"We have always said if kids grow their own food and they tend to it and they water it, they will eat it."
That's the philosophy behind the edible gardens at Bedford Road School and Pleasantville Middle School, according to Andrea Garbarini, founder of the two that have been around for almost a decade.
"They will actually eat green things," she joked.
Now, Garbarini and Juliette Saisselin are looking to bring that philosophy and experience to Pleasantville High School.
"We are hoping to get it built—at least part of it—by the end of this month, which is very aggressive," Saisselin stated.
But with a big fundraiser underway this week at Captain Lawrence Brewery and an enthusiastic high school sophomore spearheading efforts at the high school, the duo thinks it's feasible for students to plant their first vegetables by the spring.
Alexandra Goldhorn, 15, has stepped up as president of the high school's Garden Club, which was formed a few months ago as the edible garden idea began to take shape.
"I have learned my gardening skills through my grandparents," she wrote in an email to Patch. "I remember being young growing tomatoes and string peas and popping them in my mouth."
Goldhorn is looking to spread word about the garden and club to her fellow students and working with the club's advisors—Garbarini and Saisselin—as the project moves forward.
"i hope that the garden affects all students in a positive way and that every student can learn from it," she said. "I hope that the garden is completely built and functional by the end of this year."
At BRS and PMS, the gardens have become fully integrated into all subject matters at the schools. Garbarini and Saisselin hope that will also be the case at the high school.
"We have interest in our special education program," said Pleasantville High School Principal Dawn Bartz. "Also, our environmental science teacher said this might fit into parts of her curriculum as well."
Eventually, the yield from the garden might even make it's way to the cafeteria.
The garden, which will be built near the turf field's scoreboard, is expected to be significantly larger than the other two.
And given the high school students' ages and maturity, they will likely take on a more ownership role of the garden than at the other two schools.
"It's going to teach them about ecology, sustainability and going green," said Saisselin. "That whole connection is so important for this generation and it's really going to mobilize them to be more aware of their planet and the connection to health and where food comes from."
Added Bartz, "This would be a nice example of a partnership between students and community members...Ultimately, they might be able to harvest the food that they grow and could donate it or do something in the realm of community service."
But before all that, organizers are working on securing funding for fencing, tools, soil and seeds to bring the garden's basic structure to fruition.
"If anyone can do it, it's [Saisselin and Garbarini]," said Bartz, adding, "I told Andrea I can picture her driving a tractor down Romer Avenue."
Proceeds from Thursday's NEXT Charity Concert at Captain Lawrence Brewery (444 Saw Mill River Rd. Elmsford) featuring Deadbeat Darling will benefit the Edible Garden project. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online in advance. Doors open at 7 p.m. and music starts at 8 p.m.
If you would like to donate to the garden, mail checks to made out to Pleasantville High School (with "Edible Garden" on memo line):
23 Grove St.
Pleasantville, NY 10570