Keeping Our Gardens Safe

Addressing the Spread of Rat Lungworm Disease and the Zika Virus

Grow Some Good and Maui School Garden Network are working together to address the spread of Rat Lungworm Disease and the Zika virus on Maui.

As recent news reports have indicated, Rat Lungworm Disease, or RLWD, has come to Maui via its predominant, intermediate host the semi-slug. According to the Rat Lungworm Working Group Facebook Page, “It is among the most serious threats to human health of all diseases carried by wildlife in Hawaii, and in many other tropical and subtropical countries around the world.” Humans can become infected by unknowingly consuming intermediate hosts, like the semi-slug, or paratenic hosts, like prawns and land crabs, that contain the infective third stage larvae. This can also occur through eating fresh produce contaminated by “slug trails” or slime containing the larvae.

The Zika virus has been reported in at least one case on Maui. This mosquito borne virus can cause birth defects and neurological disorders, and infects humans through mosquito bites. It can also be picked up from an infected person and spread via the mosquito to other humans. Most cases in the US have been reported by people who have travelled to an area where the disease is circulating, primarily Latin America. However, there have also been cases where the virus has spread from an infected human, via mosquito, to another human.

In conjunction with Maui School Garden Network, the Department of Health, Department of Agriculture and the Hawaii Island Rat Lungworm Working Group in the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaii, Hilo, Grow Some Good is working to reduce the spread of RLWD and the Zika virus through a variety of approaches.

School Safety

Maui School Garden Network has contacted each school principal and school garden coordinator in Maui County to provide a Maui Island update on RLWD. This update includes best practices for RLWD prevention, including integrated pest management (IPM) procedures, safety precautions, and methods for disposal of slugs.

Schools have received a School Garden Safety Manual, produced by Hawaii Farm to School and the School Garden Hui. This manual covers safe growing practices and safe food handling practices.

Training School Garden Educators

School Garden coordinators across Maui have received training on several areas in the last few months, including safe food handling, preventing infection, safety precautions in handling semi-slugs and other carriers, and preventing mosquito reproduction by removing standing water around garden areas.

This training contains a set of lessons to be taught to students. It includes specific lessons on IPM, and about the Rat Lungworm lifecycle, both which meet the current curriculum science standards. Through these lessons, students can learn garden planning, pest detection, and how parasites live and grow, as we address these important community issues.

Tracking Data

More data is needed to understand the lifespan of the Rat Lungworm and its hosts and carriers. Through our network of school gardens, there is an opportunity to contribute data to current research projects.

Using safety methods recommended by the Department of Health, garden staff can safely collect and count the number of semi-slugs found in each garden, tracking factors such as region, date, moon phase and weather.  Submitting this information helps grow the database and help inform the researchers.

Public Outreach and Information

Grow Some Good is actively providing information about RLWD and the Zika virus to the public through presentations at our volunteer Work & Learn Days conducted at school gardens across Maui, and information shared in our monthly eNewsletter and Facebook page.

Community Meetings have been taking place across the island. More are scheduled soon:

  • Wednesday, April 19 – Kula Community Center – Growers and Landscapers Meeting – 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  • Tuesday, April 25 – Kahului – UHMC – Community Service Building by Extension Services (CTAHR)- Growers and Landscapers Meeting 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
  • Wednesday, April 26  -Pukalani – Hannibal Tavares Community Center 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

More Information

Please join us at a meeting in your area to learn more. For online references, please see the Hawaii State Department of Health website for information on Rat Lungworm Disease, and for more information on the Zika Virus.

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A Magical Night Under the Stars

Taste of School Gardens: Growing, Knowing, Sharing

The Taste of School Gardens theme “Growing, Knowing, Sharing” showcased Grow Some Good’s programs as guests enjoyed fresh produce, grown in educational outdoor classrooms and local farms, prepared and shared by some of Maui’s best Chefs. The event raised just over $58,000, with 325 attendees coming out to support Grow Some Good.
It was a magical night – one where the delicious rewards of our school gardens were featured in the very dishes our guests enjoyed!

 

 

Taste of School Gardens demonstrates the heart of Grow Some Good’s programs – where outdoor classrooms, nutritious food and Maui’s finest chefs converge.

One of the special features at the event is the outdoor classroom area.  Here, our garden educators share real lessons used in the gardens and showcase students’ work.

