Edible Schoolyard New Orleans (www.esynola.org) holds its annual fundraiser An Edible Evening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 26, at the Dreamkeeper Garden at Langston Hughes Academy (3519 Trafalgar St.), one of five open-enrollment charter schools run by FirstLine Schools. The event features music by Tuba Skinny, Seguenon Kone and Social Set, wines from Presqu'ile Winery and food from local restaurants including Atchafalaya, Carmo, Commander's Palace, Cowbell, Dooky Chase's Restaurant, La Petite Grocery, Latitude 29, Link Restaurant Group, Mondo, MoPho, Ralph's on the Park, Shaya, Twelve Mile Limit and many others. Dickie Brennan and Company sponsors the patron party at 6 p.m.
More than 3,100 students participate in garden and/or cooking classes through Edible Schoolyard. Two schools have kitchen classrooms and five have garden space. Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School students grow produce in aeroponic towers, and there are after-school culinary classes. Arthur Ashe Charter School is expanding its garden to nearly an acre and will have an outdoor teaching space and a greenhouse. Programs address everything from gardening skills to nutrition to shopping and planning menus.
"In one of my favorite lessons, we have kids make two different kinds of pizza," says Edible Schools New Orleans Executive Director Claudia Barker. "One of them we make with grocery store ingredients and one comes from farmers market ingredients. We calculate how much each pizza actually costs and we compare taste."
Programming also engages students' parents and families. Some schools have family food nights, where parents can learn about nutrition, shopping and topics their child-ren study. Schools also give produce from the gardens to students' families.
Edible Evening tickets are $45 through Tuesday, March 24, or $60 at the door.