Teaching city kids about sustainable farming can be tricky. After all, in a bustling metropolis like New York, it’s easy to see why some youngsters think apples originate in bins at their local bodega. Famed foodie Alice Waters and her Chez Panisse Foundation aim to remedy that lack of knowledge with the Edible Schoolyard initiative, a program that builds gardens right on school properties. The latest Edible Schoolyard will be built at PS. 216, an elementary school located in Brooklyn’s Gravesend neighborhood.
Edible Schoolyard NY and the Chez Panisse Foundation collaborated with Work Architecture Company to design the impressive facility. The $1.6 million center will include a solar-powered kitchen classroom, mobile greenhouse, rainwater cistern, composting system, outdoor pizza oven, and a chicken coop. The test kitchen will serve as a classroom where up to 30 kids can gather to create meals together or learn other lessons. The kitchen’s butterfly-shaped roof collects rainwater and feeds into the neighboring mobile greenhouse, a structure that covers 1,600 square feet of soil in the cold months and slides away during the spring and summer seasons.
The goal of the Edible Schoolyard is not only to teach kids about sustainable food production, but also to serve as a hands-on, living ecosystem that can be used to incorporate math, art, history and science lessons. School administrators hope that eventually the facility will serve as a center for agriculture and the environment, a topic often addressed by many of today’s most prominent foodies.
Organizers still have some fundraising to do in order to secure enough money to build Brooklyn’s new Edible Schoolyard, but if all goes according to plan, designers will break ground on the project this summer.
Via Arch Daily