Learning gardens: providing education and healthy food!

During spring 2020, the first edition of the “Agrobiodiversity, School Gardens and Healthy Diets: Promoting Biodiversity, Food and Sustainable Nutrition” book was published online.  

The book which gathers contributions from around the world (Lebanon, Australia, Vietnam, Hawaii, Philippines, India, Nepal, Morocco, etc.) will be available for free download and dissemination in December 2020.

The book assesses the role of biodiversity in promoting and enhancing diversified and healthy diets among schools children; it also identifies the encountered challenges and the key criteria for success. The seventh case-study more particularly, highlights the role of learning gardens in enhancing the diet of Syrian children and youth in Lebanon. Author Nina Lauridsen, talks about the importance of learning gardens established in Lebanon by Danish NGO Zaher-Grow to learn in partnership with local NGOs like the Food Heritage Foundation, Juzurna Buzurna and SOILS Permaculture Lebanon. Through these gardens, stigmatized children and youth not only have their capacity built on sustainable gardening (including organic agriculture and permaculture concepts), but also find a place to recreate and produce their own food. On another hand, this kind of project ensures the transmittance of knowledge and farming to young generations and prevents its loss.

Late 2019, FHF together with its partners, and with support from CISU – Civil Society in Development, designed and implemented new learning gardens in Akkar and Bekaa. Although the October revolution followed by the Covid-19 pandemic have impaired the activities under the project “Learning Gardens as a Tool for Development in Lebanon”, the gardens are still being maintained by the partners hoping that the gardens will receive the children soon again.  


Learning Garden Students Blossom into Organic Agriculture Heroes

Learning Garden graduates posing with their new certificates

Today, we witnessed our students who were participating in “Learning Gardens as a Tool for Development in Lebanon” blossom into young organic agriculture heroes! Fifteen kids who had previously participated in the series of workshops on organic agriculture in the Malaak NGO received their certificates.

Launched in June 2019, the project aims to strengthen the education and involvement of children and youth by developing their knowledge on nature and plants and building their capacities to increase their livelihood resilience through learning garden activities.

Gardening activities at the Malaak center in Halba

Over the course of the project, educational activities included workshops on inexpensive organic horticulture methods, local gardening practices, planting seasonal crops, designing gardens, establishing composting units as well as lessons on healthy nutrition, making mouneh, food preservation and environmental awareness.

Gardening activities at the Malaak center in Halba

The project “Learning Gardens as a Tool for Development in Lebanon” is implemented in partnership with the Danish NGO Zaher-Grow to Learn, Bouzourna Jouzourna (BZJ), SOILS Permaculture Association Lebanon, Jibal and is supported by CISU – Civil Society Fund in Denmark. The workshops were conducted across various locations including the BZJ farm in Saadnayel, ActionAid Arab Region (AAAR) centers in Joub Jannine and Baalbeck and the Malaak center in Halba.

Gardening activities at the Malaak center in Halba

We’re proud of all of the students that have completed the program. As successful graduates they will be able to bring their new knowledge and skills back to their families and communities and hopefully will be equipped with the know-how to create agricultural spaces that improve their food security by increasing food availability all year round.


Gardening sessions organized by FHF in collaboration with IECD

The kids are happy with their garden!

During the months of June and July 2017, the foundation was pleased to collaborate with the European Institute for Cooperation and Development (iecd) and introduce gardening classes in the summer school program held in the educational center Janah in Sabtieh.

Practical session in class: how does a seed evolve into a plant?

Around 90 students from Syrian refugee communities benefited from these classes which aimed at introducing the basics of agriculture and teach the young students the production of healthy food.

Identifying the different types of soil

The students were eager to start their own vegetable garden which included seasonal veggies, aromatic plants and ornamental flowers as well.

The girls deciding on what to plant

They learned how to identify pests, beneficial insects and weeds and how to make their own compost!

Waiting for their turn to plant

FHF team was very happy to know that many of the students planted small gardens at home and implemented what they have been taught!

The kids even made traps to monitor pests

Tomatoes, strawberries, basil and more!


Promoting school learning gardens with Zaher

Under its initiative of promoting urban gardening, FHF teamed up with Zaher – Grow to Learn, a Danish NGO aiming at supporting young Syrian refugees residing in Lebanon and marginalized youth from the Lebanese host communities, to establish learning gardens in two educational centers one in Aley run by the French NGO “Yalla! Pour les Enfants” and one “Baraem Al-Mustakbal” in Bar Elias, Central Bekaa run by the Lebanese NGO Sawa.

Assessing the garden of Aley school
Assessing the garden of Aley school ©Zaher Grow to Learn

The project “Promoting learning gardens as a mean of producing healthy food amongst Syrian refugees and Lebanese host communities“ aims at training young Syrian and Lebanese students on sustainable gardening practices in order to produce healthy food in and around their schools. The school gardens will serve as models for organic farming and permaculture. Training sessions on different relevant topics will be prepared by FHF team in collaboration with SOILS Permaculture Association Lebanon.

Despite its small size, the garden of Baraem al-Moustakbal school has a great potential to become a learning garden!
Despite its small size, the garden of Baraem Al-Mustakbal school has a great potential of becoming a learning garden!

The project team visiting the school in Bar Elias to assess its garden
The project team visiting the school in Bar Elias to assess its garden ©Zaher Grow to Learn

To contribute to this project, by either volunteering or donating, please contact Zaher – Grow to Learn on