Thursday, June 28, 2012

Edible Schoolyard

Yesterday we updated our family's little vegetable garden, pulling the last of the salad greens, and planting the new round of veggies - beans, peppers, and kale.  I hope the girls are taking it all in, but truthfully they spent most of the time digging for inchworms and what they call "rollie pollies" - some other little bugs we seem to have a lot of.

It is great to see their excitement though, when they see the first tomatoes on the vine, or when they're given permission to cut some herbs or lettuce for dinner.  It's gotten me to thinking about the (kind of decrepit) courtyard at their elementary school.  I'm not sure if it gets enough sun, but it sure would be great to get some raised beds going in there!

Chef and restauranteur Alice Waters has provided a remarkable example in her work establishing The Edible Schoolyard at Martin Luther King, Jr Middle School in Berkeley, California.  Many years ago, Waters lamented publicly about the school's unloved outdoor space.  When the principal asked for her ideas and help, Waters stepped to the plate majorly - and today the school's grounds feature over 100 varieties of seasonal vegetables, herbs, fruit trees, and more!

Unsurprisingly, there are myriad ways that the students' experiences in the garden translate to learning in other parts of the curriculum...


What's for lunch, boys?

Check out the original project, and how it's evolved, here.

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