Kim Johnson Honored with Edible Education Award at SBEES

Santa Barbara:  Edible education advocate Kim Johnson will be honored with the inaugural SBEES Award at the Santa Barbara Edible Education Symposium (SBEES) on October 11th and 12th. SBEES will celebrate and showcase best practices in edible education, bringing together farmers, gardeners, food service providers, educators, youth, and others interested in cultivating the food literacy movement along the Central Coast and throughout the state.

(Kim Johnson Photo By Tahnei Roy)

A dynamic two day conference, participants will learn from one another, exchange ideas, and strengthen partnerships and networks.Through diverse presentations, hands-on workshops, and school garden and farm tours, participants will explore how edible education efforts are transforming the way people of all ages connect to their food and the environment. Scholarships are available for teachers and educators. Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) are available through Antioch University for both days of the Symposium.

Kim Johnson is being honored for her years of dedication to the edible education movement. Kim will receive her award during the Harvest Dinner on Saturday, October 12th. A teacher who stumbled into music management, Kim Johnson utilizes her education theory to create community engagement programs for music tours and festivals as well as environmental foundations and schools. In 2003, Kim and her musician husband Jack Johnson founded the Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation to support environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawaiʻi. Kim developed and continues to oversee all five of the Foundations’ main programs including ʻĀINA In Schools, a farm to school initiative connecting children to their land and food by promoting healthy school lunches featuring locally grown produce and providing nutrition education and garden-based learning. 
In 2008, Kim and Jack founded the Johnson Ohana Foundation to support environmental, art, and music education, supporting over 400 non-profits around the world. The Johnson Ohana Foundation is a strong supporter of farm to school efforts and has supported Explore Ecology’s watershed and school garden programs for over a decade. Through her leadership with both foundations, Kim has built an Impact Investment strategy to align investments with social and environmental impact, and to leverage influence as an investor to promote corporate sustainability. Throughout all of these efforts, Kim & Jack strive to raise awareness in support of sustainable local food systems and plastic free initiatives.


(Kim and Jack Johnson)

SBEES begins on Friday, October 11th with an afternoon of garden and farm tours. A free shuttle will take participants to:

  • Goodland Organics, an exotic fruit and coffee farm in the Goleta foothills to enjoy a coffee tasting and tour.
  •  UCSB Edible Campus, a coalition of 14 community gardens and farms that offers a variety of opportunities for students, including plot-based gardens, shared community gardens, and gardens focused on producing food for distribution.
  • Isla Vista School Garden, one of Explore Ecology’s School Gardens.
  • Trinity Gardens offers 25 individual plots to community members, volunteer events, lectures, cooking classes, and field trips. Every year, Trinity grows thousands of pounds of produce, including fruit from their Food Forest and seasonal vegetables from their communal growing grounds. 

(UCSB Edible Campus)

On Saturday, October 12, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm the Symposium will take place at La Cumbre Junior High School. The day includes 75 and 30 minute workshops, a panel discussion with Nourish SB, and complimentary lunch and dinner. The Harvest Dinner on Saturday  from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at the La Cumbre Junior High Garden features a Farm to Table buffet style dinner with freshly created wood fired pizza from Full of Life Flatbread and organic salad made with greens from Explore Ecology School Gardens.

Workshops have just been announced for SBEES and include the following:

  • Straw Bale Gardening with Trudy Adair-Verbais and Janet Rogers- UCCE Master Gardeners
  • On-Campus Edible Gardens as Efficient Teaching Tools with Estefania Pihen-Gonzales and Faith Hyun- USCB LEAFY program
  • Growing Edible Education – Practices and Perspectives with Judy Sims Trinity Gardens/Monte Vista School
  • AINA In Schools: A Farm to School Initiative in Hawaii with Summer Manuakea and Kelly Perry- Aina In Schools program
  • Lead Your School Garden Like A Pro with Meg Handler PHD – Human Nature Center
  • Farm Fresh Cooking with Kids with Alise Eschele RDN, Ventura Unified School District
  • The World Beneath Your Feet with Bennett Rock- Explore Ecology
  • How to Teach Kids About Cooking and Food!! Yeah! with Bethany “Chef B” Markee, Orcutt Union School District
  • Take the First Steps to Zero Waste Your Cafeteria with Dylan Jones- One Cool Earth
  • How to Grow MicroGreens at Home with Whitney Grange and Selenia Segure-Verdin- Isla Vista Methodist Church
  • Farm Production Meets Farm Education at SLO City Farm with Teresa Tree Lees- SLO City Farm
  • Embracing Challenges in School Gardens with Linda Martinson- Explore Ecology
  • Bridging Agriculture and Technology to Engage More Students with Natalie McCaffery, Education Ag Tech
  • Food Literacy’s Role in the Overall Health of SB County with Susan Liles MS, RD,CLEC, SB County Public Health
  • Seed Saving and Seed Play for Educators with Kelly Ann Campbell- Seeds of Love
  • Cafeteria to Compost: Lessons with Laila Tamburini- Garden School Foundation
  • Agricultural Practices and Modern Farming Opportunities with Jason Lesh- Pacifica Graduate Institute Garden and Farm Cart 
  • Community Organizing Skills to Jump Start a Teen Program with Anna Jackson- Oxnard Unified High School District 
  • Plant Forward Culinary Education with Chef Veronica Dailey and Elisabeth Deswart , MS RD- Cuesta Colleg

(Happy School Gardener)

Tickets are $150 and include all tours, workshops, and catered lunch, Harvest Dinner, and Award Presentation. Tickets available online at:  Visit the Explore Ecology website for information about scholarships at:

SBEES is coordinated by Explore Ecology with the generous support of our sponsors: Santa Barbara Food Action Plan, the Santa Barbara City College Foundation, Ah Juice, the Johnson Ohana Foundation, The Fund for Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Airbus, Sansum Clinic, the Sage Garden Project, Tisha Ford, Goleta Education Foundation, and Audacious Foundation. Many thanks to our In Kind Donors: McConnells, Whole Foods, Santa Barbara Unified School District, Hungry Planet, Tutti Fruitti Farms, Martian Ranch and Vineyard, Solminer, and Full of Life Foods. Our partners include the Food Bank of Santa Barbara County, Goodland Organics, Antioch University, UCSB’s Edible Campus Program, Cultivate Events, Wilderness Youth Project, Trinity Gardens, Isla Vista School, Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market, and Santa Barbara Unified. 

Join the edible education revolution! Don’t miss the Santa Barbara Edible Education Symposium for two days of learning, sharing, and growing on October 11th and 12th.


About Explore Ecology: Explore Ecology is an environmental education and arts nonprofit that works with over 30,000 children a year, inspiring them to engage with the natural world, think critically, and experience the value of environmental stewardship. Explore Ecology programs include the Art From Scrap Creative ReUse Store and Gallery, Watershed Resource Center, and School Gardens Program. For more information, visit 

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