 

 

Beautiful Dishes from Maui’s Favorite Chefs

 

                                                 

 

See more Taste of School Gardens photos on our Facebook page.

Grow Some Good Dinner Series

The event is the culmination of a season of fundraising events hosted by our participating restaurants. Our Dinner Series features special events, dinners, and even specific dishes that raise funds for Grow Some Good throughout the year.  Participating restaurants showcase their favorite garden-inspired dishes at the ultimate event – Taste of School Gardens. To sign up for the Dinner Series add your name to our email list.

Taste of School Gardens on MauiNow

MauiNow  video journalist Kaiora Bohlool covered the event and shares her insights in the video clip: Kids Inspire Cuisine at Taste of School Gardens.

 

Mahalo to our many wonderful restaurant participants and sponsors, including:

 

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   CowPigBunLogo-300x93         duo at four seasons resort maui wailea 



             

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Visiting Volunteers help move some soil.

Volunteers Get it Done!

Hundreds of Helpers

We’re thankful for the hundreds of volunteers that support our organization each year. Some come from thousands of miles away and dedicate part of their vacation to helping our community; others live just around the corner and volunteer every month.

Volunteer Highlights from 2016

From painting signs to pulling weeds to assembling planting beds, our volunteers are always willing to help in every way needed. Here are some highlights from 2016.

Pulling weeds in the kalo patch is part of the fun at Kihei Elementary School.
Pulling weeds in the kalo patch is part of the fun at Kihei Elementary School.
Visiting Volunteers make soil sifters.
Visiting Volunteers make soil sifters.
Volunteers at Kihei Charter School move tubes of irrigation line.
Volunteers at Kihei Charter School move tubes of irrigation line.
Volunteers at Kahului Elementary School prepare the soil for planting.
Volunteers at Kahului Elementary School prepare the soil for planting.
Connie ties string around the ipu to prepare it for hanging.
Volunteer Connie ties string around the ipu to prepare it for hanging.
Two student volunteers hang ipu to dry.
Two student volunteers hang ipu to dry.
Visiting Volunteers help move some soil.
Volunteers on Vacation help move some soil at Lokelani Intermediate School.
Prepping veggies for a Harvest Party at Kamali'i Elementary School.
Prepping veggies for a Harvest Party at Kamali’i Elementary School.
Volunteers put the framework in place for new growing beds at Kahului Elementary School.
Volunteers put the framework in place for growing beds at Kahului Elementary School.
Keiki volunteers add soil amendments at Kahului Elementary School.
Keiki volunteers add soil amendments at Kahului Elementary School.
Look what I found while fulling weeds!
Look what I found while pulling weeds!
Volunteer@GrowSomeGood.org
Putting in pretty new raised beds at Pu’u Kukui Elementary School.
Pretty New Growing beds in place at Pu'u Kukui Elementary School.
Pu’u Kukui Elementary School garden looks amazing after a recent Work & Learn Day!
Two of our favorite volunteers - Executive Director Kathy Becklin and Garden Coordinator Nadine Rasmussen.
Two of our favorite volunteers – Executive Director Kathy Becklin (R) and Kihei School Garden Coordinator Nadine Rasmussen (L) help out at Lokelani Intermediate School.

A very special mahalo to all of our wonderful volunteers!

If you are interested in volunteering with Grow Some Good, contact Cynthia at Volunteer@GrowSomeGood.org for more information.

 

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Visit Lahaina Intermediate’s School Garden

See the School Garden at Lahaina Intermediate School

Take a “virtual tour” of the Grow Some Good school garden at Lahaina Intermediate School, featured in the video below.  This piece was created by students as part of the PBS Hawaii news show HIKI NŌ.

“We Can All Work Together”

The video features many of the students, faculty and staff that support the garden. School Principal, Stacy Bookland, says the garden has taught her:

“we can all work together to contribute to something positive, not only
in our community, but in our bodies, in our minds, and in the growth
of our students.”

Academic Impact

Teachers also chime in, explaining how they see the garden benefiting youth by reinforcing classroom lessons, while at the same time giving them life-long skills that can increase their self-sufficiency. Their comments demonstrate school gardens have a positive impact on academics and learning.

Lots of good things are growing at Lahaina Intermediate School – Take a look!

