Harvest Festival Fun for Keiki Farmers

Harvest Festival Fun

Keiki farmers at Kamalii Elementary School and Kihei Elementary School enjoyed a fun Harvest Festival at each of their schools. These annual events are a highlight of the school garden program, as students make and enjoy healthy snacks with fresh produce, from recipes designed to be simple, so they can be easily duplicated at home.

Chef Kevin Laut from Outrigger Pizza Company brought his portable pizza oven to Kamalii Elementary School to cook up some quick pies with the assistance of Makena Golf & Beach Club’s Executive Chef Chris Kulis. See more pictures on the Makena Golf & Beach blog.

Outrigger Pizza Company Chef Kevin Laut assists in preparing the pizzas. PC: Matthew Thayer, the Maui News.
Makena Golf & Beach Resort Executive Chef Chris Kulis helps with spreading pizza sause. PC: Makena Golf & Beach Club.
Makena Golf & Beach Resort Community Engagement Manager Leahi Hall visits with keiki. PC: Makena Golf & Beach Resort
Chefs and keiki enjoyed a wonderful morning making pizza and fresh-squeezed lemonade. PC: Makena Golf & Beach Club.

At Kihei Elementary School, Chef Travis Morrin from Fork & Salad and Three’s Bar & Grill came by to assist students with making tortilla-veggie pizzas on the grill. The results were ono-licious! See Chef Travis’ fun interview with the keiki.

Chef Travis Morrin PC: Kiaora Bohlool.
Kihei Elementary School kids enjoy the product of their work – veggie pizzas!
Chef Travis Morrin and Garden Coordinator Nadine Rasmussen.

 

Mahalo!

Thank you to the wonderful chefs who made time to come our to visit with our students!

Chef Chris Kulis, Makena Golf & Beach Club

Chef Kevin Laut, The Outrigger Pizza Company

Chef Travis Morrin, Fork & Salad and Three’s Bar & Grill

And thank you to The Maui News for this front-page piece!

 

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

My First Grade Garden Recipe Book

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 1.10.32 PM

Doritos Salad?

Yes!

Find the recipe here in My First Grade Garden Recipe Book.

This book is full of yummy, garden-fresh dishes that are fun for both adults and keiki to prepare. Recipes include: Kale Chips, Easy Ratatouille, Eggplant Parmesan, Lettuce Wraps, Pinakbet, Pesto, Sweet Potato Shoots, Edible Art and more!

Thank you to the students and staff at Kahului Elementary School who created this wonderful book.

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!

October – Farm to School Month

Leah Belmonte, Governor’s Representative, Maui at State of Hawaii joined Grow Some Good and MSGN at the Lipoa Farmer’s Market today to offer this official proclamation.

“… proclaim October 2015 as Farm to School Month in Hawai’i and ask all the citizens of the Aloha State to support activities that heighten the awareness of farm to school and school garden programs as successful means for improving the health and well-being of our keiki, communities and the ‘aina.”

Grow Some Good also gave away about 25 ‘ulu trees, basil, tomatoes, chard and eggplant and received generous donations to support our program.

Hawaii Governor proclaims October as "Farm to School" Month
Hawaii Governor proclaims October as “Farm to School” Month

Mahalo to Governor David Y. Ige and Lt. Governor Shan S. Tsutusi for your support and seeing the importance of our programs.

 

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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Kamali’i Elementary 1st Annual Harvest Festival

harvest-6Grow Some Good and world-class chefs prepared gourmet cuisine from garden grown ingredients with more than 600 K-5 students and Kamali’i Elementary PTA parents and volunteers.

Big MAHALO to our team of awesome volunteers and Eric Mitchell of The Outrigger Pizza Company, Chefs Jackie Brown and Marilyn Mina of Ko Restaurant at The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, Chef Shannon Noble of Cafe Carmen at The Tech Park, Private Chef Nicholas Porrecca, JJ Johnson of O’o and Chef Jana McMahon, Maui Private Chef and Chef Matt Yakabouski for prepping ingredients – including 2 gallons of garden fresh basil pesto! And Mana Foods for donating extra organic produce for all of our end of year Harvest Festivals, serving more than 1,800 students in 3 South Maui Schools.harvest-24

At the Art of Pizza Station, students loaded their gourmet pizzas with beets, zucchini, carrots and bell peppers and a choice of pesto and marinara sauces. Then on to the Grow Some Good Lo Lemonade Station, juicing heirloom ko sugar cane and Olinda Meyer lemons for a healthy refreshing treat!

Juicing Kō for Lilikoi Lemonade!

IMG_8101Today we harvested two varieties of heirloom Kō sugar cane, talked story about canoe plants brought by the earliest Hawaiian settlers, and used a hand crank cane juicer to make lilikoi lemonade with K-5 grade students during Maui Family YMCA A+ after school program – part of a monthly healthy garden-based recipe series.

