All Sustainability History Project Oral Histories


Jaylen Schmitt

Streaming Media

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40 minutes


Sustainable agriculture, School gardens, Portland Public Schools (Or.)


Interview of Jaylen Schmitt by Brianna Demko at Alameda Elementary School in NE Portland, Oregon on May 24th, 2013.

The interview index is available for download.


Jaylen Schmitt is originally from California. She has taken the master recycling class through the City of Portland. As of 2013, she is involved with the Alameda Elementary School Discovery Garden.


This interview of Vida Shore and Jaylen Schmitt was conducted by Brianna Demko on May 24, 2013. Shore and Schmitt discuss the gardening program that they began at Alameda Elementary, which promotes the idea of using healthy cafeteria food that is grown at the school. Not only does this program provide fresh vegetables, it incorporates gardening as a learning experience for the students. Each grade level is in charge of a certain area in the garden, which includes a butterfly garden, earthworm box, vegetable garden, bird nesting area, and a native species garden. There have been a few problems with incorporating this program completely because of the public school regulations that don’t allow the gardening program to produce fruit for the cafeteria or allow for food composting. Alameda Elementary is an extremely large school with 800 students and keeping up with the students’ food demands is not always possible, so many local gardens also donate fresh produce to the cafeteria. This program is teaching the idea of locally sourced produce to younger generations, which can be directly tied to sustainability.

This interview is part of “The Sustainability History Project: Documenting Sustainable Development and Practice in the Pacific Northwest” at Portland State University.


This digital access copy is made available as streaming media for personal, educational, and non-commercial use within the parameters of “fair use” as defined under U.S. Copyright law. It cannot be reproduced, distributed, or broadcasted for commercial purposes. For more information, please contact Special Collections at Portland State University Library at: or (503) 725-9883.

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