A recent piece in The Atlantic by Caitlin Flanagan criticizing the Edible Schoolyards program has gotten a lot of people riled up. Even Flanagan's colleague over at The Atlantic, Corby Kummer, weighed in with his disagreement.
I'm inclined to agree with Flanagan's critics. A quote from Kummer's essay summarizes how I feel about the issue:
"What we know about gardens is that it opens experiential pathways for kids to learn," he said. "Different learning experiences correlate highly with improved test scores. This gives kids a stronger background knowledge in the kinds of subjects that are likely to appear on standardized tests. They'll see the kinds of ideas, people, concepts, and different languages they're exposed to with the Edible Schoolyard appear on tests. It's very helpful."
This summer, the first New York branch of the Edible Schoolyards program will break ground in Brooklyn.