Saturday, September 26, 2009

Community Gardens and Schools

Are your kids sick of the food in their school cafeteria? Jim Diers has a suggestion for you. This Seattle community developer traveled to Havana to visit some of the 1,700 COMMUNITY GARDENS that have been planted in the city since 1992. All of these gardens are organic to avoid the costs of fertilizers and pesticides. Diers writes:

I was especially impressed with the way in which gardens were integrated with schools. A large garden I visited was surrounded by an elementary school, a middle school, a school for the deaf, and a school for swimmers. The students work in the garden for two hours each day to fulfill their community service requirement. Culinary arts classes teach students how to prepare meals from the fresh produce that is then served in the school cafeterias. I may never have eaten better tasting tomatoes, certainly not in my school cafeteria.
--Jim Diers, Neighbor Power: Building Community the Seattle Way (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2004), p. 126.

Cuba certainly isn't the only place where school grounds are being gardened. It's happening in a charter school system right here in south Texas, where VERY fresh and nutrition-packed produce is nourishing kids from low-income families. Do any of you have experience with this where you live? Please post a comment and share how that is going.

Why shouldn't this be done everywhere?

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