Did you know…? Raw cane juice contains only about fifteen percent total sugar content, all of which is in a raw unrefined form. The rest of the juice consists of water brimming with an abundance of vitamins and minerals. Freshly extracted cane juice – like other fresh juices – contain live enzymes and nutrients that are easily absorbed by the body for quick nourishment.IMG_8103

Special thanks to Andy from Maui Cane Juice for helping us make this a special day for our keiki! Look for Maui Cane Juice every Saturday morning at the Maui Swap Meet and Kihei Town 4th Fridays. So ono!

For more pictures, visit Grow Some Good on Facebook.

Life Lab Edible Plant Part Art

Plant Parts & Edible Garden Art

Edible Plant Part ArtWhat a art-full, educational recipe day in the garden! Garden Educator Sierra Knight led 21st Century Learning Center summer students in a study of plant parts and their delicious beauty! A rainbow of colors and smiling faces 🙂

Try this with your Keiki. Itʻs sure to be a hit.

Download the lesson plan and watch a Life Lab “Plant Part Art” video.

Check the Grow Some Good Facebook album for a gallery of our studentsʻ most colorful creations!

Wailuku Elementary Gardeners Share Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Mas de 100 estudiantes participating in tutoring and enrichment programs at Wailuku Elementary School celebrated Cinco de Mayo by harvesting produce from their Salsa & Green Smoothie Gardens and sharing recipes during an after-school fiesta! Wailuku Elementary School garden program is supported through a partnership between 21st Century Learning Centers Baldwin Complex and Grow Some Good. The Harvest Fiesta included jr. gardeners preparing papaya and pineapple salsa, guacamole and green smoothies, using school garden-grown ingredients.wailuku fest3

Students also learned about the historical significance of the holiday when Mexico defeated the French during a battle where they were outnumbered by double the soldiers, then related it to the tenacity of their healthy plants when attacked by pests in the garden. Green smoothies were served up with a review of what makes plants green, covering curriculum such as photosynthesis, chlorophyll and the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
wailuku elementary school cinco de mayo maui hawaii school garden
Mariachi music underscored the fiesta finale as blindfolded contestants took turns whacking at a piñata filled with fruit juice-sweetened treats, almonds and other surprises.

Special thanks to Tim Ewing and ohana at Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods for donating extra local produce, organic corn chips and apple juice to the Harvest Feista! tim ewing hawaiian moons natural foods kihei maui hawaii

Our Salsa Party RecipesGarden Salsa (Serves about 50-100 jr. gardeners and volunteers. Here are some ideas on integrating each step into hands-on learning, so students are the chefs!)

  • 1 – fresh papaya (students spoon out seeds to clean and dry for planting new starts)
  • 1 fresh chopped pineapple (save top for new planting – here’s how to grow in a container at home or school)
  • 1.5 quarts – a medium sized bowl of fresh picked tomatoes (have students chop tomatoes to measure quarts or compare to conversions in ounces or pounds with scale)
  • 4-6 chopped or sliced carrots (students chop carrots with plastic serrated knives or widdle a whole carrot to thin slices with a veggie peeler.
  • 1/2 Hawaiian hot pepper or Anaheim pepper (students with non-latex gloves slice with plastic serrated knife and remove seeds.) You may choose to leave this ingredient out with younger students who have sensitive taste buds.
  • 1 clove garlic (students peel garlic with gloves or use garlic press) Again, you may also choose to leave this ingredient out with younger students or roast the garlic in advance to bring out sweeter flavors.
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt (salt to taste)
  • 1 cup or approx 250 ml of fresh squeezed Myer lemon juice (students slice lemons in half, hand squeeze and compare milliliters to cups when measuring)
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped (students can use onion chopper)
  • 2 green onions finely chopped (the whole onion – green tops and white onions. Students can tear onion tops with gloves in tiny pieces or use scissors)
  • 2 cups fresh cilantro (how much does it weigh in ounces? Make predictions, check weight to compare with predictions)

Directions: Combine  first 8 ingredients in equal parts (half at a time) in a food processor or blender, then pulse until fine or chunky consistency. Add finely chopped green onions and cilantro.

Guacamole

  • 6 ripe avocados mashed in a bowl with potato masher, then add 2 cups salsa (recipe above), a little extra sea salt to taste.

Have several students taste test, make any adjustments to the recipe based on your jr. chefs’ recommendations. Then, serve with organic, non-GMO corn chips or substitute corn chips for black bean chips or another healthy crunchy alternative from the local health food store.  You can even wrap all the ingredients with sliced veggies in a kale leaf for a garden veggie burrito.  We’ve found that as long as you call it a burrito – they’ll at least try it and most likely love it!

Check out our green smoothie recipe on the Grow Some Good website.  Aloha & Salud Amigos!