Click here for the official guidelines from the Boy Scouts of America for the Nature Merit Badge.
This Merit Badge entirely relates to the foundational concepts underlying any gardening endeavor, including self-watering container gardening. The plants we cultivate first came from nature. Understanding the natural processes in which plants participate in nature helps you understand the behaviors and needs of the plants in your garden.
This badge requires you to name three ways in which plants are important to animals. This can include nourishment and shelter. Many plants serve as homes to various species of insects, birds, and other animals.
It is important to understand the term “food chain” because we each participate in one. What is the nature of the food chain in which you and your family currently participate? Where does your food come from and how do you contribute to the process? If you begin to grow your own fruits and vegetables in a self-watering container garden, how will that change your food chain?
Where do fruits and vegetables grown in self-watering container gardens factor into different environments’ food chains? For example, how would the food chain in a food desert neighborhood be impacted by a local community self-watering container garden? How might this compare to how a small self-watering container garden at a nursing home might benefit the people who live there?
One option for this badge is to collect, mount, and label ten species of insects or spiders. These can easily be collected in your garden. Just be careful not to remove too many beneficial insects.