Let us lay out our name for you. Defined by some, the goal of a kitchen garden is to make the function of providing food aesthetically joyful.
We could end there.
But there is so much more.
We are the Kitchen Garden Corps, and we have a history. They may not know it, but we have many parents. We are part jardin potager, kailyaird, ornamental garden, vegetable garden, backyard garden, victory garden, organic garden, conventional garden, barnyard, farm, herb garden, native garden, compost pile, back forty, animal yard, and yes, even witches’ garden!
Sure, like any family, there are some ancestors we claim more than others. We do not exactly run around yelling, “”Where basil grows, no evil goes!” And depending on the season, we resemble some family members over others. In winter, we are mostly Scottish as in the kailyard, or quite literally, yard full of cabbage and other green vegetables. But really who can escape their family history. We see all our folks at the family reunion!
And we hope schools across the world reunite with gardens, whatever shape, form, or name those gardens take. We believe in gardens as central features, sources of food, resources, community, and knowledge. This should always be the case, especially in times of plenty.
And in times of scarcity?
In times of worsening economic and environmental conditions. In these times, gardens should be places of hope for a more sustainable world. Because sustainable implies an opportunity to pursue happiness, and we see this opportunity every new growing season, every time a student tastes a vegetable straight from the garden, and every time a student takes stock of their place in the garden.
A garden is no one being’s place.
It is a shared place.
It is a cared for place.
It is a garden just right outside a kitchen.