Tag Archives: Edible Schoolyard Project

Despite theft, ‘best ever’ Edible Schoolyard Plant Sale

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The Edible Schoolyard Plant Sale at King Middle School on Saturday May 10 was probably the best ever in terms of raising funds for the nonprofit, according to its director, Katrina Heron.

The annual event, one of Berkeley’s favorites on the community calendar, offered a chance to stock up on herbs, perennials and flowers, enjoy oven-fired pizza, pick up some gardening advice, and take student-guided tours of the garden.

Organizers were disappointed when they showed up early on Saturday, however, to find that some plants and compost had been stolen from the garden, and some of its sunflowers had been beheaded. Fortunately, Heron said, it wasn’t a significant amount and the sale went on to be hugely successful. The tally had yet to be done at the time of writing.

Contributing photographer Nancy Rubin was there to document the day. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley school board set to vote on slashed budget for cooking and gardening program

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UPDATE, 03.27.14: As expected, the Berkeley Unified School Board last night voted to commit $485,000 for the coming year to its gardening program, under the terms outlined it the proposal that called for gardening classes for pre-kindergarten through grade 7. [See the full proposal on the BUSD Board meeting agenda packet, starting on page 54.] Commenting on the move, Martin Bourque, Executive Director of the Ecology Center, said Berkeley was showing leadership in finding money from its budget for the pioneering program after losing nearly $2m in federal funding. “Who else is stepping up like that on their own dime?,” he said. “Berkeley is leading the way.”

ORIGINAL STORY: For the past few months the Berkeley school district has been struggling along with funding for its beloved cooking and gardening program. After some back-and-forth on proposals this winter, the board is now expected to vote March 26 to approve very reduced funding for gardening classes only in the 2014-15 school year.

Supporters – teachers, students and parents – pleaded with the school board at its March 12 meeting not to make further cuts to the cooking and gardening classes, which lost an annual $1.9 million in federal funding last fall. The program is already operating on less than half its former budget this year – about $850,000 — with bridge funds. Next year’s budget would be under $500,000.

“This has been a very difficult process for all of us,” Superintendent Donald Evans said. “This is a nationally recognized program. But that was when we had $2 million. We can no longer retain that type of program.” … Continue reading »

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