The Daily Feed: School Garden Defenders Respond in Force

When you piss off school garden advocates, prepare for a fiery, impassioned response.

Almost two weeks ago, a friend of mine emailed me a link to this article in The Atlantic. The crux of the piece was that school gardens are a Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Idea. Why? Because school is for preparing kids for college, and children should therefore not waste time digging in the dirt. The author, Caitlin Flanagan, also made several other points, including 1) that having the children of recent immigrants do unpaid labor in the fields (i.e. gardens) is callous and unjust, and 2) that Alice Waters has no place in our nation’s classrooms.

Writers, bloggers, and school garden advocates nationwide replied fervently. Writer Sarah Henry of Lettuce Eat Kale does a nice round-up and adds her own perspective here, and chef Kurt Michael Friese, who serves on the board of Slow Food USA, posted his thoughts on Civil Eats here.

It’s too bad the original piece angered so many. Or is it? In coming to the movement’s defense, school garden proponents rallied in passionate unison, their voices now louder than ever before.


Cheryl Sternman Rule is a widely-published food writer and the voice behind the blog 5 Second Rule.

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