Chapter: 
2
Our Story
We build the capacity of edible education programs with tools and trainings rooted in more than 20 years of experience.

It all started in 1995 with the idea that we can transform children's relationship with food if we give them a taste of what's possible. To demonstrate this simple truth, Alice Waters created the first Edible Schoolyard in partnership with the principal at a public middle school in Berkeley. 

As the idea took shape, a committed and creative coalition of educators, families, farmers, cooks, and artists joined the effort.

Involving students directly was key: with their participation, an organic garden took root and flourished as a rich teaching environment, while a kitchen classroom brought everyone to the table to share what they were learning. 

Today, Alice Waters's idea is known as edible education, and that very first program in California inspires and trains educators from across the country – and around the world – to seed and grow sustainable programs in their communities.


1. Our Mission 

The mission of the Edible Schoolyard Project is to build and share a national edible education curriculum for pre-kindergarten through high school.

Edible education connects the experience of school to the real, lived experience of our students. It prioritizes access to the healthy food that underpins all other efforts to give children a strong start at school and in life.

That's why we believe that integrating an edible education into all schools can dramatically change the schooling experience for every child in the United States. 


2. Our Work 

THE MODEL 

The garden, kitchen, and cafeteria at King Middle School serve as a demonstration site and innovation hub for the edible education curriculum and pedagogy. We have worked closely with the whole school community to connect a one-acre teaching garden and a dedicated kitchen classroom to the science and humanities curricula taught to all students. Evening family classes invite parents and trusted adults to learn with and from their students. Across the playground, the larger cafeteria kitchen prepares delicious school meals from scratch for all public school students in Berkeley, using fresh, local, seasonal ingredients.

TRAINING

In our professional development programs and short courses, we empower other educators to create and sustain similar programs in their home communities. Our goal is to help schools develop strong edible education programs grounded in shared standards of practice and justice, responsive to the cultural, institutional, and funding realities of their own particular contexts. Since 2009, we have trained 897 teachers, administrators, food service staff, nutritionists, community leaders, and parents from over 367 schools worldwide, representing more than 1 million students in 42 US states. 

TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY

Everything we create is documented and shared for free. Our online Resource Library and Network community offer educators vetted lessons, teaching practices, program tools, and training materials – fostering the creation, growth, and enrichment of edible education programs near and far. 

ADVOCACY 

We are proud to be part of a dynamic national and international movement uniting grassroots and community groups with highly influential civic and government institutions, all committed to forging a just, sustainable food system and future. 


3. Our People 

OUR FOUNDER: ALICE WATERS

Alice Waters is a chef, author, food activist, and the founder and owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California.

She founded the Edible Schoolyard Project in 1995 — bringing her perspective as a trained Montessori teacher and fervent political activist to the mission, along with an already renowned reputation as a gifted chef and champion of sustainable agriculture.

She grounded her vision in key principles: that children deserve to be nurtured in body and mind, treated with dignity, and shown that they are valued.

 

THE EDIBLE SCHOOLYARD PROJECT STAFF 
HEATHER CAMPBELL
Community Manager 
DAVID CHAI
Executive Director  
ESTHER COOK 
Head Chef Teacher 
GRISELDA COONEY 
Chef Teacher &
Family Nights Out Coordinator 
KYLE CORNFORTH
Managing Director 
ASHLEE JOHNSON 
Garden Teacher 
EMILIE KRAMER 
Office Manager 
HANA LEE 
Program Coordinator 
NICK LEE 
Chef Teacher 
ELI MERCUREE RUE 
Garden Americorps 
KRISSA NICHOLS 
Operations Manager 
GEOFF PALLA 
Garden Manager 
HANNAH PIERCEY 
Director of Communications & Digital Strategy  
MOLY ROSE-WILLIAMS 
Chef Teacher  
RUSSELL STERTEN 
Content & Engagement Coordinator
JASON URIBE
Garden Teacher 
THE EDIBLE SCHOOLYARD PROJECT BOARD
JAMES ALEFANTIS 
KATRINA HERON 
JONATHAN MOSCONE 
JULIE SIMPSON 
ALICE WATERS 
THE EDIBLE SCHOOLYARD PROJECT AMBASSADORS 
MARK BUELL
JAKE GYLLENHAAL
RAJ PATEL
MICHAEL POLLAN
THE EDIBLE SCHOOLYARD PROJECT ADVISORY BOARD 
MICHAEL ABLEMAN
JOSÉ ANDRÉS
MIKHAIL BARYSHNIKOV
WENDELL BERRY
KELLY BROWNELL
PETER BUCKLEY
SUSIE TOMPKINS BUELL
GRETA CARUSO
NANCY RUTTER CLARK
TOM COLICCHIO
BILLY COLLINS
ELEANOR COPPOLA
TROY DUSTER
DELAINE EASTON
ADAM GOPNIK
SHELBY GANS
ANGELO GARRO
CAROLE SHORENSTEIN HAYS
SHERRY HIROTA
WES JACKSON
BOB KERREY
CHRISTINA KIM
JONATHAN KOZOL
FRANCES MOORE LAPPÉ
PHILLIP LOPATE
DAVID MAS MASUMOTO
FRANCES McDORMAND
BETTE MIDLER
DAPHNE MILLER
DAVIA NELSON
MARION NESTLE
NELL NEWMAN
JAMIE OLIVER
KYLE REDFORD
ROBERT REDFORD
RUTH REICHL
BOZ SCAGGS
ORVILLE SCHELL
ERIC SCHLOSSER
PETER SELLARS 
ANNA DEAVERE SMITH
MERYL STREEP
MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS
MERYL STREEP
CALVIN TRILLIN
ALICE WALKER
JACQUI WEST

4. Annual Reports & Financials

Our annual reports provide details of our program work and a full list of our supporters. Download our most recent annual reports in PDF format below, or contact us to request a hard copy. 

ANNUAL REPORTS 
  • 2014-2016 (PDF
  • 2013-2014 (PDF
  • 2012-2013 (PDF
  • 2010-2012 (PDF
FINANCIAL STATEMENTS & 990 TAX FILINGS 
  • 2015-2016 Financial Statements (PDF) and 990 Tax Filing (PDF)
  • 2014-2015 Financial Statements (PDF) and 990 Tax Filing (PDF)
  • 2013-2014 Financial Statements (PDF) and 990 Tax Filing (PDF)
  • 2012-2013 Financial Statements (PDF) and 990 Tax Filing (PDF)
  • 2011-2012 Financial Statements (PDF) and 990 Tax Filing (PDF)
  • 2010-2011 Financial Statements (PDF) and 990 Tax Filing (PDF)