Join us today as we visit the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, California. This nationally recognized organization was conceived in 1994 after a seemingly innocuous comment about the condition of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School by restaurateur Alice Waters who passed by the school daily. Principal Neil Smith then contacted Alice and, knowing of her reputation, invited her to plan a garden at the school. The rest, as they say, is history.
A food pioneer of sorts, Alice believes that fresh food from sustainable sources should be available to everyone. In her words, it should be a “right, not a privilege”. She opened her restaurant, Chez Panisse, in 1971 and has since worked with local farmers and ranchers who share her philosophy and who provide the freshest and purest ingredients. That meeting in 1994 resulted in the creation of a teaching garden and kitchen where students grow, harvest and cook produce from the garden.
Both the science and history curriculum benefit from the one acre, organic garden that was formerly a parking lot. Children participate in 12 to 30 sessions in the garden and the kitchen, studying ancient cultures and botany. In the process they learn about teamwork, stewardship of the land and the benefits of a healthy diet and social interaction around a table of freshly prepared food. This encourages children to think critically about the food choices they make not only for their own health but also for the health of the environment.
Patti treats us to a wonderful project children will love! What child doesn’t at some point like to play with worms? You can compost all those kitchen scraps by using a worm bin at home and harvest rich, nutritional castings to use in your garden.
And Nathan cooks up two tasty treats from two of the easiest items your children can grow. Carrots and radishes are a snap to cultivate, providing a quick harvest. To find the recipes and watch the cooking segment again, click on the picture of Nathan on the home page…”What’s Cooking with Nathan?”
For more information
National Gardening Association – KidsGardening
American Horticultural Society – Yearly Children & Youth Garden Symposium
GardenABCS – Listing of Youth Gardening Organizations
Five Steps to Starting A Garden
The Junior Master Gardener Program
California School Garden Network
Judy's Gardens & Design says
Dear Joe, Theresa and all involved in this video…. AWESOME! Thank you so much.
I know you both from Twitter and Facebook and have already metTheresa at a tweet-up.
Interesting timing for me to see this as I am involved with designing a Japanese style garden that is an edible front yard garden, and just going to talk to a school about designing an edible garden.
The quality and educational value of this video is just wonderful and so complete.
Looking forward to seeing more on Growing A Greener World!
Judy’s Gardens & Design
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Hi Judy and thank you for your kind words. We’re very pleased that you found the Edible Schoolyard episode so complete and of high educational value. I think you just gave us the best possible complement because that’s exactly what we try to accomplish.
Good luck with your project and glad to know GGW is part of your life.
Theresa Loe says
Wow! Thank you very much for taking the time to write. You just made our day! We really wanted to showcase the Edible Schoolyard AND provide inspiration for others and we are so pleased that we accomplished that for you. Please keep us posted on your school edible garden and thank you for being a supporter of GGW.