Samuel J. Green Charter School
As the Edible Schoolyard New Orleans' first garden, the growing spaces at Samuel J. Green Charter School wrap around the school, encircling its students with reminders that the natural world inspires curiosity, and that beauty is the language of caring. Whether it's finding a quiet space in the butterfly garden to reflect, keeping an eye on the fruit ripening each day in the side yard orchard, or getting hands in the dirt in the main garden beds, Green's gardens inspire exploration and the sense that something truly wonderful might be just around the corner, or under the next leaf. The beloved grape arbor entrance tempts visitors to look up toward the sky, while the tile row edging and wetland habitats invite visitors to look closely for the smaller creatures who make this garden home.
Visible from the upper floors of the building, the garden is both whimsical and orderly, and brings great joy to Green's staff and students alike, the latter of whom are often observed hanging over the playground fence during recess and requesting mustard greens or green beans to snack on.
Inside the school is Edible Schoolyard New Orleans' first teaching kitchen, which can accommodate up to 30 students busily chopping, mixing, cooking, and enjoying fresh seasonal food grown in the garden. With three cooking stations and tables, classes are broken into smaller groups so students always get hands-on experiences with food. The teaching kitchen at Green is homey, warm, and always bustling with activity. Parents and neighbors visit, too, for Family Food Nights, where we all cook and share a meal, Open Garden Days, and many other celebrations featuring healthy food, cooked with love.