This week, the Santa Barbara Edible Education Symposium (SBEES) will provide a feast for minds, hearts, and bellies. First held in 2015, the symposium ― geared toward teachers, farmers, food service providers, and anyone eager to learn how to grow the food literacy movement ― is an interactive space to learn about nutrition and sustainable agriculture.
“The common vision is to encourage the success of youth in and out of the school setting by providing a rich learning environment and access to healthy food,” said Marla Greer, school garden coordinator for Explore Ecology.
The two-day event will take place October 11-12. On the 11th, participants will tour beautiful gardens and a local farm, with snacks included. On the 12th, at La Cumbre Junior High, attendees will delve deeper in farm-to-school related topics with panel discussions, presentations, and workshops. That evening in the school’s garden, the first annual edible education leadership award will be presented to Kim Johnson of the Johnson Ohana Foundation.
Participants will celebrate with a farm-to-table harvest dinner complete with pizza from Full of Life Flatbread and organic salad with greens from the Explore Ecology School Gardens. Special guests and music will round out the evening. “The intention of this symposium is to make valuable connections, share best practices and showcase program successes in edible education across the central coast and beyond,” Greer said.
Explore Ecology, the local environmental education and arts non-profit, has been an active participant in the edible education movement since the start and took on the role as lead organization for the symposium in 2018. “Our school garden program creates an enriching on campus, outdoor classroom for students in 36 SB county schools,” Greer said. “We work to grow healthy food, healthy bodies, and long lasting friendships.”
To learn more and purchase tickets, visit exploreecology.org/sbees/.