HIKI NŌ

This piece was created by students in HIKI NŌ, an educational initiative by PBS Hawaii. HIKI NŌ is the nation’s only state-wide student run news program. Students from middle and high schools across Hawaii produce PBS-quality video news segments about current issues and people of interest in our community. This story first aired during the First All-Middle School edition of HIKI NŌ on PBS on May 28, 2015.

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The Academic Impact of School Gardens

Harvesting flowers Mieko PhotographyMaui Teachers’ Perspectives

It’s no secret that students, parents, and teachers love our school gardens! During garden visits, students spend hours discovering the wonder of growing their own food; the gardens bring beauty to our school campuses; students, families and members of the community enjoy the fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs they produce. As an organization, we take time at the end of each school year to reflect on how the gardens are fulfilling our goals of providing students with outdoor learning experiences that connect them to their food sources, inspire better nutrition choices, improve health, and teach them how to be better stewards of the land.

As we strive to grow, improve, and to “turnip the beet” in our programs, Grow Some Good conducts an annual Teacher Survey. We wanted to share with you some highlights from the 2015-16 school year.

Survey Results – School Gardens have a Positive Impact

According to the survey, a majority of teachers surveyed report that school gardens have a positive impact in students’ academic achievements in all core curriculum areas, and particularly in science, health, language arts and Hawaiian studies.

We know from more than eight years of managing these programs that hands-on, interactive lessons in the gardens improve retention and help reinforce classroom learning. Maui teachers surveyed agree:

  • 96 percent of teachers’ responses report that garden lessons were very or extremely beneficial in supporting the core curriculum area of science.
  • 72 percent said school gardens are very or extremely beneficial in language arts
  • 66 percent of teachers said school garden programs are very or extremely beneficial in supporting Hawaiian Studies.
  • Nearly all teachers, 97 percent, said school gardens are very or extremely beneficial in in supporting health and nutrition standards.

Teachers were also asked to indicate what attributes they have observed in their students who participate in school gardens:

  • 94 percent said they saw an increase in environmental awareness.
  • 73 percent said they noticed improvements in health and nutrition.
  • 44 percent also noted improved social skills and behaviors.
  • 48 percent witnessed an increase in community spirit and interest.

“We Love Mondays!”
Girls with Kale Wailuku El

Teachers shared their thoughts on the impact school gardens have on their students.

Leslie Farthing, sixth-grade Social Studies teacher at Lahaina Intermediate School, said, “This program has been incredible for my students. It is a great introduction to working in a garden. For most students, it is their first time working with plants. They really enjoy it and take pride in their work. [The garden coordinator] always ties it to what we are learning which is very helpful. I did not grow up gardening so as an educator I love the experience as well.”

Teachers also commented:

“The garden is a wonderful addition to our school and the kids love it! Thank you!!”

“My students are so excited to be a part of this program! They are planting gardens of their own and are so inspired by [the garden coordinator].”

“The garden brings out interests and curiosity that I have not seen in class.”

“We are very thankful to have the opportunity to teach our students gardening skills.  This is a life-long skill and our children are learning about how to be self-sustaining.”

girls hanging ipu to dry“We truly enjoy our garden time.  The students learn a lot and it is important to continue to educate our students about healthy eating habits. [The garden coordinator] does an exceptional job sharing her garden knowledge and skills with our students.”

“I truly appreciate the knowledge shared with our students.  This year, [the garden coordinator] had excellent lessons aligned to the Common Core State Standards.  Very impressive.”

“I enjoy watching my students investigating and taking notes.  It shows that they are really interested in the garden.”

“We love Mondays. We get to go to the garden!”

 

For more details, you may review the complete survey results here: Grow Some Good 2016 Teacher Survey Data

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mieko photography

Mahalo to our Taste of School Gardens Sponsors

Grow Some Good’s Taste of School Gardens event wouldn’t be a success without our sponsors. Thank you to the many individuals and businesses that are donating their time, talent and resources to our event this year.

mieko photography
Photo by Meiko Photography

Putting the “Taste” in Taste of School Gardens

We want to recognize those who make Taste of School Gardens an outstanding culinary event – our participating chefs and restaurants. This year, we welcome Chef Gary Johnson of the new Hana Ranch Provisions and welcome back our wonderful team of returning chefs, including:

– Chef Craig Dryhurst of DUO at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

– Chef Cameron Lewark of Spago

– Chef Brian Etheredge of Capische?

