Gardens can grow communities either at school, on your block, or someplace in your city.
The skills and knowledge gathered by growing food and learning to cook are valuable in developing lifestyles that sustain us individually, culturally, and intergenerationally. We focused the unit we had developed on edible gardens around the human value ‘Wisdom’, in order to investigate indigenous and scientific knowledge and innovation.
Many families and communities developed edible gardens during lockdown, and schools have some excellent programs and strategies to connect students to living in more sustainable ways. Creating an edible garden will help grow your community and collaborations within the student body. We had repurposed the space outside our Design lab and grown tomatoes with our students. One of our parents kindly cooked us some spaghetti in tomato sauce for lunch!
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Liza Engelberg (LE) is the Director of Education, NYC Edible Schoolyard Program. Their goal is to provide edible education for every child in New York City. They partner with the city’s public schools “to cultivate healthy students and communities through hands-on cooking and gardening education, transforming children’s relationship with food”.
How can ethical dilemmas guide students during their exploration of significant content? Below we have aligned the ethical dilemma with the Design Thinking Cycle (Stanford IDEO model) and extracts from Liza Engelberg’s interview. Our possible lines of inquiry can generate problem-solving opportunities for students.
When growing food, is it sustainable to only think of human interest or should we consider what benefits nature?
Ethical dilemma in action: “We talk about the costs of monoculture vs. the benefits of biodiversity. We talk about how bees and other pollinators are facing danger from pesticides. And we examine the injustices faced by workers at various levels of our food system.” – LE
At every stage the Design Thinking Cycle presents students with opportunities for problem-solving:
EMPATHIZE — An investigation of ethical dilemmas can reveal the emotional context, the human story behind the scenario. This can inspire empathy and support relationship-building. The germination of inquiry begins with compassion.
Ethical dilemma in action: “Everyone should have access to…