Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Edible Schoolyard, Berkeley, California

If you've ever wondered where the inspiration for my edible balcony comes from it's from Alice Waters Edible School Programme in the United States. The first edible schoolyard was set up in Berkeley California in a school near where Alice would do her morning run. Apparently she would look at the two acres of overgrown weedy asphalt and daydream that one day it could be transformed into a productive farm and an invaluable teaching tool for a generation of kids who couldn't tell a cabbage from a lettuce. Fourteen years ago that dream became a reality and with funding from the Alice Waters Foundation the asphalt was dug up, the soil reconditioned and an Edible Schoolyard was born at Martin Luther King Middle School.
Walking through the school garden this week gave me hope that the next generation is going to have a better connection to the land and the food they eat that will help counter our society's growing problems with climate change, obesity and our addiction to tasteless fast food!

some big legacy to live up to

basketball courts at Martin Luther King Middle School, Berkeley, California

climbing bean A-frame tipee

winter salad leaves

bok choy with hand-painted sign

not sure what this sign alludes to!

Gardener extraordinaire Mr Geoff

hanging haystacks innoculated with oyster mushroom spores

chicken run

tasty egg layer

strawberry seedlings ready to be planted

the greenhouse protects the seedlings during winter months

lavender bushes attract bees and pollinating insects

glorious colours even in winter

Alice's food philosophy is painted on the kitchen wall

the kitchen where the kids get to cook and eat what they grow

aprons hanging on pegs

school-grown peppers

heirloom pumpkins

some messages never change


  1. I love the philosophy of these kitchen garden schools. I wonder how the understandings that are being learned from the kitchen garden activities & philosophy are being utilised in the curriculum areas? One hopes that the students are being taught to be critically reflective to gain 'the bigger picture' understandings of what they are doing and why they are doing it and who benefits and who doesn't.