– Chef Christopher Kulis of The Market Maui

– Chef Brian Murphy of Cow Pig Bun

– Chef Kevin Laut of The Outrigger Pizza Company

– Chef Don Marceaux of Fabiani’s

Thank you for sharing your talent and resources to make our event the best school-garden-to-table event on Maui!

New Sponsors in 2016

A very special thank you to Par Hawaii, SunEdison, and Maui School Garden Network for joining us as new sponsors this year. We appreciate your support!

Location, Location, Location

This wonderful venue with a beautiful view gets rave reviews every time. Thank you to the Hotel Wailea for hosting us again this year. We also rely on another Wailea neighbor, the Four Seasons Resort, for providing help in planning and logistical support. Thank you for helping us with the details!

Media Sponsors

We are grateful for our media sponsors, Maui No Ka Oi Magazine, and MauiTime who are helping us spread the word about Taste of School Gardens. With their help, we anticipate another sold-out event this year! Hawaii On TV will provide coverage during the event. Mahalo!

Lights, Please!

A very special mahalo to Epic Lighting for helping us create a gorgeous ambiance after the sun sets. This is our third year working with this top-notch company  – Hawaii’s first and only green business certified, 100% eco-friendly lighting company.

Keeping it Local

Local Harvest  has volunteered their services in a big way – they are  coordinating all of the produce donated from local Maui farmers and bringing it together in time for the chefs to prepare for Saturday night. Mahalo for sharing your time and expertise in sourcing local produce for this event.

Mahalo!

Taste of School Gardens is Grow Some Good’s premier fundraising event to support our community programs. Our programs are hands-on, outdoor learning experiences that cultivate curiosity about natural life cycles, connect students to their food sources, and inspire better nutrition choices. In addition to helping establish food gardens and living science labs in local schools, we provide resources and curriculum support through community partnerships in agriculture, science, food education and nutrition. Your support helps make this happen. Mahalo!

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Hawaii Legislators Support Farm to School Programs

KITV screenshotOver the past few months, we’ve seen news highlighting school gardens and their importance to supporting better nutrition and local agriculture. On July 7, 2015, Governor David Ige signed Farm to School bill SB 376, which aims to increase the amount of local produce in our school cafeterias.

A recent KITV4 interview quoted Dexter Kishida with the Department of Education (DOE), “Growing it and cooking it are two ways kids eating behaviors change.” The report also estimates the DOE imports more than 80 percent of produce in public school lunches.  That number may be soon decreasing with the signing of this new bill.

The governor’s press release explains “SB 376, Act 218 established the Hawai’i farm-to-school program and funds a farm-to-school coordinator position. Across the nation, farm to school programs are reconnecting students to a better understanding of the food system and where their food comes from. Farm to school programs introduce students to healthier eating habits and help them become familiar with new vegetables and fruits that they and their families will then be more willing to incorporate into their own diets. The farm to school coordinator will negotiate the complicated process of procuring local agricultural for our schools.”

Local farmers have had tremendous challenges competing with mainland prices and Hawaii DOE volume restrictions that require one vendor to supply an entire 256-school system.

“I think one of the important insights is that it doesn’t have to be the exact same suppliers statewide,” said Kyle Datta, general partner at the Ulupono Initiative, in a recent Hawaii Tribune-Herald article. “You can let local agriculture scale up to the community.” He said one of the early missteps in launching statewide farm to school was trying to get local producers to support the needs of the entire state as opposed to their specific areas.

“Maui kids eating Maui pineapple, Oahu kids eating Dole pineapples,” he said. “There’s a lot of things we should have more of that are completely possible.” (Source: Hawaii Tribune-Herald)

Some local charter schools have successfully incorporated local produce into their lunch programs because they manage their own individual procurement. Food hubs, where farmers combine their harvests for higher volume distribution, are also gaining momentum in other school districts nationwide. Here is a recent article in from the St. Paul/Minneapolis Star-Tribune describing one example of this venture.

“We need to make sure students are connecting and understanding where their food comes from and why it matters,” said Lydi Morgan, Coordinator with Hawaii Farm to School & School Garden Hui.

School garden programs are an important part of supporting this initiative. When students grow, harvest and prepare their own dishes using school garden produce, they are more likely to eat fresh fruits and vegetables in school lunches and bring that enthusiasm home to the dinner table.

If you’d like to dig the school garden movement on Maui, visit our volunteer page and introduce yourself! We look forward to seeing you in the garden!

