Alice Waters Promotes "Edible Education"
World-renowned chef, Alice Waters, and members of her Edible Schoolyard Program visited Seattle Public Schools, Friday, to explore Montlake Elementary School’s Greenhouse Education Program and chat with students and staff about the benefits of growing their own nutritious food and creating an “edible education.”
During her visit, students took Waters on a tour of their indoor and outdoor gardens before engaging her in a question and answer session inside their school’s cafeteria. Students and staff asked the acclaimed chef and author everything from her favorite vegetable and meal to eat to her vision for making organic food sources available for classrooms across the country.
Waters is often cited as one of the most influential figures in food in the past 50 years. In 1995, she created the Edible Schoolyard Project, a 1-acre garden in Berkeley, CA, that involves students in all aspects of farming, preparing, serving, and eating food as a means of awakening their senses and encouraging awareness and appreciation of the transformative values of nourishment, community, and stewardship of the land.
In addition to owning Chez Panisse Restaurant, also in Berkeley, CA, the food activist has written several books on food and cooking, including Chez Panisse Cooking and The Art of Simple Food I and II.
In 2016, members from Montlake Elementary School and Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Urban Food Systems Program, who also took part in Waters’ tour of Montlake, traveled to Berkeley, CA to take part in training at Chef Waters’ Edible Schoolyard. The result was a partnership that is developing ways to use gardening and food systems as a platform for education and as a tool to address racial and social justice by eliminating opportunity gaps.
Today, the mission of the Montlake Elementary School Greenhouse Education Program is to provide all 258 students with a garden-based education that ignites a life-long interest in the natural world by incorporating art, music, science, language, and math into gardening.