Woolly School Garden with Cecconi’s at Melrose Elementary + Ammo’s Larchmont Charter/Edible Schoolyard Benefit Brunch

by Jessica on October 26, 2010

Here’s a piece I wrote for Squid Ink about the awesome project now under way at Melrose Elementary School Math/ Science/Technology Magnet on Detroit just north of Melrose. Chef Andrea Cavaliere of Cecconi’s — which gets two thumbs up from Taster Tots — is collaborating with the school and Woolly Pocket’s Woolly School Garden arm to create an on-campus garden with vertical hanging planters and raised beds. It’s not a totally new concept in our post-Alice Waters age, but this extension of Mrs. O‘s Chefs Move to Schools initiative makes this kind of undertaking way more practical and feasible given myriad institutional and physical limitations. Cecconi’s will purchase back some of the herbs grown on the property to help reinvest in additional planters, and Chef Cavaliere will stop by regularly to check on the garden and work with school’s nutrition programs. How cool is that? The website has a map of participating schools and chefs; I’m excited to see how the program grows and progresses, and even talk to my son’s school about it.

Woolly Pockets founder Miguel Nelson, whose Marvimon is one of the most amazing party spaces I’ve EVER been to, says it’s a totally ready-to-go system. Perhaps even the high school my sister teaches at in the Bronx would be game. The kids at Melrose Elementary Magnet were super psyched, and just peeking in their journals (such as the one below) was impressive and inspiring.

Also of related interest: at AMMO, chefs Dan Mattern and Roxana Jullapat are putting together a benefit for the Edible Schoolyard at the most excellent Larchmont Charter School. The brunch is on Sunday, November 7, and 15% of food and drink revenues will be donated, while 100% of proceeds from baked items sold that day will be given to the program. All the better reason to stock up on Roxana’s goods!

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