Last week, I had the distinct privilege in meeting Alice Waters at Montlake Elementary School here in Seattle in celebration for all of the hard work the students of Montlake Green Team have done in creating a strong edible cooperation, both at their school garden and with our local, organic farm. Full Circle Farm has been a part of this local network for many years in providing the students with organic produce once a week to distribute at lunch. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to connect with the pioneer of this phenomenal movement, Alice Waters, as her passion and dedication to providing a sustainable food curriculum in every public school is unwavering. In 1995, she began The Edible School Yard Project as a means for educators and leaders around the world to participate and receive a strong and useable program to take back to schools to implement.
In 2015, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama establishing “eating is a political act, and the table is a powerful means to social justice and positive change.” She has been raising public awareness in eliminating educational disparities so that local, sustainable agriculture can be harnessed by all students in raising self-esteem and achievement both in the individual and the community.
Alice Waters is well known for her blessed California restaurant, Chez Panisse, where she has infused local farms into every meal since 1971. She has written over 15 cookbooks and has been the vice president of Slow Food International since 2002. In 2008, she received the Harvard Medical School’s Global Environmental Citizen Award which she shared with Kofi Annan.
We are excited to bring a part of all this amazing work into our community through the dedicated team members of Montlake who attended The Edible School Yard Program last June – Cheri Bloom, Melissa Gray, Carla Leonardo, Jennifer Lundgren and Vivian Van Gelder. These fantastic folks are dedicated in the farm-to-cafeteria connection. Whether we drop off root crops for soup, leafy greens for braising or salad, these kiddos are finding healthy food in their lunch every week! As farmers, we cannot think of any greater outcome for our hard work and growing tradition than the next generation. It is our greatest hope that they will harness the fundamental need to respect our land, protect sustainable agriculture, preserve the many habitats around us and discard a growing sense of disposable convenience that does not allow for true consideration of the global community. As we continue to do more and more outreach for schools both on the farm and in their classroom, edible education is finding its way into our curriculum and our homes.
You can find more info at www.edibleschoolyard.org
One last tidbit – here in Olympia, we have an Edible Schoolyard satellite program GRUB (Garden Raised Bounty), a farm-to-school program for high school students to receive credits as they find tools and solutions in growing food, growing people and growing communities. This program started in 1996 and empowers positive personal change through sustainable agriculture.
As always, if you are interested in connecting with us, your local farm, please contact us for a class visit, a morning at the farm for edible education, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.