Edible Schoolyard

I usually try to vary the crosstown streets I use to get to different areas of town where I walk, but one I often take in North Berkeley is Rose Street. It’s a quieter and shadier street than Cedar, but mainly I like to have the opportunity to stop in at the Edible Schoolyard, the well-known school garden and cooking program started by Alice Waters and located at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. I was pleased to learn upon moving to Berkeley that the garden is open to the public on the weekend and during non-school hours. On an acre of land next to the school buildings are beds of vegetables and herbs, fruit trees and vines, a greenhouse, an outdoor oven, chickens, a building that houses the kitchen area, and areas to sit and enjoy the gardens. I like to wander through the gardens to see how they look at different times of the year. We are lucky here, with our mild climate, to be able to grow food year-round. Even in the winter, there are several crops growing in the garden. Most of the plants have labels (made by the students), and it’s a great educational experience for adults as well as children.

Much has been written already about the Edible Schoolyard, so rather than recount its history, here are a few sources for further reading: PBS segment, Washington Post article, Center for Ecoliteracy. The new biography of Alice Waters, Alice Waters and Chez Panisse, also has background on the Edible Schoolyard.

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2 Comments »

  1. Georgia said

    The MLK Jr. School garden receives a lot of deserved press, but there are othr school gardens. For example, the Le Conte School has a garden (I heard it was the first in the city). Also, today’s Tribune ran a story (“Berkeley kids eat fruit of their labor”) about the school garden at the Malcolm X School in Berkeley.

    Great timing as always with your posts.

  2. Spike said

    There’s several schools in Australia doing school vegies. Don’t know which ones. They’re on Gardening Australia sometimes. Wish they’d had that at my school.

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