BC students help raise money for elementary student garden


Jocelyn Sandusky

All students at Buena Vista Elementary learn how to garden and cook fruits and vegetables in healthy recipes.

Jocelyn Sandusky, Reporter

The Edible Schoolyard at Buena Vista Elementary hosted a Toast and Taste the Season event on Oct. 25.

The event was in partnership with various local food and drink merchants such as Cafe Smitten and Redhouse Beef to raise money for Edible Schoolyard Kern County.

Edible Schoolyard Kern County is an initiative to get children to lead healthier lifestyles by getting children out of the traditional classroom setting and into a hands-on, nature-driven learning experience that teaches them to garden and cook their own foods.

Jocelyn Sandusky
All students at Buena Vista Elementary learn how to garden and cook fruits and vegetables in healthy recipes.

The event led by example. Kitchen educators with the program created the night’s recipes and used ingredients and vegetables from the school garden.

The garden was decorated with delicate and dim lighting that dangled from the trees. To accommodate the number of people at the event, organizers set up small tables draped in white tablecloths so people could enjoy their food and drinks while standing and mingling.

To add to the night, live musicians sang slow and sultry songs.

Students from Bakersfield College’s culinary arts department were also in attendance to help serve drinks and dishes.

Jocelyn Sandusky
The night was in partnership with local businesses to showcase the Edible Schoolyard Kern County initiative.

Bakersfield College became involved with the event because Anna Melby, professor of culinary arts, used to work for one of Edible Schoolyard Kern County’s programs while also working as an adjunct professor at BC. She suggested to her superiors at both institutions to use BC culinary arts students so they could get service experience while also helping a good cause.

Jocelyn Sandusky
Attendees enjoyed a night of live music, drinks and food.

Dayla Sly a culinary arts student at BC, volunteered her time at the event to gain experience in food service, food preparation and presentation. She hoped the night would teach her the basic skills that she would need to open her own restaurant or cafe one day.

Although she did not prepare the food, she still enjoyed helping and gaining experience in the food industry.

“I love it, this is a really big passion of mine,” Sly said.

Throughout the night, she helped kitchen educator Pricila Madrano serve her olive oil ice cream, made with olives from the garden.

Jocelyn Sandusky
The event raised money to fund Edible Schoolyard Kern County programs.

The olive oil ice cream was not the only thing being served up that night. There was a long line for the artisan, wood-fired pizza and cultivated wines. Heather Henry and Matt Leary enjoyed their small pizza and were looking forward to tasting the foods at the other booths.

They learned about the event through Instagram and wanted to gain some cooking inspiration so they could venture out with their food.

Henry wishes she had a program like Edible Schoolyard when she was in school to teach her how to garden. She thinks it would have made school a lot of fun.

“I think It’s a great way to get kids out of the classroom,” Henry said.