Today’s Garden of Eden

Not Quite, but close! But that’s the title of my paper on The Edible Schoolyard, (yes, the famous garden and kitchen non-profit founded by Alice Waters of Chez Panisse) and I think it’s clever enough to not part with it, as of now.

Once a week, I come to Martin Luther King Jr Middle School and volunteer at the Edible Schoolyard. This experience has been the highlight of my semester, and I’ve never enjoyed more working with kids.

Because I know nothing about harvesting and planting, I chose to work in the Kitchen, which has been an incredible experience. The kitchen classroom is my ideal kitchen. They use top-notch kitchen gadgets, fresh ingredients fill the countertops, the brightly-painted walls are adorned with unique garlands of garlic and herbs, and hand-written recipes and books line the walls. Each one hour period, we prepare the ingredients, cook the food, set the table, eat together, wash the dishes, and have time to learn the importance of seasonal foods and organic cooking. (Although there’s always one kid who raises his hand and yells, “hells nah! organic makes me puke!” I hope he learns something here…) They often use fresh vegetables and fruit straight from the garden! I tried freshly pressed apple cider, honey, and ricotta cheese. I also ate their eggs from their hens—-really, it tastes wonderfully different. No wonder there’s so much hype about this place! I work with 8th graders, so they’ve been doing this for 3 years, which means they know how to do things a lot better than me. All I do is just make sure they don’t talk to much. Life is so good!

Yesterday, I came early so I took a stroll in the garden. I think it’s about an acre big. Anyways, welcome!

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Kiwi!

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Rainbow chard. We made autumn harvest soup with these. So delish! Come over and I’ll make some for you.

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Weird fungi that exploded. It looks like a dead animal carcass. Flies were all over that thing.

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A wood fire pizza oven that a volunteer donated a while back. They actually use it!

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A solar powered coy pond. In theory, it should work.

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Dinosaur kale. Scary looking, no?

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Tool shed in the back. These kids are so lucky!

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Real free range hens! Look at those plump feathers. I was too scared to stand too close…

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What composting should look like. Watch out chicken!

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They always have fresh cut flowers in a vase on the eating table. More often than not, there’s a huge bug crawling around the petals, and subsequently, there’s always a huge commotion about it.

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I never knew artichoke grew on the ground! I also never knew how many different spellings artichoke could have. The kids write “ardichok” “artychoc”…

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ancient corn fields. I forget the name of the beautiful red stalk plant…

Let me know if you ever want to come see this for yourself. Really, you can’t live in the bay area without having seen this.

 

 

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4 Comments »

  1. Steve said

    So, when are you going to cook something for your Uncle? I’d really like to try some truffle free-range chicken, braised Swiss Chard, with some sauteed onions, peppers, and roasted potatoes . šŸ™‚

  2. Lily said

    i want to come! i want to come!

  3. prairie said

    the edible schoolyard looks so awesome! i want a garden like that one day!

  4. heartjoe said

    Red tall flower plant is called a Cockscomb i think…!

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