As my neighbours were not in town and their house was completely empty. They were on a short vacation and wanted someone to maintain their garden regularly until they didn’t come back. They were not able to trust their gardener as their house was completely empty and giving the keys to a gardener was not something they were ready to do. They wanted someone who they could trust with their house keys. As they were our neighbours I thought I could help them with gardening so that when they come back their garden is not dead.I have to do a bunch of things every day in the garden to keep the plants, soil, and grass healthy. If I see any plant dying or there is unwanted grass growing in the soil then I should understand that the way of my gardening is not good. I water the plants, dig the soil to rotate it which eventually increases the soil quality, also cutting off some small plants so that they don’t grow out of their boundary and block the growth of other nearby plants.
LO2: Gardening is very difficult and it requires a lot of hard work to be able to successfully maintain a good graden. There were a lot of challenges I faced while I was gardening. First of all, as the summer had started the temperature outside is very high and the sun is direct on me. Also digging the soil and rotating it is not at all easy, it requires a lot of strength. I overcame this challenge by staying hydrated before and while gardening which helped me to deal with the high temperatures. I have done gardening before as my mother is very interested in gardening and we also have a very good and maintained garden just because my mother loves nature, she always motivated me to learn a bit about gardening and I even helped her. Undertaking this challenge helped me learn a new skill of gardening which is not a very common skill and requires a little bit of talent and some knowledge about soil and plants.
This skill won’t be that useful to me in the future but having the knowledge about gardening makes me feel a lot better about myself.
LO3: I organised myself by making a plan and setting a particular time at which I will visit my neighbours home and do gardening for them. I listed all the activities that I had to do under gardening such as watering the plants everyday, digging the soil to rotate it which eventually increases the soil quality, cutting some unwanted grass or plants, and giving good shape to the plants. In general, I am an organised person and I enjoy keeping everything planned and organised before I actually do that. For this activity, the initiating part was more difficult compared to the planning part as planning just required a couple of hours whereas initiating required a lot of hard work everyday. I learned a new skill of flexibility/ multitasking that I had to use for the planning and initiating of this activity, as adjusting a time at which they want me to open their house requires flexibility because randomly just opening their house at any time is not safe. Multitasking as I also had other responsibilities and this was an add on for me which required me to be multitasking and managing everything so that nothing is hampered. Planning and initiating will be easier in the future for me as I have some experience of it now and I can use that experience to plan out and initiate other activities in the future.
LO4: As we know gardening is a very difficult job and especially when the weather is too warm it is very difficult to do gardening in such high temperatures. Conducting all the tasks everyday made it difficult for me and it was too tiring and I also had other work which I had to complete simultaneously. Commitment was very important as without that I would just quit gardening and my neighbours would not trust me after that, and because they also cared for their garden a lot and wanted it to stay just the way it was before they left it was necessary for me to show commitment. It is generally easy for me to commit to things because I have experienced what results I am going to achieve after I stay committed to one thing and that makes it easy for me to commit to things.
LO6: The global issues are good health and well being, life on land, and climate action. All of these issues are important globally as these issues are a part of the sustainable development goals. Growing more plants and maintaining the plants which already exist helps taking actions on the global issues of good health and well being and climate actions. As plants perform the process of photosynthesis they soak in CO2 and release oxygen. CO2 is a greenhouse gas which traps the additional heat in the Earth’s atmosphere raising the average temperature. A lot of CO2 pollutes the air which humans breathe and affects their health and well being, as plants take up CO2 from the air they purify the air which makes it safer for us to breathe in that air. Birds are attracted to quiet and cleaner spaces with grass which provides them food. They help unwanted insects away and the birds get a good place to nest.
LO7: Ethical issues in this activity are the use of fertilizers to boost up the growth of the plants and grass, it also improves their quality and provides them essential nutrients. The use of fertilizers for gardening or farming is not ethical as the environmental impacts are more negative than the positive results they have on the plants and lawn. When the excess nutrients from all the fertilizer we use runs off into our waterways, they cause algae blooms sometimes big enough to make waterways impassable. When the algae die, they sink to the bottom and decompose in a process that removes oxygen from the water. Fish and other aquatic species can’t survive in these so-called “dead zones” and so they die or move on to greener underwater pastures.A related issue is the poisoning of aquatic life. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Americans alone churn through 75 million pounds of pesticides each year to keep the bugs off their peapods and petunias. When those chemicals get into waterways, fish ingest them and become diseased. Humans who eat diseased fish can themselves become ill, completing the circle wrought by pollution.
This ethical issue affects me indirectly as I am not a person who eats fish so the disease won’t pass to me but other people who consume fish are being affected because of the use of fertilizers.
During this activity I developed the learner profile “caring” as I was committed to this service that I was providing to my neighbours. This activity leads to a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment. One of my subjects – ESS is linked to this CAS experience because we are learning about what are greenhouse gases and what are the impacts of them on our environment, also how can we eliminate the emission of these gases or decrease them significantly. I achieved success in this activity as when my neighbours came back and they saw their garden they were very happy with the way I had maintained the garden. It was the exact same as it was before they left. They appreciated and thanked me a lot. This activity definitely brought a sense of enjoyment and accomplishment to me and I felt so good helping my neighbours.