Edible School Yard at PS 7, East Harlem
Tour Time: 12:00pm
160 East 120th Street, New York, NY 10035
Edible Schoolyard NY is an innovative program that combines gardening and cooking organic vegetables with the elementary school curriculum in public schools across New York City. Originally started by chef and food activist Alice Waters in Berkley California, WORKac has been working with Edible Schoolyard NY on translating the concept to one large demonstration project in each borough. The first project, in Brooklyn, was completed in 2014 and combined a greenhouse and kitchen classroom with a quarter-acre organic garden on the site of what used to be a parking lot.
For PS7 in Harlem, we have designed a rooftop garden and a new greenhouse that connects a renovated kitchen in one part of the existing school with offices in another part. These upper-level spaces are combined with a series of brightly colored planters – created from repurposed feeding troughs for livestock – at ground level. These planters are prototypes that can be used at other schools unable to support the larger kitchen-classrooms.
Some elements – such as the flower-pattern façade formed by pixels of cementitious shingles – are retained from the earlier project while others, such as the bright blue stairway that connects the greenhouse and rooftop garden with the planters on the ground, are new. As at PS216, sustainable systems are on display so that the garden, greenhouse, kitchen and planters all become tools for discovery and learning.