Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fieldtrip: Edible School Yard

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It's always nice to take a step out of your everyday routine so when CCS Architecture invited me to go on a tour of Alice Water's Edible School Yard, I jumped at the chance. Besides, good design comes from life experience not just from that shiny, glowing screen you stare at all day. Not to mention, this is definitely a cause worth fighting for. Every kid should have decent knowledge of food, where it comes from, how to prepare it, and the ability to share it with loved ones. Unfortunately the mandated family dinner is becoming less and less of an occurrence something I groaned about having to do as a kid that I now cherish and implement in my small family.

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The indoor classroom is where the kids learn how to prepare foods from the garden just on the other side of the door with real tools and a guiding hand. They do this in groups that cook together and then eat together. Setting the table and adorning it is also part of the ritual as is learning to have a conversation amongst friends. And if they are having trouble getting the conversation started there are little conversation cards with starter questions on the table. Not a bad idea, no? I think I'll have to implement that one at home, it could be quite fun.

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The outdoor classroom. Curriculum in the outdoor classroom and the kitchen are tied into what the kids are learning in say, science that week or history class. It's not just an additional elective tacked on to their current schedule it's integral to the lessons they are already learning. So Smart!

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Some Very healthy chickens their night time home.  
All plants are grown from seed in the greenhouse. 

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And finally, the tools are all numbered and color coded for easy use and storage. All the signs in the garden are created and painted by the kids too really making it feel like their garden not just one that they work in. Thanks to The Edible School Yard for the tour and  CCS Architecture for the invite. 
  

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