The garden started as a cover crop in a vacant lot with once-monthly student participation. More than a decade later, it is a thriving acre of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. Now, each student at King Middle School attends 12 to 30 sessions in ESY kitchen and garden classrooms, depending on grade level. ESY reaches each of the nearly one thousand students at King Middle School.*
Mission & Goals
The mission of the Edible Schoolyard is to create and sustain an organic garden and landscape that is wholly integrated into the school’s curriculum, culture and food program.
ESY involves students in all aspects of farming the garden and preparing, serving and eating 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.
Students leave the Edible Schoolyard with:
- A sense of ownership and accomplishment.
- A sense of curiosity and wonder.
- A sense of place.
- An understanding of how food is planted, grown, harvested, and prepared.
- A willingness to try new foods.
- Life skills, including cooperative work, respect for self and others, active listening, and the ability to make healthy food choices.
- Exposure to a wide, seasonal variety of fruits and vegetables.
Students gain an understanding of:
- Sustainability at a personal level—how they as individuals impact the environment and how the environment affects them personally.
- Seasonality—specific connections between each season and the foods, plants, and activities associated with food—from seed to table.
- The connections between school, family and community.
- The rich and diverse agricultural traditions of their student body.
- How to use all five senses to create a whole experience.