The Edible Schoolyard

January 24, 2009 at 2:10 pm Leave a comment

 How to create and sustain an organic garden and landscape that is wholly integrated into the school’s curriculum and lunch program. It involves the students in all aspects of farming the garden – along with preparing, serving and eating the food – as a means of awakening their senses and encouraging awareness and appreciation of the transformative values of nourishment, community, and stewardship of the land.

Garden classes teach the Principles of Ecology, the origins of food, and respect for all living systems. Students work together to shape and plant beds, amend soil, turn compost, and harvest flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

In the kitchen classroom, students prepare and eat delicious seasonal dishes from produce they have grown in the garden. Students and teachers gather at the table to share food and conversation during each class. The cycle of food production is completed in the kitchen, as students eat fruits, vegetables, and grains grown in soil rich with the compost of last season’s produce.


Student participation in all aspects of the Seed to Table experience occurs as they prepare beds, plant seeds and seedlings, tend crops, and harvest produce. Through these engaging activities, students begin to understand the cycle of food production. Vegetables, grains, and fruits, grown in soil rich with the compost of last year’s harvest, are elements of seasonal recipes prepared by students in the kitchen. Students and teachers sit together to eat at tables set with flowers from the garden, adults facilitate conversation, and cleanup is a collective responsibility. They complete the Seed to Table cycle by taking vegetable scraps back to the garden at the end of each kitchen class. The Seed to Table experience exposes children to food production, ecology, and nutrition, and fosters an appreciation of meaningful work, and of fresh and natural food.

The Edible Schoolyard website
Site resources:
The site has pages on: A day in the garden , A day in the kitchen, How it works, Lessons, The garden manager, Kitchen lessons & recipes, The chef teacher, Classroom lessons, educational resources, ecoliteracy, teacher liason.

How to start a school garden and kitchen
Includes list of 20 good reasons to have a garden and a kitchen at your school.

The Edible Schoolyard Academy
Creating Garden and Kitchen Classrooms in Every Community

Garden of Eating: Middle School Students Grow Their Own Lunch An Edutopia article.

The Edible Schoolyard: Seed-to-Table Learning
Video presentation of the Edible Schoolyard.



Gardens for Growing People.
San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance.
Aquatic Outreach Institute.

Two Angry Moms
Feed Me Better
Chef Ann Cooper
The Food Project
People’s Grocery

Slow Food USA Education
Yale Sustainable Food Project
Food Change
Project Food, Land and People

Community Alliance with Family Farmers
Life Lab
Rooted in Community

Environment and Sustainability

Center For Ecoliteracy.
The Food Systems Project.
Berkeley Horticultural Nursery.
Occidental Arts and Ecology Center.
Community Food Security Coalition.

The Ecology Center.
The Garden Project.
Sustainable Agriculture Education.


  • School Garden Grants.

  • Youth Garden Grant.
  • Resource Directory for Grants.

Environmental Protection Agency.

National Wildlife Foundation.

National Environmental Education and Training Foundation.

School Grants.

The Foundation Center.

These sites all contain additional resources and links that should prove
helpful. Resourcefulness and networks within your own local community will
also lead to supportive individuals, groups and organizations.

(a partial list)

The New Oxford Book Of Food Plants. J.G. Vaughan.. Oxford University
Rice: From Risotto to Sushi. Claire Ferguson. Rizzoli.
The Cook’s Journal. Christopher Warmell. Running Press.
Africa, Europe, and Asia: Ready to Use Interdisciplinary Lessons and
activities for Grades 5-12.
D. Bloom. The Center for Applied Research
in Education.
Food is Elementary: A Hands-On Curricula for Young Students. Antonia
Demas. Food Studies Institute.
Potatoes from Pancakes to Pommes Frites. Annie Nichols. Rizzoli.
Chez Panisse Vegetables. Alice Waters. Harper-Collins.
Chez Panisse Fruit. Alice Waters. Harper-Collins.
Bread. Beth Hensperger. Chronicle Books.
Food In History. Reay Tannahill. Stern and Day.
Slumps, Grunts, and Snickerdoodles: What Colonial America Ate and Why.
Lila Perl. Clarion Books.
The Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Marion Cunningham. Alfred A. Knopf.
You Eat What You Are: People, Culture, and Food Traditions. Thelma
Barer-Stern. Firefly Books.
The Greatest Table: A Banquet to Fight Against Hunger. Michal J.
Rosen. Harcourt Brace and Co.
Play With Your Food. Joost Elffers. Stewart, Tabori, and Chang.
The Food Chronology. James Trager. Henry Holt and Co.
Through the Kitchen Window: Women Explore the Intimate Meanings of Food
and Cooking
. Beacon Press.
Material World. Peter Menzel. Sierra Club Books.
Recipes From A Kitchen Garden Volume 2. Renee Shepherd and Fran Raboff.
Shepherd’s Garden Publishing.
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. Harold
McGee. Simon and Schuster.
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Photo Cards. CA Nutrition Education and
Training Program. Ca Dept. of Ed.
A Taste of Heritage. The New African–American Cuisine. Joe Randall
and Toni Tipton-Martin. Macmillan.
Soul Food: Recipes and Reflections From African-American Churches.
Joyce White. Harper Collins.
Everything You Pretend to Know About Food And Are Afraid Someone Will
Nancy Rommelmann. Penguin Books.
How Are You Peeling? Foods With Moods. Saxton Freymann and Joost
Elffers. Scholastic Press.
Women In the Material World. Faith D’Aluisio and Peter Menzel.
Sierra Cliub Books.
The New Guide to Fruit. Kate Whiteman. Lorenz Books.
Food. Weverley Root. Smithmark.
The Gourmet Alter: The History, Origin and Migration of Food of the World.
Susie Ward. Macmillan.
Fast Food Nation. Eric Schlosser. Houghton Mifflin.
The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture. Wendell Berry.
Sierra Club Books.
From the Good Earth. Michael Ableman
The Green Machine. Polly Cameron
Kids Cook Farm Fresh Food, Sibella Kraus. CA Dept. of Education
Kids in Gardens: Student Education Program, Aquatic Outreach Institute
Teaching Organic Farming and Gardening, Albie Miles and Martha Brown,
eds. University of Santa Cruz

Entry filed under: Food, Food Links, Gardening & Agriculture, School Gardens.

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