Children working in the Edible Academy's garden.

About the Edible Academy

The immensely popular edible gardening program at The New York Botanical Garden will soon be able to extend its impact and greatly broaden its reach through the new Edible Academy, opening in June 2018. Recognized as a leader in garden-based education for schools, families, and community groups, the NYBG has found that demand for such programs far exceeds current capacity. Childhood obesity and other health problems caused by poor nutrition have brought a heightened interest in learning about growing fresh fruits and vegetables and preparing healthy foods.

A young girl watering plants in the Edible Academy's garden.

Donate today!

There is still time to make a contribution to this incredible new initiative, and help support the Edible Academy’s opening in 2018. You can learn more about the proposed facilities; the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, cornerstone of the Edible Academy; and the current and future garden programming your pledge will support below.

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Visualizing the Future of The Edible Academy

The new complex will host many exceptional features, focusing on energy conservation, sustainability, and first-class education facilities.

From the Ground Up: Vermicomposting in the Family Garden

Vegetable gardening in the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, cornerstone of the future Edible Academy, begins deep in the dirt—and vermicomposting ensures we have the very best soil possible.

Here, Annie Novak, Manager of the Edible Academy, discusses the earthworms that make it all happen, and the improved composting facilities that will be made possible by the Edible Academy initiative.

Healthy Harvests & Hands-On Learning

Garden-fresh, organic vegetables are at the heart of the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, and we’re not just harvesting them—we’re cooking them and teaching kids and families to do the same!

See how our Whole Foods Market® Demonstration Kitchen and the Dig! Plant! Grow! program are providing techniques and recipes that anyone can use in the home kitchen, and laying the groundwork for future programming in the Edible Academy.

Global Gardens at NYBG

Below we speak with Frank Russo—a long-time volunteer in our Family Garden and the caretaker of the Italy Garden—about the history of the vegetable plantings here at NYBG, and the heirloom seeds passed from generation to generation that make up our many crops.

Beekeeping with Annie Novak

Serving as the foundation of our future Edible Academy, the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden has been a hub of green education for decades, now celebrating the 60th anniversary of its Children’s Gardening Program in 2016!

This week we caught up with Annie Novak, Manager of the Edible Academy, for a look into the lives of some of the busiest contributors in this two-acre vegetable garden: our honeybees. These pollinators are a big part of what makes our programs here possible, and they’ll continue to play an integral role after our Edible Academy is completed—both as hardworking supporters of our crops’ success and tools for educating kids, families, and teachers about the importance of pollinators to our food chain.