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Plant a Tree of Life – Grow ‘Ulu (breadfruit)

Grow Some Good, in partnership with the Breadfruit Institute, National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hana, and the Plant a Tree of Life – Grow ‘Ulu Project, is providing ‘ulu tree (breadfruit) saplings to the Maui community this month in recognition of statewide and global efforts to increase the number of ‘ulu trees growing in our communities.

photo credit: Breadfruit Institute, National Tropical Botanical Garden
Photo Credit: Breadfruit Institute, National Tropical Botanical Garden

These trees are about 2.5 feet tall in gallon pots and are ready to find new, suitable homes. This popular variety of ‘ulu originated in Samoa and Tonga and has been grown in Hawaii for decades. These Ma’afala (variety) trees are fast growing, more compact shape, highly productive trees that can begin bearing fruit in as little a 2½ to 3 years. It is still a large tree though, and should be planted at least 30 feet from the nearest structure or at least 20-25 feet from other large trees or tree canopies.

ulu tree & fruit
Photo Credit: Breadfruit Institute, National Tropical Botanical Garden

Trees are available for pickup at Grow Some Good Work & Learn Days across Maui over the next month. To RESERVE your ‘ulu tree contact Nio Kindla below. Keep in touch on our Facebook page  or subscribe to our newsletter for latest dates and locations of these school garden workdays.

Only one ‘ulu tree per household or location will be given away at this time. Please let us know in your email if you would like additional trees, how many, and how multiple trees at your location will support community food resilience. Additional trees will be distributed late October, as available.

First ‘ulu distribution date is this coming Saturday, September 26th at the Wailuku Elementary School Work & Learn Day from 8:30AM-11:30AM. A tree is yours in return for an hour or two of your kōkua for this workday. The trees are free of charge but if you can support local propagation of more ‘ulu trees by Grow Some Good, please consider a $5 or $10 donation.

ulu
Photo Credit: Breadfruit Institute, National Tropical Botanical Garden

The next distribution will be held at Kihei Elementary school’s regular second Saturday Work & Learn Day on October 10th.

For more information on the trees and this ‘ulu project see Plant a Tree of Life – Grow ‘Ulu.

There are multiple articles and images that can help in understanding the proper planting, care and maintenance of these trees. A great resource provided by National Tropical Botanical Garden!

SIGN UP BELOW to get your 'Ulu Tree or ask additional questions.

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New Garden Sprouts at Kahului Elementary

A new edible classroom at Kahului Elementary School has sprouted from the passion, enthusiasm and collaboration of an awe-inspiring group of educators and volunteers. First grade teachers attended a recent school garden tour and turned their inspiration into action. The whole grade level is applying outdoor learning as part of their new curriculum-based school garden program.

Together we created soil nutrient building systems in each bed – while talking about lessons on carbon, nitrogen, decomposers and microorganisms. The awesome garden dig-in ended with a community picnic under the shade trees, talking story and appreciating all the good things growing.

Mahalo nui loa to Maui School Garden Network, Hui Malama Learning Center, ISI Irrigation, Ace Hardware and all the volunteers, students and families who are partnering with Grow Some Good to create an amazing gift of growth and prosperity for keiki and community. Check out more photos on in our Facebook album.

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Sept. 22 Workshops: Youth Gardens as Classrooms

Home Gardening Support Network, Maui School Garden Network, Community Work Day and Grow Some Good are pleased to announce a Youth Gardening Workshop to make school garden information and experiences more accessible to teachers, volunteers and others who work with youth-oriented garden programs. Click on the link below for a workshop agenda:
These workshops will feature hands-on activities to help integrate school garden work within all disciplines and give advice on how to maintain and fund school gardens. The workshop day will run from 8:00 am – 1:30 pm with optional post workshop sessions from 2:00-3:00 pm and will include lunch and a food demonstration.
Register by emailing Anne Gachuhi at hgsn@gmail.com or calling (808) 446-2361.  The fee is $35.00.
Scholarships:  Kihei Elementary School and Lokelani Intermediate School teachers, staff and counselors can receive scholarships from Grow Some Good by sending an email with interest to info@GrowSomeGood.org. Please include your name, school, grade level and phone number for follow up in your email.
We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to gain knowledge that will help advance your programs and create more real-life learning opportunities for your students.
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