The Edible Schoolyard Berkeley

Grade Level/Age Group: 
Number of Individuals Program Serves: 
1,000
Year Founded: 
1995
About the Program: 

The Edible Schoolyard Berkeley is a one-acre organic garden and kitchen classroom for urban public school students at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School. This model program for edible education is fully funded by the Edible Schoolyard Project. At ESY Berkeley, students participate in all aspects of growing, harvesting, and preparing nutritious, seasonal produce during the academic day and in after-school classes. Students’ hands-on experience in the kitchen and garden fosters a deeper appreciation of how the natural world sustains us and promotes the environmental and social well-being of our school community. 

The Edible Schoolyard program is fully integrated into the fabric of the school. Lessons in the kitchen and garden classrooms bring academic subjects to life and cultivate an appetite for fresh, healthy food, as well as the confidence to prepare it at home. 

Program Members: 
Kyle Cornforth
Staff
Nick Lee
Staff, Teacher
Anne Meade Paden
Supporter
Beth Sonnenberg
Teacher
David Spiegelman
Teacher
Debra Lande
Volunteer
Gloria German
Teacher
Heather Knape
Supporter, Volunteer
Jacqueline Rastrullo
Teacher
Jay Cohen
Teacher
Jeff Fillingim-Selk
Teacher
Jill Bergan
Teacher
Katherine and John Schaaf
Teacher
Mary Beth Leland
Teacher
Mikko and Laura Jokela
Teacher
Phoebe Tanner
Teacher
Polly Clare-Rothe
Supporter
Rebecca Burke
Teacher
Robin Goldman
Teacher
Thomas Sinsheimer
Teacher
Supporter
Winslow Carroll
Supporter
Jason Uribe
Staff, Teacher
Esther Cook
Staff, Teacher
Geoff Palla
Staff, Teacher

