EduCulture and the Master of Arts in Education Program at Antioch University Seattle partnered in July 2015 to hold the first of what will be four courses in the Leadership in Edible Education Certificate Program. The year-long program is aimed at building the professional repertoire of those seeking a career in the field of edible education.
Held this summer, the first course, Education Towards Food, Citizenship & Community, explored the anatomy and interrelationships of our regional food community. Using the Central Puget Sound food community as curriculum, each class took place in the field, situated amongst regional production, processing, distribution, consumption, and recycling. Students examined alternatives to the prevailing system of industrial agriculture from farm to market to table and beyond, where emphasis is on the principles of clean, fair, fresh, nutritious, local, accessible, and traditional food.
A diverse group of students attended the first course of the program, including staff from Beechers Foundation and 21 Acres in Woodinville. Attendees also included nutritionists and family consumer science educators. The course is being led by Jon Garfunkel of EduCulture and Ed Mikel of Antioch University Seattle.
“The Master of Arts in Education Program at Antioch University Seattle is honored to partner closely with EduCulture Project to inaugurate the Leadership in Edible Education program,” says Antioch’s Ed Mikel. “With this summer’s offering of the first course in a four-course sequence, Education Toward Food Citizenship and Community, the MAEd Program provides a cohort of degree students the opportunity ultimately to complete what is designed to be a full degree concentration as well as the professional certificate jointly awarded by Antioch Seattle and EduCulture. This landmark program innovation fully reflects the campus and university commitment to sustainability, social justice, preservation of cultural heritage, personal fulfillment, and community well-being.”
The four-day itinerary included a walking tour of Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farms, a tour of processing at Grounds for Change Coffee on Bainbridge Island, and a look at Bainbridge Vineyards with Betsey Wittick. The class was also given a tour of Town & Country Market on Bainbridge, Butler Green Farms CSA with master farmer Brian MacWhorter, and Middlefield Farm. Marra Farm and Charlie’s Produce were also stops in Seattle.
“As instructor I am continually impressed at how the field classes engage students so fully in their learning about all aspects of the food system,” says Ed Mikel of Antioch Seattle. “This sort of direct experience surely grounds their learning more deeply and meaningfully than any other approach to education. They gain not only a firm, comprehensive, and enduring knowledge. From their direct encounter of the complexity of how each phase of our food systems operate, students also gain the sort of broad appreciation for the shaping influence of systems on essential food choices, habits, and attitudes. They thus develop both the larger social perspective and the personal daily commitments to a wise relationship to food in all its aspects, that inform and sustain leadership in education for food citizenship and community.”