Edible Schoolyard Proposed At Bridgehampton

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More than a decade ago, chef Alice Waters founded the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, California sparking a national culinary movement to bring the production of food back in time from the fast, cheap and processed fare of the 1980s and ‘90s to organic methods of cultivation almost abandoned in the fast food age, resulting in healthier foods higher in protein and vitamins.

And now Judiann Carmack-Fayyaz wants to execute the same concept in Bridgehampton.

During a Bridgehampton Union Free School District Board of Education meeting on Monday, September 8, Carmack-Fayyaz presented to the board the concept of creating an Edible Schoolyard at Bridgehampton as a way to further the landscape and environmental design course she leads at the school.

The class would seek to create a garden at the school using the principles of organic and sustainable farming, which Carmack-Fayyaz noted could involve a number of educational disciplines in its execution. She envisions the garden — which she said could be similar to programs developed at the Hayground School and at Sag Harbor Elementary School — ultimately being used by the whole school to promote healthy eating habits and possibly even supply the school’s meal program with fresh fruits and vegetables.

The garden would be designed by the landscape design class with a kitchen garden and greenhouse planned behind the administration and middle school buildings at Bridgehampton, according to a handout provided by Carmack-Fayyaz. At this point, she was simply seeking board approval to move forward with the concept, so students can begin drawing up plans for the project and fundraising. She said it will be the landscape and environmental design class’s main project of the school year.

“Can you grow some herbs for our café,” asked school board vice president Elizabeth Kotz.

The board said they were indeed interested in the idea.

Shared Services

Shared services between the Bridgehampton School and the Sag Harbor School District have so far focused solely on Bridgehampton students attending advanced placement classes in Sag Harbor. But on Monday, superintendent Dr. Dianne Youngblood announced that it is her hope “sharing will become a two-way street,” with Sag Harbor students taking advantage of Bridgehampton programming and the schools working in an East End purchasing cooperative to save taxpayer dollars.

Dr. Youngblood announced the possibility after noting that a junior Bridgehampton student will begin an advanced placement history course at Pierson this year. Bridgehampton history teacher Henry Meyer is developing the district’s own advanced placement history course, which principal Jack Pryor hopes will be available for students next year. The school has also forwarded Sag Harbor superintendent Dr. John Gratto a copy of Bridgehampton’s master schedule in hopes the shared services may become reciprocal.

Dr. Youngblood added that Dr. Gratto was also looking to convene a meeting of business administrators from the East End school districts over the course of the next couple of months to discuss ways the schools can share services like purchasing in an effort to provide some collective bargaining power for the districts.

Tunnel To Towers Run

On Sunday, September 28 the Bridgehampton senior class hopes to participate in the Tunnel to Towers 5K Run/Walk, which starts on the Brooklyn side of the Battery Tunnel. The race is in memory of Stephen Siller, a New York City off-duty firefighter who raced towards the scene of the World Trade Center by foot after being denied entry to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. Siller was last seen at West and Liberty Streets, where it is believed he was looking for his squad, all of whom perished on September 11, 2001.

Senior class advisor and special education teacher Ken Giosi asked the board for approval to allow the class to hold three car washes at the school — on September 11, September 13 and September 18 — to raise enough money to attend the 5K.

Giosi added that while the students are interested in participating and fundraising for the race, it is their hope members of the faculty and board of education will get involved to make the event a school-wide activity.

To commemorate the beginning of school, the Bridgehampton Parent Teacher Organization will host a barbecue and back to school night on Thursday, September 18 at 5 p.m.

The Bridgehampton Board of Education will hold its next workshop meeting on Wednesday, September 24 at 7 p.m. Its next regular board meeting is on Tuesday, October 14 at 7 p.m. 

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