Program Resources

We use Reflection Cards with our students to prompt reflection and self-evaluation on skills, norms, and behaviors that are important in the kitchen and garden classrooms.
Our kitchen infrastructure and systems directly inform how we run our classes. In the Edible Schoolyard kitchen, our space has been specifically designed to enable students to operate independently and create rich opportunities for exploratory learning.
The Edible Schoolyard kitchen teachers provide these tasting ballots as a way to help students think creatively about their food experiences and preferences.
In every class we start the small-group component with a check-in. This check-in serves to remind all students, teachers, and volunteers of each other's’ names, and to give everyone an opportunity to speak and listen to one another.
This resource provides a set of open-ended questions intended to spur conversation and reflective thinking among students. At the Edible Schoolyard Berkeley, these questions are hand-written on index cards and are used in the kitchen classroom to encourage communication around the table.
In this six-part 8th grade humanities lesson series, students discuss and reflect on the factors and considerations that influence personal food choices; consider the impacts of food choices on personal well-being, the environment, and other people; and debate the questions, complications, and pa
Our recipes (with the exception of baking) are designed to be flexible in order to maximize seasonality and accommodate student input. Rather than create an entire recipe from start to finish, we often take an existing recipe and adapt it to fit our needs.
Knife skills are at the foundation of every students’ experience in the Edible Schoolyard kitchen classroom. Before students touch knives in the kitchen, they participate in a kitchen orientation. This orientation lays the foundation for safely learning and practicing knife skills.
A typical kitchen class at the Edible Schoolyard Berkeley is 86 minutes (1 hour and 26 minutes) and is divided into three main parts: the Chef Meeting, At the Table, and Closing Circle.
Grade: 
Adults
The rituals and routines that students and teachers follow create a kitchen classroom culture that fosters positive contributions and community.
Grade: 
Adults
This resource describes procedures for maintaining chickens, a compost system, and a greenhouse at the Edible Schoolyard Berkeley.
Grade: 
Adults
In an Immersion Week, students come to the garden every day for a week. Our seventh-grade classes come for two weeks of immersion, one in each semester. Eighth-grade classes come for one week in the spring.
Grade: 
7
Fruit and vegetable consumption has grown significantly in the past two decades as the health benefits of these crops have been emphasized. Unfortunately, the incidence of food borne illnesses has also increased.
Grade: 
Adults
In the garden, we rely on a variety of practices to assess our teaching and our students’ knowledge. Reporting out in a group setting, playing interactive games, and applying skills in the field can be used successfully throughout garden class as assessment practices.
Grade: 
Adults
This resource provides an overview of practices that teachers at the Edible Schoolyard Berkeley use to make lessons inclusive and engaging. These methods help students of diverse learning styles access curriculum and achieve learning goals.
Grade: 
Adults
When developing science lessons for the garden setting, we rely on four primary methods of integrating content into a typical garden class: opening circle demonstrations, rotating labs, small working groups, and hands-on experiences that take the entire class period.
Grade: 
Adults
The goal of this resource is to inspire you in the many ways you can use an outdoor classroom to teach virtually any discipline.
Grade: 
Adults
When choosing ingredients for making a good potting mix or when selecting a potting soil mix that is already made, check to make sure the ingredients of the mix you choose are organically grown so that no toxins or chemical sprays are present in the ingredients you are handling.
Grade: 
Adults
This resource provides three soil mix recipes. Each of these mixes is a healthy and effective combination of ingredients, whether you are working on a larger plot of land or seedling trays.
Grade: 
Adults
This resource, compiled by the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, lists providers of high-quality seeds.
Grade: 
Adults
This resource, compiled by farmer and Edible Schoolyard Project adviser Wendy Johnson, provides an overview of organizations that advance environmental causes, as well as websites, films, and books that explore ecologically sound growing practices.
Grade: 
Adults
ESYB Curriculum
In this sixth grade orientation, the Edible Schoolyard's garden staff brings visual aids and props into students' indoor classroom to introduce the behavioral expectations for their upcoming garden classes.
Grade: 
6
Progression:
1 of 11
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
A typical garden class at the Edible Schoolyard is divided into three main parts: Opening Circle, In the Field (work time), and Closing Circle.
Grade: 
6
Progression:
2 of 11
ESYB Curriculum
In this 6th grade introductory lesson, students first encounter the garden as a classroom.
Grade: 
6
Progression:
2 of 11
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this sixth grade science class, students will begin to understand the process of decomposition and learn about the organisms responsible for breaking down matter. Students will also begin to make the connection with finished compost as food for plants in the garden.
Grade: 
6
Progression:
3 of 11
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this lesson, students study bees in the garden and the important role of pollinators while rotating through three stations: Beehive; Catch, Observe, and Release; and Honey Tasting.
Grade: 
6
Progression:
4 of 11
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this sixth-grade seasonal lesson, students use teamwork to collectively press cider and learn about apples.
Grade: 
6
Progression:
6 of 11
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this sixth-grade science lesson, students explore and study flowers like scientists do, learn about and practice scientific drawing, label a flower's structures and their function, and discuss their findings, questions, and ideas.
Grade: 
6
Progression:
8 of 11
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this sixth-grade humanities lesson, students learn about ancient technologies from around the world by rotating through three stations in the garden: grain grinding, roller sledge, and irrigation.
Grade: 
6
Progression:
9 of 11
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this sixth-grade lesson, students experience cooking and eating outdoors. Instead of the usual Closing Circle in the Ramada, we enjoy fresh food and good conversation as we eat together at the long table to celebrate the last 6th grade garden class of the year.
Grade: 
6
Progression:
10 of 11
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this eighth-grade garden class, students review how the 4B’s (Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible, and Be an Ally) can be applied in the garden and break into groups to work in the garden on different tasks.
Grade: 
8
Progression:
1 of 3
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this eighth-grade science lesson, students test the pH levels of soil from three different sites in the garden to determine the level of acidity in the garden soil.
Grade: 
8
Progression:
2 of 3
