How Can All People Access Healthy Foods at a Good Price?
This is the question that the high school group at our Brooklyn campus asked themselves during the fall semester. To derive an answer, they broke down the question into various components surrounding the theme of “Food Justice”. They thought of this in terms of a world wide scale and then narrowed the focus to themselves and urban environments.
Through watching documentaries like Food Inc., they began to understand all of the different steps involved in a food system, from farm to table. They learned that marketing, transportation, and waste removal were all part of the food system, not just growing and harvesting. The students learned about conventional and sustainable farming systems as well. By comparing the two systems they deduced that sustainable farming meant better food and healthier people. And that sustainable farming would have a better impact on local economies.
To learn even more about sustainable farming and food systems the students did research online. Students were asked to discover what a virtual supermarket was, and to locally research why the city of Baltimore was involved with grocery stores as well as the application of food stamps in a virtual market. Students learned about Baltimarket.org, community gardens and more through their online research.
Upon completion of the internet research phase, the students concluded that growing more food sustainably would result in giving all people access to healthy foods at a good price. And so they embarked on another learning expedition about sustainable farming. Thanks to the “Good Food Revolution” video, they were introduced to the ways in which they could impact sustainable farming on a local level.
Of course, the next thing to do would be to actually build a garden and make connections with community gardeners in the area! They chose to partner with a community garden on Filbert St that is less than three miles from school. And then they began the process of building their own garden. The first step was to make a budget for their garden and include all necessary tools, from lumber to screws they included it all in the spreadsheet and concluded that it could be done for less than $300. They procured the tools and went about building not one but two raised bed boxes at the Filbert St Community Garden. Then they built a 40 foot long raised bed garden right in our own backyard! They even made a compost box for everyone to use on campus.
FIELD TRIPS AND THE FUTURE
In the spring they will plant their produce and we will be able to watch it grow. In the meantime the students have visited other local school farms like the “Real Food Farm” and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Project at Cylburn. They’ve visited the Masonville Environmental Center that is reclaiming our shoreline too. Their thumbs are green and The Children’s Guild Good Food Farm has begun! Stay tuned for more news and updates about it!