Gravesend's P.S. 216 Will Become Home to New York's First Edible Schoolyard

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The Edible Schoolyard will soon be sprouting in Gravesend.

Fifteen years after Alice Waters built the original Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, Ca., the program's first New York affiliate is set to bloom in Brooklyn.

The Times reports that P.S. 216 in Gravesend will be home to the new garden, which will be constructed on what is currently a quarter-acre asphalt parking lot. The garden will incorporate a chicken coop, cistern for collecting rainwater, composting system, and outdoor pizza oven, and will be accompanied by a new, $1.6-million solar-powered building that will contain a kitchen classroom. And each fall, a movable greenhouse will be rolled over the garden.

The funds to construct the garden and classroom are private, and will be raised through a series of invite-only events that Waters plans to attend here next month. And although Caitlin Flanagan would be simply horrified at the idea of yet more children being forced to work in the dirt instead of reciting Shakespeare, P.S. 216's principal offers a vastly more sensible perspective: "The only thing we force them to do is learn," Ms. Kaplinsky said. "And we do it so it doesn't hurt."


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