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« Trial Lessons | Main | The Garden Classroom »
Monday
Aug082011

Community-LAUSD Partnership

The lessons were successful, but teachers needed help to run the garden, LAUSD Facilities needed help to build it and school custodians needed help to maintain it. So La Brea Bakery opened a stall in Santa Monica Farmers selling bread to fund the program. Teachers then began teaching civics and nutrition by organizing bi-monthly field trips to the market, where the children saw their art on display, how the garden was funded and met farmers who grew the same vegetables that they did. More than 1,100 children had their first trip to a farmers' market in the first year of the program, and for each class trip, five parents were drawn into the new programs at their school.

LaBrea Bakery also hired UC Berkeley-trained gardener Nick Tan of the Eagle Rock firm Urban Organics one day a week to help teachers lead the garden lessons. A local gardener, Sergio Fuentes, joined Tan as a teaching assistant and to oversee garden maintenance. Tan took the cooking lessons to neighborhood homes for lack of in-school cooking facilities.

Silverton came to give a succession of lessons, one day to plant wheat and make whole-wheat bread, where she showed the germ in the loaf; another visit for a celebratory cup-cake making day, when she said, "sugar is a spice, not an ingredient."