Malia has a BS in Mass Communications and Journalism, and a Master’s degree in Non Profit Management. She has over 20 years of fundraising experience, and started with Grow Some Good in 2015.
My goal for the school gardens this year is to keep them well-funded, with adequate supplies, staff time and materials, in order to optimize the fun, curiosity and learning in our outdoor classrooms.
I’m really looking forward to: the enhancement of our current lessons to align even more closely with curriculum standards, to better support teachers and have even more significant learning outcomes for students.
My favorite thing about working with kids is: their willingness to try new things.
My favorite thing about gardens is: witnessing the magic of growing things. From a small seed, to a sprout, a plant, a tree, and then harvesting buckets of fruit. Simply amazing.
My favorite fruit or vegetable that grows on Maui: it’s a tie between lilikoi and lychee. Ok, lilikoi.
Lokelani Intermediate School and Kamali’i Elementary School
Alexis has BA Degrees in Sociology and Psychology with an Education Minor, along with over three years of experience teaching in an outdoor classroom. She served as lead science teacher at Galileo Camp, an educational summer camp.
My goal for my gardens this year is to grow as much food as possible!
What I’m really looking forward to: spending time outdoors with the students and seeing their enthusiasm for the garden and nature.
My favorite thing about working with kids is: experiencing their curiosity, excitement, and unique perspective on the world.
My favorite thing about gardens is: the way they bring us closer to the Earth.
My favorite fruit or vegetable that grows on Maui is lychee!
Jadda has a BS in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, and is currently working on an MS in Environmental Studies. She has worked for Grow Some Good since August 2017.
My goal for my garden this year is continue with the goals and progress that were made in the years past, while remaining open to new thoughts and visions for the garden in the years ahead. Allowing for it to become what the school and community envision it to be.
What I’m really looking forward to: learning more about is the Hawaiian language, culture and native plant varieties.
My favorite thing about working with kids is: I learn just as much, if not more, from them as they do from me. They are wonderful teachers.
My favorite thing about gardens is: the connection that happens between people and the Earth, which ideally leads to the cultivation of healthy food, soil, bodies, communities and environment.
My favorite fruit or vegetable that grows on Maui is an avocado.
‘A‘ohe hana nui ke alu ‘ia. No task is too big when done together by all.
Kathy has served as Executive Director since 2016. She is a co-founder of Grow Some Good and has been the treasurer, website developer and IT specialist since 2009.
Kathy has a BS in Computer Science. She has over 25 years of experience in technology working as software engineer and in management roles at companies including Lockheed Martin, SuccessFactors and Adobe Systems. She left high-tech when she moved to Maui in 2006 and started a career in real estate. Kathy is a Real Estate Broker with Keller Williams Realty Maui. As a gardening advocate, Kathy also has taken plant identification and landscape design classes as well as going through the Maui Master Gardeners program.
My goal for the school gardens this year is to move Grow Some Good to a more sustainable operating model where we work closely with schools to ensure high level education is happening in our outdoor classrooms. We are always looking for more ways to measure our impact. We see it everyday just by observing the classes. It is really about building productive gardens, productive kids and having a lot of fun. We have an amazing team this year!
My favorite thing about working with kids is: Kids don’t have borders. They are curious and can learn things that adults label as “too hard for that grade level.” I really love when they taste something new or observe a critter and are excited about sharing their experience with their family.
My favorite thing about gardens is: There is always something new to learn, new to try! There are always great friends to meet in the garden. I have to mention compost…I am the compost-queen…there are so many great lessons in composting.
My favorite fruit or vegetable that grows on Maui: Whatever is growing in my backyard. Mango, pumelo and more. My new favorite is breadfruit and hope to get a tree growing soon!
Over 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!
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.
Mahalo to Governor David Y. Ige and Lt. Governor Shan S. Tsutusi for your support and seeing the importance of our programs.
Join us this fall with Chef Paris Nabavi and his wife Donna, for a special home-cooked dinner event on November 14, from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
UPDATE: This event is SOLD OUT, but we are still taking RSVP requests for cancellations. If you want to be put on a wait list, fill out the form below. Also, sign up for Chef Paris’ early bird email list to be first to RSVP for the next event!
Chef Nabavi, Owner of Sangrita Grill and Cantina will be preparing traditional Kabob Barg and Koo-bi-deh paired with Saffron Rice and Roasted Tomato. He will skewer and roast these delicious delights on an outside fire BBQ grill. The dinner menu will also include Salad Shirazi and Mast-0-Maousir with a sweet finish of Noon-Khamei-ie; a cream puff with rose water and fresh whipped cream, enjoyed with hot Chai tea made in Samavar. Scroll down to view the full menu.
Guests are invited to bring a favorite bottle of wine or enjoy a variety of wines chosen from Chef Nabavi’s private collection. Paris invites you to enjoy his garden under the stars among friends, while he shares culinary secrets from his Persian homeland.
We welcome you to join us for this special dinner with friends, fine wine and mouth watering food. We are limited to 20 people and a donation of $150 a person will be given (in full) to Grow Some Good.
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.
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.
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.
The next distribution will be held at Kihei Elementary school’s regular second Saturday Work & Learn Day on October 10th.
If you think after planting, your money spent on a garden is done, you’ll learn quickly. Last year at Kihei Elementary we spent about $1500 on “garden maintenance supplies”. This is pest deterrents, organic amendments, fungii treatments, cover crop seeds, build compost piles, and a long list of things to fix problems!
Estimated Cost $1500/school/year
Contact Grow Some Good
1215 S. Kihei Rd #O-1047
Kihei, HI 96753
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