A School Food Forest

A School Food Forest

I have a crazy idea. It would be a ton of work and require a ton of collaboration and generosity from others. It would be a lifetime commitment and beyond. It would also provide extensive benefits to thousands of local children and even help to save the planet.

There is a piece of land next to my son’s elementary school. The school adjoins to a community center and on the other side of the large block is the high school. This piece of land is still zoned as agricultural, and it’s for sale. They want to sell it as home development or office space land.

600 Bahnson

It is six acres of land that has only a few buildings, a lot of trees, and three horses. I want to collect funds and buy it. I want to design a food forest for the land and have the kids help plant it and tend it.

It will:

  • Provide fresh, healthy food to the children at Anne Sullivan Elementary and Washington High School
  • Teach children and members of the community:
    • Ecological design and permaculture farming
    • Where food comes from
    • How to conserve resources
    • How to regenerate land instead of degrading it through traditional agriculture
    • Hard skills such as:
      • Working with tools
      • Planting, tending and harvesting food
      • Preserving food
      • Renewable energy (such as growing firewood and building/using a rocket mass heater for small diameter wood)
      • Simple herbology
  • Preserve a historical piece of land that has stayed intact despite surrounding development
  • Allow children to get their balls and shoes back (apparently an important topic according to my 8-year-old)
  • Sequester carbon, provide shade, provide wildlife habitat, emit oxygen, hold the soil, and provide beauty
  • And much more

I’m writing this because I need advice. How crazy is this idea? What do you think about it? Should I go for it? Where do I start? Do I start by contacting the owners, the real estate agents, the school, the city? Who would be most likely to help? What groups could I get involved? Should I start a fundraising campaign on one of the online fundraising sites? If you have anything for me, please contact me by clicking the Facebook logo or the About link above.

By | 2015-04-24T12:59:42+00:00 April 5th, 2015|Inside Outcome, The Permaculture Pupil|1 Comment

About the Author:

Mother, wife, environmentalist, permaculturist, writer, secular Buddhist, lifelong learner.

One Comment

  1. Melissa Irizarry April 25, 2015 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    This is a great idea. Luckily there are people out there who have already done similar projects and the idea of schoolyard gardens is growing in popularity.

    I suggest you contact The Edible Schoolyard Project. They were one of the first to successfully integrate the schoolyard garden and they have training programs available to others who want to do the same. https://edibleschoolyard.org/node/78

    The schoolyard gardens here is Ames, are run by volunteers (I think) and the schoolyard garden I worked at in the USVI is run by Iowa State University student interns. It is called the EARTH program. Good luck!

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