On our walk through Berkeley this weekend we where introduced to a magical place called The Edible Schoolyard. Begun by Alice Waters, author and owner of the famous Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, this program is one-of-a-kind. Since 1995 the garden, which is located on the campus of Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School. The transformation of the acre of land from deserted lot to fruitful garden took almost 2 years. Today, all students at King Middle School participate in the nationally recognized program.
Each class begins here in the Ramada which is usually stocked with fresh hay bales for seating and fully shaded when in full bloom. To learn more about how each 90 minute garden class works, see the "a day in the garden" page on the programs website.
The students participate in what is called a "Seed to Table" program that teaches them how to grow seasonal fruits, veggies, grains, herbs, etc. and then how to prepare their ingredients in nutritious ways. At a time when the Arts and Music programs are being eliminated from the general curriculum in many school districts it is a relief to see programs like this one in full swing! This is such a socially responsible and worthwhile cause. This entire program centers around the "Teach a man to fish . . ." mentality, taking it to a whole new level. I wish I had had this kind of experience as a child! (Maybe then my tomato plants would doing a bit better!) If you would like to help support the program contact The Edible Schoolyard office.
(BTW-There are some cool recipes on the site too! Try 'em out!)