Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto will provide plenty of space for food education, a theme to which Slow Food is devoting increasing attention. The programme of the world food communities’ meeting includes a series of Earth Laboratories on ecological farming themes, where the learning communities will also take part. One particular appointment is on Sunday 29 October at 3pm: the Earth Laboratory Strategies – Local food for education. From school vegetable gardens to ecological literacy, successful experiences in the teaching of agriculture and public catering.
The school vegetable gardens project, which was approved at the Slow Food International Congress in Naples in 2003, has proved to be an effective education tool through which younger generations can directly experience the meaning of natural cycles, seasons, terroir, and respect for the environment. This project revealed the importance of the role of the learning community created when those involved directly (parents, grandparents who grow vegetables, teachers) or indirectly (municipal government, seed or plant suppliers) recognise their role as an important reference point for younger generations.
At Terra Madre the Italian and foreign learning communities can become a part of the network so that the model represented by each small community can be the subject of comparison and an incentive for change.
Today there are 62 active school garden projects in Italy, 42 around the world (in Austria, USA, Canada, Sweden, France, Spain, Brazil, Lebanon and Australia).