Saturday, May 21, 2011

Food, Land, and You.

I used to live in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  When I was back in the old neighborhood 2 weeks ago, I noticed that the local high school had a pretty substantial garden with lots of raised beds.  How cool!  When I lived in the neighborhood, I didn't remember seeing this garden, so I Googled it to find out more information about the program.  I found this article about the the school's program in the NY Times.  All the juniors and seniors in the school take a class called "Food, Land, and You" and discuss the social, political and economic aspects of the food industry. They learn about where their food comes from by visiting farms, butcher shops and raise their own food in a 2,500 square foot organic garden in the school yard.  How COOL is that?  Oh how I wish I had a class like this when I was in high school!
The garden is tended by the students, and they are allowed to take the vegetables home with them.  In a school where 75 percent of the families are low income, this is not only a great learning experience, but a great way for them to have access to fresh vegetables.  Here is a raised bed of garlic.
Not only do they tend to the beds, they also learn about composting. Check out the 2 compost bins in the back.  What an incredibly awesome program for city kids to learn about how food gets from the farm to table.  If only all the schools across this nation taught this program, perhaps more kids would grow up with an appreciation for locally grown and locally raised.


  1. That's a wonderful program. In these days of cutting everything extra out of the school budgets, I hope they can keep that one.

  2. What a useful and informative course. I wish we had this when I was in High School.

  3. This is a program I would like to see more of. These valuable lessons will be with the students for a life time and how proud to be able to take the produce home and share on the family table...Good for them!

  4. What a fabulous program. I had a greenhouse biology class in high school [some 30-odd years ago] and really enjoyed it but we never did get in to vegetable gardening. This is great!

  5. Seriously - what an awesome and amazing thing to be including in a high school curriculum!! This is something that could really open eyes and change the way kids think about food, resources, etc - not to mention to give them all one more option when it comes to feeding themselves and answering some of the big questions - how do I want to live, what kinds of choices do I want to make, etc. Not to mention potential careers - people do grow up to be farmers, landscapers, nursery owners, BBG staff, etc!

    We need more programs like this one. How great they are doing it at all - thanks for sharing this inspiring and hopeful post, Mimi!

  6. That's way cool! Our MG's have a program in one local grade school, but that's all I am aware of at that level here. In high school kids have exposure to 4H, but not at all schools.

  7. That's a fantastic thing for a school to do.

  8. I think all schools should have a program like that. Last year our a "school improvement project" was completed, and the landscape is a muddy mess. There are areas where the grass they planted did not grow, or grew, and then did not make it. Not only is it good for students to learn about the subjects, it is also good for the school grounds to be used in that way. Thanks for showing this to us.


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