We s’Cool Garden educators work every week in our organic gardens to convey the virtues of sustainable management to our kids. Discussing concepts like environmental stewardship and healthy eating and dialoging with students about how to live our lives in ways that create healthy people, healthy plants and a healthy planet. We teach out students about composting and worm bins, cover crops and beneficial insects. And they love it. They eat it up, literally and figuratively. Gobbling up tomatoes and strawberries right off the plants and reminding each other why it’s safe to eat the food that way, “It’s organic, you don’t have to wash it”, “It’s just a little dirt, you can brush that off'”. It’s a wonderful thing for children to form an intimate relationship with a garden and with their food, it connects them to their world and to their health in a way that, I think, nothing else can. Which is why I think it’s so important to maintain these spaces as organic and why I’m so proud to be a part of the Summerland school community’s push to make their school and hopefully the entire Carpinteria School District a pesticide free zone. I feel reinvigorated this morning about fighting that good fight after an inspiring turn out to last night’s CUSD Board meeting to discuss pesticide use in schools. I spoke briefly, representing the garden and my voice was joined by so many other concerned community members, from parents and teachers to doctors and local grounds keepers who have “gone organic”. All were expressing their concern, but more importantly I feel, they were presenting viable solutions and offering their individual expertise and personal time to help the school district make the switch. It will be interesting to see how the board processes all that they heard last night and what comes of it. I am aware of how slow and laborious they kinds of bureaucratic processes can be, but I am also very hopeful and inspired by the outpouring of support for this worthy and important cause.