The Edible Classroom helps families, gardeners, farmers and herbalists learn how to grow a wide variety of edibles in ways that increases the health of our local ecosystems.
The educational space is filled with fruits, vegetables and herbs, many of which are free for harvesting. Community groups, families and Parks and Recreation programs use the classroom to learn, tend, explore, snack and add artistic elements.
No synthetic pesticides or herbicides are allowed in the landscape.
South side of the
Robert A. Lee Rec. Center
220 South Gilbert, Iowa City
The three areas of the landscape are designed as a community resource, similar to a library or community art room, where residents can learn about local foods through classes, seasonal celebratory events, tours and casual visits.
View the design in The Garden as Your Classroom publication.
Six raised beds can be checked out for the growing season by individuals and groups. Arbors provide support for growing vegetable vines.
Produce from the gardens can be harvested for personal use, donated to food pantries or made available for free harvesting by visitors. Signs indicate how the produce will be used.
In the center of the landscape, tasty fruits, perennial vegetables, medicinal herbs and beautiful flowers are free to harvest.
This area of orchard crops emulates the patterns of a healthy woodland ecosystem, demonstrating how interconnected trees, shrubs, herbs and ground covers can lower maintenance, increase food yields, support desired wildlife, build soil, reduce erosion and clean air.
Educational signs describe what to harvest and when it is ready.
The large, grassy area can be reserved for classes and events. A stage, tables and chairs all support a flexible and comfortable learning environment.