Edible Schoolyard, Berkeley, California
The Edible Schoolyard garden is a thriving acre of land on school grounds that serves as an interactive garden classroom for students at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School. In the spring of 1995, an abandoned plot adjacent to the school was designated as the garden site. Landscape architects, chefs, gardeners, and teachers were invited to share their vision of a garden where students would participate in hands-on learning. That acre of land has now been transformed into an oasis, lush with seasonal vegetables, herbs, vines, berries, flowers, and fruit trees.
Teachers and the garden staff work together to link garden experiences with students’ science lessons for truly integrated experiential learning. The garden is carefully planned to grow a wide variety of seasonal produce that favours the Bay Area climate. Students participate in all aspects of growing, harvesting, and preparing nutritious, seasonal produce.
Classroom teachers and Edible Schoolyard educators integrate food systems concepts into the core curriculum. Students’ hands-on experience in the kitchen and garden fosters a deeper appreciation of how the natural world sustains us and promotes the environmental and social well-being of the whole school community. The new rainwater catchment system stores 27,000 litres of water for irrigation.
Read the Edible Schoolyard Journal to learn about its daily work.