13 Oct 2014

How to set up edible gardens for schools and communities

From Nine To Noon, 11:37 am on 13 October 2014

edible schoolyard
Image courtesy of edibleschoolyard.org

Gardener and gardening writer, Hannah Zwartz has been researching the best ways to set up edible gardens in schools and in the community.

She was recently granted a Winston Churchill fellowship to look at examples of successful school and community gardens in the US. This included the renowned Edible Schoolyard at Martin Luther King Junior Middle school in Berkeley, California, which has a one-acre organic garden and kitchen classroom.  Food growing, harvesting, preparation and cooking is integrated into the school curriculum across a range of subjects, including maths.

Hannah Zwartz says while this edible schoolyard is the gold standard, schools can start small - such as by growing herbs or microgreens in pots on classroom window sills. She says it is a great way to teach children healthy eating habits as they are far more likely to eat greens they have grown themselves.

She talks to Kathryn Ryan about what she learned and how she hopes to implement some of the ideas in the Kapiti region where she works with schools on garden projects.