Today I received an email with the schedule of the upcoming Green Festival at Navy Pier, May 16 and 17. I became very excited as my eyes fixed upon Alice Water’s name, scheduled to speak on Edible Educations. Waters, now a national leader in the Edible Education in schools movement, began with The Edible Schoolyard, a one-acre organic garden and kitchen classroom for urban public school students at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Berkeley, California. Children grow food in gardens at school and school cafeterias serve local, nutritious, organic food. Waters says that Edible Education addresses the issues of childhood hunger and obesity. Anderson, a Chicago Public Magnet Elementary School, located a block away from the Frankie Machine garden (where I work at) could benefit from such a program. As of now, it doesn’t look like Anderson has any kind of gardening program.
Check out this video of Alice Waters discussing how weave food into a curriculum at school:
However, like Water’s Edible Schoolyard program, many other schools are following suit. Even First Lady Michelle Obama was quick to start an organic garden of the South Lawn of the White House. Mrs. Obama brought school children from Washington’s Bancroft Elementary School to help with in the growing and producing of fresh vegetables for the White House Kitchen and for a local soup kitchen.
With access to two public gardens that grows fresh produce just one and two blocks away, I am curious as whether the Anderson’s school administrators have considered having their students partake in garden projects. The management at Frankie Machine has been rather loose and “organic” so far this season. I’m not sure if Frankie Machine even has the capability to organize a CPS school project to learn about and grow vegetables. I have yet to hear back from the site steward and even after my visit today, I haven’t seen anyone. I’m getting anxious. All I can is continue leaving voicemails and show up at the garden.