Who We Are
Founded in 2006, Edible Schoolyard New Orleans (ESY NOLA) changes the way kids eat, learn, and live at five (5) FirstLine public charter schools in New Orleans. Our goal is to improve the long-term well being of our students, families, and school community. We do this by integrating hands-on organic gardening and seasonal cooking into the school curriculum, culture, and cafeteria programs. ESY NOLA involves students in all aspects of growing, harvesting, preparing and enjoying food together as a means of awakening their senses, cultivating a school environment that promotes a sense of pride and responsibility for our land and natural resources, and developing a love of fresh, seasonal foods.
Edible Gardening: Teaching kids how to grow their own food
Through hands-on gardening classes tied to life science lessons, students experience the joys and hard work of growing their own food right on their very own school campuses. Our largest edible garden is 1/3 of an acre at Green Charter School, and we have gardens at each of our five school sites.
Kitchen Programming: Teaching kids how to prepare and enjoy the food they grow
ESY NOLA provides a comprehensive seed-to-table experience for our students. Hands-on cooking classes provide the opportunity to prepare and enjoy the foods grown in our gardens.
Cafeteria Meals Program: Real Food for Real Kids
We have helped transform FirstLine Schools’ daily breakfast, lunch and snack offerings from a highly-processed traditional school food menu to one that incorporates daily fresh fruit and vegetables, salad bars, home-cooked entrees and increased whole grain offerings. We are teaching our students how to eat and appreciate nutritious, delicious seasonal foods.
Community and Family Programming: Fun for Everyone!
ESY NOLA provides food education opportunities for our students’ families and the community at large through special events, including Food and Family Nights (entire families learn how to cook seasonally from the garden); Open Garden Days (which involve the school and neighborhood in gardening, composting, and harvesting, followed by community lunch); and Budding Entrepreneurs (middle-schoolers sell their produce and value-added products created from the Garden at our local neighborhood markets).