A century ago, Progressive reformers who thought that urban children were becoming disconnected from the soil and their food encouraged the development of community gardens for kids in empty urban spaces. Children got at least three benefits from urban garden projects: first, they got out in the fresh air; second, they got fresh vegetables that their families might otherwise not have had access to or been able to afford; third, they learned from where food comes.
This week, we learned that American children now snack almost every waking hour, and more and more of their calories are coming from snacking. More programs like Alice Waters’s Edible Schoolyard across the United States could bring back the Progressive impulse and healthy eating and activity for children. Applications for educators and administrators (and maybe parents) who want to bring the Edible Schoolyard to their schools are due on April 15. You don’t have to live in California, where the Edible Schoolyard was born. For FAQs, see here.