The Green Yogi

Creating An Organic Laboratory In The Valley

Behind Room 28 of Kester Avenue Elementary School in Sherman Oaks, California the Ms. Anita Avalos’ kindergarten class have been becoming kinder-gardeners. The students, along with parents, teachers, and Urban Organic Gardener Michael Lieberman, have been planting the public school’s first organic vegetable garden.

Ms. Avalos, a teacher who believes in creative and alternative approaches to educating students, enthusiastically incorporates activities such as Yoga along with hands-on eco-friendly practices in her classroom. By implementing the garden, she’s trying to address some of society’s current concerns, from the dangerous rise of childhood obesity to the focus on “going green.” Through creating a garden of their own, the interactive project is aimed at giving students the unique opportunity to grow nutritious food in a sustainable, organic fashion.

The activity followed the innovative design and instruction of Michael Lieberman, the Urban Organic Gardener known for his ability to transform small spaces, including fire escapes, into luscious organic gardens. A native of New York – possibility one of the least friendly places to grow vegetables – Lieberman understands the inherent difficulties of growing an organic garden. Determined to make his garden work, as well as inspire others, Lieberman avidly pours his experience and advice onto his blog, titled “Urban Organic Gardener,” as an aid to those seeking the tools to make their own organic garden work.

Ms. Avalos’ community of students and parents successfully collaborated to create an exclusively organic and innovatively sustainable container garden. As a first-of-its kind instructional laboratory for the students, its purpose is to teach proper nutrition, life-cycle of plants, weather, seasons and our connection with the environment. The goals of the project are to help the students make nutritionally and environmentally sound choices, to minimize waste through composting, and to understand the benefits of locally and organically grown foods for the body and planet.

Since she believing that no age is the wrong age to educate our youth on the importance of living a green lifestyle, Ms. Avalos and her kinder-garden class serve as an exceptional example of how action taken now will help create a brighter future for our people and planet.

For those seeking a deeper insight into the world of Michael Lieberman, the Urban Organic Gardener, visit: urbanorganicgardener.com.

By Vanessa Harris