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Turning gray into green: Creating edible gardens at local schools

By Hayley Fox
Published: Friday, March 23, 2012, at 03:53PM
Flickr via net_efekt

EnrichLA will be building a community garden at San Pedro Elementary School this weekend.

On Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at an elementary school on the outskirts of Downtown, volunteers and local residents will be building a garden for students to "get in touch" with where their food comes from.

Put on by EnrichLA, a non-profit that aims to bring edible gardens into every L.A. school., in conjunction with the Downtown Neighborhood Council and TreePeople, the event will include building an irrigation system and planting vegetables and trees at San Pedro Elementary School.

Leonardo Chalupowicz, co-founder of Enrich, said the organization built 17 school gardens last year and have at least that number slated to be created in 2012.

The concept behind the gardens is to use them as a teaching tool for children; demonstrating where food comes from (other than a shelf or a plastic bag) and what to do with fresh vegetables, Chalupowicz said.

The food produced in the garden isn't used to feed the whole school, but it will be made into a single dish or salad for the kids to taste -- or the vegetables will be distribute for the students to bring home.

Chalupowicz said they expect anywhere from 50 to 150 participants tomorrow, and that there will be some type of babysitting for parents who want to also bring their kids.

EnrichLA tries to build gardens in areas that may lack access to healthy, fresh good, Chalupowicz said, like in South L.A. If you know of a school in need of a garden, Enrich says to contact their executive director, Thomas O'Grady.

The elementary school is located at 1635 South San Pedro St.

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