Edible Schoolyard helps kids improve their relationship with food

"It does not have fake things."
Edible Schoolyard Kern County
Posted at 4:14 PM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-12 20:24:15-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Spring break is in full swing, but some students are still working hard, not with a pen and paper but with dirt and cooking oil.

The idea behind the edible schoolyard is to improve the relationship kids have with their food, and they are doing that not only by planting their vegetables but by eating them too.

Robert Chavez is one of twenty students from Stiern Middle School who is spending their spring break at the Buena Vista Edible Schoolyard.

“Today we are going to make dumplings with miso butter.”

For most of these kids, this is the first time they are cooking

“I like the process because it is freshly grown. It does not have fake things or chemicals, it is actual food, it is good, and I like it,” said Robert.

This change in mindset about what we eat is what the Edible Schoolyard is hoping to achieve.

“Kern County ranks 57 out of 58 counties in California in terms of overall health and wellness. The work we are doing is multigenerational. We will see these kids grow into adults that make better choices into what they eat and what they take in terms of nourishment,” said Dylan Wilson.

Dylan Wilson, the Program Director for the Edible Schoolyard, said the scholarship program they have either removes or reduces the costs of the program, which helps provide kids with these types of opportunities that they otherwise would not have.

“It is a great way for students to get out of their routine of staying at home for another spring break, this gives them the opportunity to get out when they would typically be stuck at home.”

Robert and his twin brother Nicholas, who is also in the program, said they would probably be playing games if they were not at the spring camp. For Nicholas being here might just be a game-changer in his career.

“It just feels cool here, we get to learn how to cook and stuff, because i want to open up a restaurant,” said Nicholas.

The spring session is wrapping up on Friday, but their next open session is this summer. They are opening applications Monday April 18. They have regular and scholarship positions available, but the director says the spots are very competitive.