Edible Education Programs for Students

Our edible education programs bridge local farms, classrooms, lunchrooms, and the larger food community fostering scholarship, stewardship, citizenship and sustainability. EduCulture partners schools and farms, transforming working landscapes into landscapes of learning, and utilizing our community as curriculum. The programs we offer serve academic needs, while growing produce for school and community food streams. In the process, we are contributing to the preservation of local sustainable agriculture, nurturing farm stewardship and food citizenship, and inspiring young people to become co-producers in their food communities.

Kids next to field

Edible Education encompasses the entire way we think about food in schools, from wellness policies to the quality of school lunch, from the content of core curriculum to career and technical education, from school gardens to food waste recycling, and from the ecology of a school campus to our wider food community. It is one area of education that threads through all aspects of school culture, from what and where students learn to what they eat, to how they recycle. Just as our school food chains reflect the wider community food chains that support them, so does the culture of the curriculum have the opportunity to connect with the culture of the school and the wider community.

In the 21st century, edible education has become the vanguard and crossroads of many fields of education, from environmental to sustainability, social to global, experiential to vocational, outdoor to horticultural, health and nutrition to school lunch reform. Food is a topic of study that can be found across the curriculum and embedded, implicitly and explicitly, across standards and grade levels. Its roots in American education date back a century to the development of home economics. The rationales for edible education have been found in over a century of learning theories, from the work of John Dewey to Howard Gardner. Regionally, we see its import in OSPI’s development of a teaching endorsement and learning for Environmental and Sustainability Education, the Curriculum for the Bioregion movement in WA State higher education, and the Local Farms-Healthy Kids Act passed by the WA State Legislature and signed by the Governor in 2008.

In 1900, the educator John Dewey suggested that the “school itself shall be made a genuine form of active community life, instead of place set apart in which to learn lessons” (School and Society). More than a century later, his wisdom still rings true. Edible Education is about enhancing and enriching school and community wellness by connecting place and taste to how we live, eat and learn.

Our student centered programs serve thousands of primary, elementary and secondary students throughout the school year on farm and heritage education sites throughout Bainbridge Island. We offer farm tours, field study classes, farm to fork programs, extension opportunities with our community partners. Food from these programs is locally grown and student sown, by hand, with simple tools, and the oversight of master & junior farmers.