Preschoolers, parents and teachers joined community members in S. Barbara, Calif., last week for the inauguration of an organic garden at the local Chabad-Lubavitch center’s Aleph Bet Preschool.

The James Ax Organic Home Food Forest, a 1,600-square-collection of vegetables and flowering plants, is designed to give students a hands-on gardening experience and the reward of taking home the fruits of their labor.

The rock-lined garden was constructed by Daniel Wilson, owner of Home Food Forest, a local company.

“We try to teach our children the importance of using G‑d’s world responsibly,” said Rabbi Zalmy Kudan, director of the preschool and youth director at Chabad of S. Barbara. “Our preschool runs on solar power, recycles and now has an organic garden. We feel this is part of the important foundation our school gives its students.”

The garden curriculum will encourage learning teamwork, responsibility, and the actual methods of planting, caring for and harvesting vegetables.

At last Friday’s opening and demonstration, Wilson showed attendees how to create an organic ecosystem of plants, trees, pollinators, decomposers, soil, water and nutrients.

“Just as children are our future, so too is society’s adoption of ecologically sound, sustainable food growing techniques,” said Wilson.