Student garden goes international

Timberline school’s edible courtyard has the attention of a popular American television series.

Timberline school’s edible courtyard has the attention of a popular American television series.

A researcher from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, a program that follows English chef Jamie Oliver as he tries to reform school lunch programs in the United States, was impressed by the local high school’s story.

The edible courtyard is now gaining international exposure as a featured news story on the Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution website.

“Whether it is that you can set up a garden and educate students on nutrition from the ground up, or that you can start a nutrition committee at your school, we can start our own local revolutions and create change,” says Joanna Creed, research and social media analyst for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.

“This is why I decided to feature the edible courtyard; it’s a great story and especially nice to see an ex-student working on this project.”

Kira DeSorcy, a Timberline graduate, is the driving force behind the project and pitched the concept to Timberline principal Kevin Harrison.

She envisions the garden, which is not yet complete, as a place to grow food, promote horticultural therapy and teach students the value of nutrition and locally grown foods.

What comes out of the garden will go towards Timberline’s Skills for Life’s weekly lunch program and North Island College’s culinary arts program.

The garden grows in the quad between the two schools and in the future, may have picnic tables and a space that will double as a garden shed and an outdoor classroom.

The edible courtyard is now being used as an example of the right kind of approach to have to towards food, unlike the attitudes of the American cities Oliver features on his show.

“We like to showcase great stories such as this to highlight the fantastic things people from all ages and background are doing in their own Food Revolution and to inspire others by showing them that change can be made,” Creed says.

DeSorcy is thrilled with the publicity the courtyard is getting through the story and photos she submitted for the website.

“This kind of exposure is great,” DeSorcy says. “I think that school gardens play a huge role in inspiring environmental stewardship and healthy life skills for today’s youth, and by being acknowledged by someone like Jamie Oliver it can help forward the movement here.”

Oliver’s TV program is aimed at curbing obesity in the unhealthiest American cities through a grassroots health campaign. The show has ran for two seasons but was dropped due to lower second season ratings and will not return for a third season. The show’s website features stories from communities that have programs or initiatives that teach healthy eating habits.

To view Timberline’s edible courtyard story visit www.jamieoliver.com/us/foundation/jamies-food-revolution/index and click News, then Latest News.