One of my favorite aspects of volunteering at Blue Jay’s Perch is sharing the garden with others, especially if it inspires them to learn more about food system sustainability. Last month, Raychel and I had the opportunity to share our passions for sustainable food production and campus action with about 20 high school students from across the country partaking in the Discover Hopkins Summer Program. These students were enrolled in a 2-week class entitled Food, Nutrition, and Public Health in which they learned an overview of food system sustainability and toured facilities in Baltimore that applied concepts from in the classroom.
The afternoon started off with a tour of the garden followed by a discussion of sustainable food and student activism at Hopkins. I was very impressed with the level of knowledge and curiosity that many of these students had—and it was only their first day of class! Students asked a variety of questions from composting to challenges with organic gardening to how Raychel and I apply our studies to our daily lives.
When I was their age, I had never heard of the term “sustainable food systems,” which goes to show the growing awareness of this important discipline. The fact that Hopkins now offers a summer high school course on this is really encouraging. I hope that this is just the beginning of a new movement of conscious students interested in working towards a more sustainable food system.