Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Edible Schoolyard by Alice Waters

Alice Waters’ lush and lovely Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea (Chronicle Books) is a coffee table book about change and sustainability. You’ve heard the term grassroots? This is what it looks like, right here.

In the early 1970s, Waters introduced the idea of organic produce at her Berkeley Restaurant, Chez Panisse. While Waters’ star has risen considerably in the last 35-plus years, so has her clout. If Waters has an idea, she has both the resources and the respect to put it in motion. And since Waters’ focus has been green since before the color was chic, it only stands to reason that at least some of her good ideas are also going to be good for the planet.

In 1996, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Chez Panisse, Waters created the Chez Panisse Foundation. The Foundation’s big project has been the Edible Schoolyard, an acre that Waters and the Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Berkeley have transformed from cracked blacktop to lush garden of learning. It is a tool for social lessons as well as a sustainability demonstration garden for over 3000 students and countless visitors since the garden first sank its roots.

Edible Schoolyard documents this transformation as well as Waters’ journey with it as well as the many young lives that have been touched by the garden. It’s an amazing, beautiful story.

While the world looks to Barak Obama, Al Gore and (for crying out loud) Bono to save the planet, foodies know that, for real grassroots change, you don’t have to go much farther Alice Waters. Edible Schoolyard is a gorgeous literary documentary of a good idea.

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Blogger Janet Rudolph said...

Right in my backyard. Berkeley leads the way.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 1:11:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Chronicle Books said...

Thanks for the great post!

We're giving away 5 signed copies of Edible Schoolyard on the Chronicle Books Blog for Earth Day.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 2:22:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous patty, GH said...

a wonderful cause and program that schools around the country should emulate. a great book too!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009 at 6:43:00 AM PDT  

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