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this eighth-grade science lesson, students review the six essential elements of life and discuss how they function in the garden.
Grade: 
8
Progression:
3 of 3
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
This lesson introduces sixth-grade students to the kitchen classroom. Students meet staff, explore the kitchen, learn the basic rules and systems, and practice setting the table to eat a garden snack.
Grade: 
6
Progression:
1 of 9
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this sixth-grade humanities lesson, students complete the seed-to-table cycle by preparing sautéed greens and serving them over grains that were grown in the Edible Schoolyard garden. Students learn and practice basic knife skills and safety.
Grade: 
6
Progression:
2 of 9
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this sixth-grade humanities lesson, students prepare Pan de los Muertos to honor people or animals in their lives who have passed. They learn about the holiday of Día de los Muertos, and practice measuring precisely.
Grade: 
6
Progression:
3 of 9
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this sixth-grade humanities lesson, students make frittata They practice their knife skills and safety, and practice using kitchen systems.
Grade: 
6
Progression:
5 of 9
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this sixth-grade humanities lesson, students prepare Vegetable Curry as they study the ideas, goods, and foods that India shared with other regions along the Silk Road. This is the second of four Silk Road lessons.
Grade: 
6
Progression:
7 of 9
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this sixth-grade humanities lesson, students prepare fresh pasta with gremolata as they study the exchange of ideas, goods, and foods between Rome and other regions along the Silk Road. This is the third of four Silk Road lessons.
Grade: 
6
Progression:
8 of 9
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this sixth-grade humanities lesson, students trade between three tables that represent China, India, and Rome to obtain all the ingredients needed to prepare Rice Pudding. This is the fourth and final Silk Road lesson.
Grade: 
6
Progression:
9 of 9
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this seventh-grade humanities lesson, students make Vegetable Fried Rice and learn about the agricultural innovations during the Song Dynasty in China that led to a surplus of rice and resulted in major cultural, technological, and scientific developments.
Grade: 
7
Progression:
1 of 9
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this seventh-grade humanities lesson, students prepare a Middle Eastern meze platter using ingredients that represent the four major climatic regions of the Arabian Peninsula.
Grade: 
7
Progression:
2 of 9
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this seventh-grade humanities lesson, students prepare a Black-Eyed Pea Stew and examine the exchange of foods between Eurasia, Africa, and the Americas during the Columbian Exchange.
Grade: 
7
Progression:
3 of 9
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this seventh-grade humanities lesson, students make corn tortillas, beans, roasted squash, and cabbage slaw. They learn about the different agricultural techniques utilized by the Maya, Aztec, and Inca civilizations, including companion-planting corn, beans, and squash.
Grade: 
7
Progression:
4 of 9
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this seventh-grade humanities lesson, students prepare a Tortilla Scramble with Roasted Potatoes and are introduced to the Reflection Cards as a means of identifying and practicing the kitchen skills utilized in their culminating lesson: the Iron Chef Challenge.
Grade: 
7
Progression:
5 of 9
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this seventh-grade humanities lesson, students make the broth and a variety of toppings for udon noodle soup. They learn how to make a simple stock from scratch, practice their knife skills, and coordinate timing as a group to complete a variety of recipes at the same time.
Grade: 
7
Progression:
6 of 9
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this seventh-grade humanities lesson, students make maki sushi and focus closely on their knife skills and on displaying their food artfully. This is the third in the five-lesson series leading up to Iron Chef, the culminating challenge of the seventh-grade kitchen experience.
Grade: 
7
Progression:
7 of 9
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this seventh-grade humanities lesson, students review and practice three cooking methods that they have used in previous kitchen lessons. Students work together to make decisions as to how they will utilize different methods to cook different ingredients.
Grade: 
7
Progression:
8 of 9
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this seventh-grade creative assessment, students work in groups to plan and prepare a meal using a surprise set of ingredients without adult help.
Grade: 
7
Progression:
9 of 9
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this eighth-grade humanities lesson, students prepare spaghetti with pesto, ricotta cheese, and a quick tomato sauce. Students discuss the theme of seasonality, and build their independence in the kitchen by working as a team to identify and divide cooking jobs and coordinate timing as they cook.
Grade: 
8
Progression:
1 of 10
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this eighth-grade humanities lesson, students make fresh spring rolls and create their own dipping sauces.
Grade: 
8
Progression:
2 of 10
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this eighth-grade humanities lesson, students make potatoes, eggs, herb tea, and homemade ketchup.
Grade: 
8
Progression:
3 of 10
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this 8th grade humanities lesson, students read and discuss an article about the Mandela Foods Cooperative (MFC), a small community-run grocery store in West Oakland.
Grade: 
8
Progression:
4 of 10
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this eighth-grade humanities lesson, students make Red Lentil Stew and Spiced Cabbage Slaw, and reflect on how their own understandings of health and nutrition impact their relationship to food and food choices.
Grade: 
8
Progression:
5 of 10
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this eighth-grade humanities lesson, students make frittata and salad with their choice of salad dressing, and discuss the relationship between food choices and the environment with a specific focus on water use and food waste.
Grade: 
8
Progression:
6 of 10
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this eighth-grade humanities lesson, students watch a short video about the 2010 fight by the Coalition of Immokalee workers for a penny more per pound of tomatoes picked, and read an article that describes where consumer food dollars go in the food system.
Grade: 
8
Progression:
7 of 10
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this eighth-grade humanities lesson, students make Vegetarian Chili and Cornbread and discuss how cost and access impact food choices.
Grade: 
8
Progression:
8 of 10
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this eighth-grade humanities lesson, students make broccoli macaroni and cheese and lemonade, and compare the proportion of consumer dollars that go to different players in the food system for from-scratch and boxed macaroni and cheese options.
Grade: 
8
Progression:
9 of 10
Standards:
Aligned
ESYB Curriculum
In this final eighth-grader lesson, students celebrate their completion of the program by making wood-fired pizza and lemonade in the ESY garden.
Grade: 
8
Progression:
10 of 10
Standards:
Aligned