“Lead with your heart.”

“Embrace the whole person: mind, body and soul.”

“What is the culture of this ground? Listen to the voice of the soil.”

“Plants will call: “Plant me, I belong in this season!”

Philosophy of Alice Waters; founder of the Edible Schoolyard:

“Eat seasonally. Eat locally and sustainably. Shop at farmer’s markets. Plant a garden. Conserve, compost, and recycle. Cook simply, engaging all your senses. Set the table with care and respect. Eat together. Food is precious. Cook together. Include your family and friends, and especially children. Sharing the hands on experience of gardening and cooking teaches children the value and pleasure of good food.”

Above are just a few fun and inspirational quotes from the Edible Schoolyard Academy that both Anna Spittler (Science Teacher) and I (Jann) attended June 21-25. The Edible Schoolyard (ESY) is in its 20th year of existence in Berkeley, CA. This organization focuses programming at a public middle school called Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, and teaches life skills in both a garden and a kitchen classroom. The garden staff and kitchen staff work alongside the traditional classroom teachers to create lessons that will incorporates core academic standards into each nontraditional lesson. Science and Social Studies are the ESY’s primary academic focuses at the current moment, but they hope to eventually be have a significant presence in each academic classroom.

Besides using the garden to grow produce for both our school lunch program and our hot sauce business, The David School has been working to create an interdisciplinary curriculum that will incorporate our garden into each academic classroom…Sound familiar? The ESY Academy was thus an invaluable experience that not only taught me how to better myself so I can provide the best experience for our students, but it showed me that there are people all over the country working for a common purpose. In a world that seems to value our food and food sources less and less, it was refreshing to meet others who see its value and how important it is to instill a love for good food in the younger generations. The David School wants to do all it can to make available the knowledge necessary to fight food insecurity and help our students make the best choices for their bodies and the environment.

Something that became apparent to me last week was that the more connections that we Grow Appalachia sites can make with others, the better. The only way to change a “corrupt” food system (including mindsets) is to work together to provide our communities with education, resources and support. I want to thank everyone in the GA family for doing what you do each day. Keep working hard and know that we are a part of an incredible solution! Every single person, big or small, deserves to know that they will go to sleep with full stomachs. So on the days that the work is overwhelming or you have a discouraging conversation with someone, remember that there are others out there who support you and need you to keep going! As Alice Waters says,“Food is precious.” Thank you for all of you who tend to it so intentionally.

grada esynitrogen visual esy compost visual esycompost esy Chicken Compost esyboots esy alice waters philo esy wildflowers esy