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The Founder of Lehmann Maupin Gallery does double duty as a board member at Edible Schoolyard NYC. Here, he talks about the organization and how you can get involved.

 

In a nutshell, The Edible Schoolyard is…
An incredible organization dedicated to educating children about building and sharing an edible education. We envision gardens as interactive classrooms, and hope to empower students with the knowledge and confidence to make educated decisions about the foods they consume. Edible Schoolyard NYC is also committed to incorporating gardening and agriculture in various academic curriculums, like math, social studies and science.

I first became involved when…
Board member John Lyons approached me. He knew I was from the Bay Area, where Edible Schoolyard began, and thought I would want to be involved in working with the New York program in a major way.

I’m passionate about this cause because…
I grew up gardening. It is an important skill that every child should have knowledge of. It has been amazing to see how all the people, teachers and supporters of Edible Schoolyard NYC are so focused and determined to teach children about stopping the health crisis and ensuring environmental sustainability. Their dedication and determination is contagious, and as a board member I am honored to play a part in their fight for change.

The program has taught me that…
An edible education is a human rights issue. In order for children to make conscious choices about the food they consume, they all need to be given the same rights and resources.

You should know that…
The teachers, staff members, board members and educators are so incredibly passionate about and extraordinarily dedicated to this program. Anyone who donates or participates in our programs should feel confident that every resource they give goes directly towards making our mission a universal reality.

To get involved…
You can email me. Or, you can visit our website, esynyc.org, which has information on programing. Our next upcoming event is on December 2nd at Haven’s Kitchen, and tickets start at $125. You can find more information here. It should be a really fun night with great food and company.

To introduce your kids to an edible education at home…
Sit together for meals at least once a day. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, it’s important for parents to talk about the foods they’re eating and cooking for their children. Always try to buy produce as locally as you can, and make sure you are always trying new healthy foods.

And to instill an early interest in the arts…
You have to embed yourself in the arts community, wherever you live. Travel to galleries, museums, artists’ studios and talk about the things you are seeing. Discussing art is equally important as practicing art.

Dinner at home with our daughters includes…
A lot of different dishes. We try to have a large variety, multiple (small) courses, and quite often we introduce and reintroduce foods to our daughters. Parents should note that children could eat the same food 7 to 15 times before acquiring a taste for it. Be patient, and don’t be afraid to try new things.

For more features from our Food Issue, click here.

David, photographed by Mimi Ritzen Crawford, at New York’s Lehmann Maupin Gallery in Chelsea

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