Growing The Growers Filming Trip 2010

Diary with pictures of our trip to the USA and England to meet with people that have successfully encouraged more people to garden and farm organically

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Edible Schoolyard Garden

Visiting Berkeley is always a real treat for Mike who did his gradate work there in the sixties. Familiar sights, old stomping grounds, lots of memories. It is also the home of Alice Waters  and her famous restaurant Chez Panisse. These days Alice Waters energetically fundraises for her Edible Schoolyard Foundation and together with Carlo Petrini leads the International Slow Food movement.
The philosophy practiced by Alice Waters for over 40 years and which is expoused by the Slow Food organisation starts and ends with three words - Good, Clean and Fair.
At home at Allsun we try to live and farm with this ethic and endeavour to provide ourselves, our family and our customers with good, clean and fairly produced produce.
The problem is that the world needs many more such growers. It also needs consumers who understand what it is to buy such food and this is really the starting point of our 'Growing the Growers' filming trip. We need to address the question how do we encourage the world to change? Who is already making change and what can we learn from them?
The Edible Schoolyard at the Martin Luther King Middle School in Berkeley is where the revival in school garden and kitchen projects really got going. The full story is available on line Edible Schoolyard Garden our visit was mainly to talk to the staff and get ideas and photos to help us with the Kitchen Garden project that we are mentoring with Lucy Turner at Berrima Public School.
The head gardener Ben Eichorn talked with us and showed us around. Articulate, knowledgeable and a very experienced grower the perfect leader for a school kitchen garden project.

The days program is always written up on a white board that hangs in the small ramada where the students gather for the start of their gardening classes. One of the jobs listed is 'the Potato Tower'.  In Australia these towers are usually constructed with old tyres, however a circle of weld mesh seems to work just as well. It may however require a lot more water.
Everywhere you look there are edible plants and flowers.

 Wheat, one of several cereals grow.

Broadbean plants have just been removed from these two beds. 
Compost will be added ready for the next crop.

A moveable chook palace that neatly spans one garden bed.

When not hard at work the hens are free to 
wander around the garden during the day.

A mixed flock of colourful, sleek and entertaining fowl.

Mike checking out the broad (fava) beans.

Freshly havested and on today's kitchen menu.

Tool sheds, green house and a large poultry shed are at the far end of the garden.
From gum boots to wheel barrows everything is in apple pie order. 

Seedlings ready to be planted out.

Figs setting on a huge shady old tree.

The outdoor woodfired pizza oven.

Art in the garden.

What a wonderful place to visit and film.

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