Edible Schoolyard Berkeley
For 30 years, the Edible Schoolyard at King Middle School has been a place where children fall in love with food and learning.

The Edible Schoolyard at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Berkeley, California serves as the Edible Schoolyard Project's demonstration site and innovation hub. We have been gardening and cooking with sixth, seventh, and eighth graders – and working closely with the school community – since 1995.

Long story short, we've learned a lot along the way. That's why all of our work, and the reasoning behind it, is posted online and shared in our Edible Schoolyard training programs.

1. The Innovative Model 

In the Edible Schoolyard, students are farmers, cooks, learners, and teachers. In the kitchen classroom, our chef teachers are guides to the exploration of how culture and identity shape our personal relationship and access to food. Students, teachers, and community volunteers gather around the table to share meals and conversation. In the garden classroom, students are the keepers of the soil and shepherds of the harvest. They sow seeds and tend to the produce that fills bellies and fuels creativity, imagination, and learning.  

The Edible Schoolyard program is fully integrated into the fabric of the school and the academic experience of every student. Over their three years at Martin Luther King, Jr Middle School, a student will have 60 classes in the program. Students come to the garden with their science teacher and to the kitchen with their humanities teacher.

School Garden

2. The Edible Schoolyard Curriculum 

Our teaching staff designs our lessons in close collaboration with King Middle School's science and humanities teachers. This helps us make intentional academic connections that allow a student’s full learning experience at school to become more relevant and engaging.

Even more broadly, the Edible Schoolyard Berkeley's curriculum aims to develop curious, engaged learners who demonstrate:

  • A sense of curiosity and dignity
  • The ability to work as a team to complete a job well
  • Respect for oneself and others
  • An appreciation for diversity and an ability to learn from difference
  • An understanding of how engaging with the food we eat can teach us, crystallize connections between anyone and anything, and cultivate relationships that make our families and communities resilient 

Our pedagogy, practices, and approach to curriculum development help us achieve these goals. 


3. Family Nights Out

Family Nights Out at the Edible Schoolyard Berkeley are open to all King Middle School families. The classes provide an opportunity for parents, trusted adults, and siblings to experience what students are learning in the kitchen classroom.

During a Family Nights Out class, students,  family members, and trusted adults cook and eat a meal together while sharing and learning recipes and techniques for preparing meals at home.