A growing disparity between what we consume and where our food comes from accounts for a nonchalant, convenience-oriented attitude toward food in the United States. A time-is-money attitude pushes us further to purchase cheaper and faster (pre-made) meals. After all, if most Americans are merely struggling to raise a family and keep their jobs, it’s no wonder the values of farming, food preparation, and dinnertime have been lost in the shuffle.
In 1995, author and founder of the famous Chez Panisse restaurant, Alice Waters reintroduced the connection between what we eat and where it comes from through her program “The Edible Schoolyard.” With the help of the community’s efforts, Waters successfully began a one-acre garden and on-campus kitchen at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Berkeley. Her accomplishments have since gained tremendous media recognition (September ’07 in The New York Times for example) and started a movement toward sustainable eduction in public schools.
If you’re interested in starting a school garden or a garden at home, start with The Edible Schoolyard’s how-to guide. If you are interested in donating money for efforts towards eco-literacy in schools, check out Kids Gardening. Or, you can link to learn more about the Chez Panisse Foundation.