criticizing school gardens

Schoolyard gardens: Together, the bureaucrat and the celebrity paved the way for an enormous movement: by 2002, 2,000 of the state’s 9,000 schools had a garden, and by 2008 that number had risen to 3,849, and it continues to grow.

Of course, [Alice] Waters herself is guilty of nothing more terrible than being a visionary and a woman of tremendous persuasive abilities. It’s the state’s Department of Education that is to blame for allowing these gardens to hijack the curricula of so many schools.

But although garden-based curricula are advanced as a means of redressing a wide spectrum of poverty’s ills, the animating spirit behind them is impossible to separate from the haute-bourgeois predilections of the Alice Waters fan club, as best expressed in one of her most oft-repeated philosophies: “Gardens help students to learn the pleasure of physical work.”

Does the immigrant farm worker dream that his child will learn to enjoy manual labor, or that his child will be freed from it?

Cargill envy? What is this author’s criticism seeking to achieve?