On my recent visit to the Edible Schoolyard Berkeley, I had the opportunity to sit in on a 6th grade garden class. They engaged in a powerful, interactive lesson on greenhouse gasses, shared ownership over multiple garden tasks, then at the end of class, enjoyed a tasting out of the garden together.
On this day, they were tasting pineapple guava – something this Georgian had never had before, but it was growing on a tree right there in the Edible Schoolyard!
The pineapple guava was harvested and the students utilized the outdoor kitchen, simply equipped with two sinks, some cutting boards, and a jar full of cutting knives, to slice up the fruit.
The appropriate method for slicing the fruit was modeled by the teacher – using the bridge technique for the initial cut, then setting the fruit with the flat side down for the subsequent cuts, what to do with your knife when it isn’t in use, etc.
Then the students had the opportunity to try it on their own. They were each given two fruits to slice and then to place in a pattern on the community platter – recognizing that the product would be for the community as a whole rather than expressing ownership over specific slices, and placing an emphasis on the importance of the beautiful presentation.
Students served their peers from the platters and waited until all were served to take a bite. Conversation was shared with neighboring friends before shared throughout the group. On their way out of the garden, (not surprisingly) the remaining slices were scooped up for the students to share amongst their class.
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