Edible Schoolyard Trainings: Program Highlights and Testimonials

2016 Edible Schoolyard Academy
What ESYP Academy content will you implement in your school/organization? 
  • Many of the processes that have been demonstrated around efficiently: designing and refining curriculum, contributing / running staff meetings, making changes to job descriptions / hierarchies, responsibilities.

  • We will use your dedication to simplistic, beautiful, nourishing experiences to inspire a personal and program reflection on our current work, with the goal of revisiting our foundation and truth.

  • Structure and systems for garden and kitchen lessons. Garden content and we will be meeting as a team to determine which kitchen lessons to implement and perhaps adapt to the school culture and grade levels. Love the Edible Schoolyard content standards and philosophy.

  • Give our students more autonomy around gardening and cooking. More narrative-based lesson plans, handwritten recipes, more thoughtful and involved staff meetings, weaving our values into all that we do, slow down and ensure intentionality and purpose throughout.

  • Systems, systems, systems. The underlying structure for everything helps the focus remain on the kid-centered goals.

What one major lesson will you take away from your ESYP Academy experience? 
  • It is possible to lead people through a training on Edible Education in a way that honors what they already know, illuminate areas they discover they know less about and have them come out on the other side feeling good about their organization, optimistic and focused on tangible changes, additions or refinements that feel attainable.
  • Evaluation planning and implementation can be positive and not feel heavy and overwhelming.
  • That nourishment and deep organization allow people to feel safe and focused and it should often be my top priority with team collaboration.
  • The importance of designing experiences for students that promote their independence (e.g. knife skills in kitchen classroom) and the power of the garden, kitchen program to serve as a locus for developing and sustaining community among school families.
  • One lesson?! Best way to structure lessons, how to begin with an academic standard and an ESY standard and seasonal veggies or garden jobs and create a lesson that incorporates everything.
What did you like most about the Academy? 
  • Knowledge and enthusiasm of the staff! Real world application of the work being done at ESY CAN be implemented anywhere!
  • Interactive, engaging and have very clear learning expectations.
  • That they were thoughtful and relevant, fast-paced and interesting and that the passion and professionalism of the staff was always in evidence.
  • Hands-on engagement, connection, mind, body and spirit to what we were doing. Teaching approach. Diversity in topics and people and honor/respect given to culture. Meeting incredible people! I loved the honesty and transparency - so helpful that you were willing to share challenges and details that many orgs protect and hold internally.
  • How well informed, professional and knowledgeable the staff are. It was really nice to be in a training where the staff REALLY model what they are teaching and give us the time and ability to practice.


2016 Edible Schoolyard Intensive: Farm to School
Would you recommend this training to a colleague?
  • 100% said Yes!!
What did you like most about Intensive sessions?
  • Getting key stakeholders (i.e. our Director of FNS) to hear the power and importance of farm to school from national leaders and peers (other food service directors) goes much further and resonates on a deeper level than coming from local non-profit partners!
  • The instructors were all TOP NOTCH, thoughtful, and articulate.
  • The honesty – thank you for pursuing the ideal, but incorporating the real challenges we face.
  • Everything – it was superbly executed with thought, intention, and love. The food was fabulous.
  • This was an incredibly important venue for us to form a team around, and, I think, a very wise use of the ESY "star power." Our DC team is very grateful to you as hosts and for your example and inspiration.
  • The hands-on, experiential learning.
  • Garden track breakout sessions were brilliantly done! Every single detail was useful, engaging, new and modeled great behavior and practices.
  • The level of deep thinking but also the practicality of everything and how I can adopt at my school.
  • Everything was so wonderful. I love how very in-depth, complex topics were explained and defined in a clear concise way (school food purchasing). I loved the food and visiting City Slicker Farms.
As a result of this training, what steps do you plan to take?
  • To be less isolated in the education side, and work harder to embrace school lunch.
  • Collaborate with food service department to incorporate edible education principles in dining staff PD.
  • 1. Develop the garden 2. Eliminate sugar from school 3. Educate students about fresh and local 4. Make education a more human experience – slow down and love.
  • 1. Report back to stakeholders 2. Meet with my ESYP team to decide next steps 3. Look at my curriculum mapping and incorporate kitchen lessons.
  • Reviewing wellness policies. Getting academic teachers into ESY. Start targeting groups for cooking classes and hold more family cooking classes. Build a robust volunteer program.
  • Better collaboration through seeking more information about who is responsible for what at our school!
  • Incorporate kitchen sessions into chemistry classes. Start Slow Food Club to help trickle that culture to the cafeteria.
  • Engage FSDs in my districts, hear them and meet them where they are, offer services to help them achieve their goals. Re-think the trainings I have been planning and offering for teachers and educators.
  • Nurture the relationship with District Food Services, and hopefully, bring them to this program next year.