Ten Years of Education at the Edible Schoolyard

Published April 17, 2012 | Updated May 18, 2017
Subject: Other
Place of Learning: Garden, Kitchen, Cafeteria
Resource Type: Program Management
Grade Level: Pre-K, Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2 , Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12
Uploaded by:
Emilie Gioia
Program Affiliations:

The Edible Schoolyard, created in 1995, is a one-acre organic garden and kitchen classroom at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Berkeley, California. Over 15 years, the garden has grown from a cover crop in a vacant lot to a thriving acre of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and edible flowers. The garden supplies hundreds of pounds of seasonal organic produce to the Edible Schoolyard’s kitchen classes, produce giveaways at King Middle School, and local community programs.

The kitchen classroom is housed in a colorful bungalow that sits at the garden’s southwest border, providing a warm backdrop for the tacit connection students make between seasonality, plants, and food. The garden is in full view through the kitchen’s north facing windows. Students prepare a diverse selection of recipes using a variety of delicious fruits, vegetables, and eggs harvested daily from the garden.

This publication is an effort to communicate our program philosophy, educational practice, and structure in sufficient detail for use as a guide for other organizations

Ten Years of Education at the Edible Schoolyard was published in 2008


There are five chapters.

  • Chapter One includes our mission statement, the principles that have guided our program, and our goals and outcomes for students.
  • Chapter Two describes the organization of our program, from staffing to scheduling.
  • Chapter Three explains how we work with teachers to link our program to the California State Standards and what our approach to teaching looks like.
  • Chapter Four is a compilation of the lessons we have learned over the past decade, with helpful hints for educators interested in creating their own kitchen or garden program.
  • The last chapter describes the next phase of our work.
  • The Appendices include recommended resources, job descriptions, essential materials, and a sample budget.
  • We also share our strategies for fundraising and building community support, along with a chronology of significant milestones in the Edible Schoolyard’s history.



Thanks for sharing. I was pleasantly surprised to learn from this resource that the ESY was started with a $10,000 grant. This is the same amount we award to DC school gardens and we are hopeful that we will be able to grow these programs to be as successful as yours. Thanks for the inspiration!

4 years ago

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