Earth stewardship

Beliefs about the natural world across faiths, history and cultures

"Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in then memory and experience of my people… All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons and daughters of the earth."

Chief Sealth of the Duwamish tribe of the State of Washington to US President Franklin Pierce, 1855

Human beings have impacted on ecosystems since they moved out of Africa and colonised the whole planet. Hunter gatherers wiped out species such as the mammoth, early farmers destroyed forests and changed flora and fauna. Most cultures and faiths have recognised the importance of natural ecosystems to sustaining human life in their belief systems. The school garden is the perfect framework for children to understand the importance of 'ecosystem services' to their lives and their part in ensuring its survival in the face of huge pressures.

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Did you know?

My wild ancestors originated in Afghanistan over 3000 years ago

Read more Carrot

I originated in the South American Andes mountains

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I originated in Southern Europe and Western Asia around 2000 BC ago

Read more Leek

I am part of the rose family and native to Central Asia.

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I am the world’s most important salad plant.

Read more Lettuce

I come from the Andes Mountains and was first cultivated about 7,000 years ago.

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I originated in South and Central Asia dating back to 3500 BC.

Read more Onion

Scientists are unsure whether I originated in Central Asia, Ethiopia or the Mediterranean.

Read more Pea

I originated in Central and South America

Read more Pumpkin

My wild ancestors are fond throughout Asia and Europe.

Read more Radish

I am a delicious fruit, native to Eastern Asia, with wide culinary and medicinal uses.

Read more Rasberry

I originated in Persia (modern day Iran) and spread to China around 600AD.

Read more Spinach

My small wild ancestors are found in temperate areas all over the Old World.

Read more Strawberry

I am native to the Central Americas and was first domesticated in Mexico, by at least 2600 BC.

Read more Sunflower

I am native to the Americas and was cultivated by the Aztecs as early as 700 AD.

Read more Tomato