Fifteen Years of Edible Education at FirstLine Schools

Oct 21, 2021
  • Description

Getting to this place–where what used to be a concrete yard next to a school is now a living, breathing, food-producing ecosystem, powered and beloved and owned by students–has taken us… awhile. Wander with us along the winding garden path that is our 15-year history, and we will point out some sights along the way.

We start with the return to school after Hurricane Katrina: our history began with a few plants in pots in the side yard of Samuel J. Green school. Brilliant children, whose lives had been disrupted by the floods that followed the storm, were unable to sit still and had difficulty focusing. Dr. Anthony Recasner, a child psychologist and leader of the reopening of Green, recognized these early signs of trauma. He had seen in garden club at New Orleans Charter Middle how being outdoors and taking care of living things gave children agency, confidence, and a sense of community, and he saw the busted-up back of the campus as an opportunity. So when the famous chef, Alice Waters, founder of the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, California, came to New Orleans, and asked if Green would like to replicate her model of edible education, Recasner said yes.

Fifteen Years of Edible Education at FirstLine Schools