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Episode Info

Episode Info:

A learning garden, as envisioned by Kimbal Musk’s Big Green initiative, is where kids can learn about their connection to real food.  While Kimbal’s brother Elon is tunneling under LA to reinvent high-speed transportation, sending rockets into orbit to reboot commercial space travel for our time, and mass-marketing electric cars, Kimbal Musk is working with food. Over the last six years he’s started restaurants, designed vertical gardens, and developed an ambitious plan to put a thousand gardens into schools so that kids can discover their connection to food by growing it themselves. The idea is simple: A pre-fab, modular raised-bed garden that goes in a schoolyard, with seating for thirty students who attend outdoor classes about gardening, science, nutrition, and cooking. The white polyethylene garden structure is designed to last longer than the schoolyard  it occupies. The project is called Big Green, and it includes the garden itself plus a fifteen-part lesson plan for teachers.  There are learning gardens in Chicago,  Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Memphis, and Pittsburgh, with plans for more. “When we enter a city, we enter not to built one garden, but to build a hundred gardens at a time,” Tighe Hutchins, the program director of Big Green,  said on the podcast.  She works closely with school administrations and communities to make the gardens part of student life Kyle Kuusisto, a teacher at a Memphis school, tells us what it’s like to teach physical education classes, and then transition to gardening, science, yoga and food prep classes.  

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