The MauiNews – Thank you letter to Maui Nui Botanical Gardens

From the January 2nd, 2011 issue of the MauiNews.

On behalf of the South Maui School Gardens Project of South Maui Sustainability and Tri-Isle Resource Conservation and Development Program, mahalo to Maui Nui Botanical Gardens for generously donating plants to the Kihei Elementary School garden.

The large selection of Polynesian-introduced plants is being used to teach students about the original Hawaiian “canoe plants”: kalo (taro), ko (sugar cane), ‘uala (sweet potato) and ‘awapuhi kuahiwi (ginger).

We also appreciate staffers Tamara Sherril and Stephanie Seidman for taking time to provide plant names and cultivation information, and to prepare the plants for their new home; and Interim Director Anders Lyon for helping make these resources available to local schools.

Susan Wyche

South Maui Sustainability






Living Classroom at Kihei Elementary

Beginning Botanist – Learn what seeds need to grow. Study seed and developing plant parts. Grow vegetable starts from seeds and observe them in the classroom under different conditions, then bring them back for planting in the garden.

Good Bugs & Pest Detectives – Be a detective in the garden to learn about which bugs are considered beneficial, which ones are considered pests and why.

Compost Critters – Learn about decomposing critters, how they help to make soil from veggie scraps and yard waste and more!

We’ve Got Worms – Introduce your students to hundreds of soil helpers in our new worm farm. Learn basic anatomy of a worm in real life, bring your storytelling to the garden and dig into the wonderful world of worms.

Weather Trackers – Measure rain fall, wind velocity, direction, and check the temperature with our new weather vanes.

Math Alive – Math springs to life as students use their living classroom to measure the compost bin circumference and volume, count red & green tomatoes, subtract the difference or use multiplication to figure how many new plants grow from green bean seed pods.

Cycle of Life – Use the garden as a living classroom for lessons on life cycles. Compost old plants, collect their seeds, plant new starts and take them back to your classroom to study how they grow. Then, bring them back for planting days!

Photos From Work and Learn Day!

On the 2nd Saturday of each month, we have Work and Learn Day at Kihei Elementary or Lokelani Intermediate. It is great opportunity to contribute to the community, meet many of the teachers and exchange ideas about gardening. Plus, if there is produce to share from the garden, we share.

[slickr-flickr search=”sets” set=”72157626564623995″ size=”Medium”]

Note: Only 30 photos will show in this set.  See the full slideshow on Flickr.

New Season Blooms

Nearly 600 K-5 students have been busy digging, planting, watering and discovering new creatures in their beautiful new garden.  The garden has sprung to life with vibrant green and blooming plants, some ready to harvest – like radishes, zucchini and basil!

Big mahalos to South Maui Sustainability volunteers who designed and installed this growing community-based learning center.

Fruits and vegetables planted in this year’s school garden include squash, kalo (taro), ‘olena (turmeric), sweet potato (‘uala), banana, papaya, tomatoes, cucumbers, greens, eggplant, beans, herbs and beneficial flowers. This year’s garden additions also feature a Pizza Garden with herbs and veggies for pizza toppings, a Salsa Garden, a Three Sisters Native American-inspired garden, and a Canoe Garden featuring plants imported by Hawaii’s early settlers to Hawaii.

planting oreganoBest of all, the kids are EXCITED about plants, gardening, fruits and vegetables! Check out our most recent planting days in a new video produced by volunteer Elizabeth Crow.

Mahalo to all for helping us build this amazing living classroom!

Hawaii News Now Blog on Kihei Garden and Wiki’s


Wiki Garden Success Story: Kihei Elementary

Six months ago, the Aloha Victory Gardens concept was born.

It’s an idea my husband and I came up with after dabbling in our own organic garden. (Back story: He has a background in landscaping and contracting and I challenged him to come up with an easier way to garden. The result is The Wiki Garden.) “The WIki Garden” launched the Aloha Victory Gardens community service project with two donations. The first went to the Institute for Human Services Women & Children’s Shelter.

The second went to Kihei Elementary School on Maui. We installed the Wiki Garden on campus in November, as part of the South Maui Sustainability’s edible garden. The students planted it around Thanksgiving. By January, they already started enjoying the fruits of their labor. Their Wiki Garden has been so successful, students have held many harvest parties to pick their vegetables and herbs. Their parties culminate with a taste test of the fresh produce grown on the grounds.

Read the whole article at Hawaii News Now anchor Tannya Joaquin’s blog Tannya’s Ad-Lib