighborhoods such as Brixton, which are historically marginalized, very built-up with little green space – in Brixton’s case, the ninth most deprived ward in the country – and teaches kids the principles of permaculture, focusing on two in particular: valuing the ‘marginal’, or edges, and valuing diversity.