Since 2006 at Alain Savary, a secondary school in Istres (France), Year 9 pupils enrolled in DPA (a class focussing on hands-on discovery of various professions) have had the opportunity to be introduced to gardening and landscaping in addition to taking traditional classes. In this way, they discover fruits and vegetables, often previously unknown to them, from seed all the way to serve.
Throughout the school year, under the supervision of their teacher and a landscape gardener, the pupils discover the basics of gardening, the stages of cultivation and the different periods of harvesting. With the fresh fruits and vegetables grown in their garden, the pupils then take part in cookery workshops, creating fruit cocktails and baking zucchini cakes and Halloween pumpkin cookies, which they then share with other classmates in the school.
Thanks to the educational garden and the scented garden, the pupils also have the chance to take part in designing enclosed gardens – Japanese gardens in particular.
This project allows for interdisciplinary teaching to educate students about biodiversity, sustainable development and healthy eating behaviours.
The Louis Bonduelle Foundation subsidized the implementation of these gardening courses within the framework of its call for proposals for Winter 2007-2008 and Summer 2010.