Children discovering vegetables

Ackerdemia, the vegetable academy – Germany / Austria

Inspiring a young generation for healthy nutrition and sustainability!

By intelligently combining agriculture and education, Christoph Schmitz has re-invented the way in which to restore our knowledge and understanding of environmental processes and thus sets the foundation for a whole new generation of people to think and act more sustainably.

Christoph’s idea
Christoph thus designed a highly impactful and easily scalable environmental education curriculum: throughout a whole school year students not only sow and harvest vegetables but they also have to sell them and prepare the field for the next crop thereby taking responsibility for future generations. He engages the students by using games and a play-centered curriculum designed to teach them about vegetables, healthy nutrition and their value in a larger food production context. The field serves as the perfect means to illustrate different facets of sustainable behavior in a globalized world.

A long-term project
In contrast to most school garden projects, the Vegetable Academy goes beyond one-time programmatic interventions and is based on a sustainable financial and scaling model. Constituted as a professional service system, it allows teachers all across Germany and beyond to easily implement the curriculum at their institution, adopt it to the particular needs of their schools while receiving continuous support and materials by the Vegetable Academy team and their network of external mentors. A matching fund system ensures a viable financial model for every Vegetable Academy at school.

To learn more about this project, click here.