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Edible education

Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer - Thu., 9/1/05
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Emma Goldman said she wanted no part of any revolution unless it included dancing. That's good, but better yet is Alice Waters' idea that a revolution should be "delicious."

Waters, who is both a fabulous chef and a pioneer leader of America's sustainable food movement, has launched what literally will be a delicious revolution, focusing it squarely on those who are America's future: Schoolchildren. Ten years ago, Waters led an effort to establish what she calls "The Edible Schoolyard" at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Berkeley, California, where she lives. Rather than a burger-and-soda lunch, MLK's 900 or so students now draw meals, lessons, and values from a one-acre schoolyard garden that they pitch in to till, plant, maintain, and harvest. They also help prepare and serve the food in the school cafeteria, enjoying the bounty of their own efforts.

Not only do the children get meals that truly are good and good for them, but they absorb more from the garden and kitchen about biology, health, the environment, science, history, geography, stewardship, cooperation, and community than they can possibly glean from texbooks and sterile classrooms.

This Edible Schoolyard has been such a success that Waters and the Berkeley's schoolboard are expanding it to all of the city's 16 public schools. To learn how you can bring this revolutionary model to your schools, call the Chez Panisse Foundation: 510-843-3811.



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Filed Under: Common good