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Garden Program In Dozens Of South Coast Schools Giving Kids Hands On Lessons On Food Supply

A group of students in Santa Barbara is literally about to taste the fruit, and the vegetables of its labor. The experience starts with them working in their school garden, and then going to a nearby farm-to-table restaurant to sample what they’ve grown. It’s a unique effort to help kids learn about gardening, farming, and where we get our food.

About 200 students at Santa Barbara’s Notre Dame School are in a school garden program run by the non-profit group “Explore Ecology.”

The program has created more than 30 gardens at school campuses in Santa Barbara County. After the kids water the plants, they walk several blocks to “Satellite,” a farm to table restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara. Co-owner Drew Cuddy greets the kids, and serves them soup made from some of the produce they helped grow.

The seven year old Explore Ecology garden program is the largest offering by the non-profit, which is the umbrella organization for a number of educational and arts efforts aimed at kids.

Some of the funding comes from the “Audacious Foundation,” which supports programs which go past basic academics for low income students.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.