What 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 🙂
The harvest stage of a school garden provides an ideal setting to observe interdependence of producers and consumers: harvesting food in the garden vs. buying produce in a store or a restaurant. This is when Social Studies benchmarks can be supported in the garden and students can gain an understanding of how consumer choices affect food sustainability on Maui.
Limited Resources and Choice: Explain scarcity and effects on daily life. Discuss water scarcity in Hawaii and how it affects farmers / gardeners. What happens when there is less rainfall on the island? How does it affect farmers? What happens if local farmers stop producing a fruit or vegetable? How does it affect the price? What happens when consumers buy imported produce instead of local produce? How does it affect a local farmer’s ability to grow more?
Role of Government: Discuss responsibility of government to provide goods and services – ie. In supplying water to areas where needed.
Economic Interdependence / Role and Function of Markets: How do people benefit from trade (exchange of goods and services)? Discuss relationships between buyers (consumers) and sellers (producers) and how they depend upon each other. Why do farmers need customers? Why do customers need farmers?
Display imported produce: a tomato (from California), banana (from Ecuador), eggplant (from Philippines), cabbage (from Mexico) and ask the students to find where these items are growing in the garden. Have students search for “local” produce bring a sample of each back to circle (or a leaf from the plant if fruit or vegetable is not ready to harvest).
Locate origin of each imported produce item on the globe and estimate how many miles / amount of time each one traveled before being sold to the consumer here on Hawaii.
Discuss all the human resources involved in delivering that food (farmers, truckers, shippers, store clerks, etc.). Which ones require gas/fuel to do their jobs? Students act out each stage of delivery and exchange.
Compare the imported food chain to how many steps / people / how much energy or fuel it took to deliver food from the garden to the table.
Ask students if they know someone who grows food on Maui. Discuss the concept of local vs. imported. What is local? Are you local? Why?
If you bought a local banana from a store that sells your uncle’s / auntie’s bananas, who would get the money?
If you bought an imported banana from Ecuador, who would get the money?
If a local farmer gets money for their bananas, can they grow more local bananas? Why?
How can you tell where something comes from when shopping in a store? Show examples of food labels that list the origin of produce.
Final Observations / Questions
Why do stores in your neighborhood import food from other countries? Not enough supply? Not enough demand? Do imported bananas taste better?
Taste testing: Sample and compare slices of a banana from Ecuador or other country to an apple banana from Maui. Samples are divided on two plates with no identification on origin.
Which tastes better? Then, reveal which bananas are imported vs. local.
How does supply and demand affect a store owner’s decision to carry local vs. imported bananas?
Which consumer choice supports farmers who live on Maui?
Which banana would you choose? Why?
For more ideas on connecting students their food sources and sustainable practices, check out the free downloads and other resources available via the Center for Ecoliteracy.
In the final months of school, garden lessons turn to a continuation of the life cycle with ‘Saving Our Seeds’ workshops at all grade levels. This exercise connects students to sustainable practices that preserve their favorite plants, ensure food security and support benchmarks in science (life cycle), social studies (food economics) and more.
During hands-on lessons, students dig into discussions and activities that illustrate stages of the life cycles (germination/birth, growth, reproduction, and death) of various plants and animals, pointing out details that distinguish each stage. Students also learn the value of seed saving and how it affects food availability for the future. As our jr. gardeners/scientists/economists become more experienced, the learning possibilities are endless. Here are just a few ideas to get started:
Where can you find seeds in the garden? In a flower? In a fruit? In a dried pod?
At which point of the life cycle is a seed? The beginning or the end? Answer: Both! Discuss when a seed is at the end (in flower, fruit or seed pod) and when a seed is at the beginning (when planted and watered) of the life cycle.
Why save seeds? Discuss the value of preserving genes from healthy plants, saving money, food security, etc.
How does age / storage affect germination rates? Review germination, discuss how seeds lose their ability to germinate over time or under poor storage conditions (heat, moisture, oxidation, etc).
Students divide into groups to search for seeds throughout the garden and collect with volunteer and/or teacher supervision.
Seeds can be compared by weight, shape, color, texture, etc.
Demonstrate different ways seeds travel – by wind (lettuce seeds with feathers fly in the wind), wing (birds eating from a plate of sunflower seeds), water (place a seeding flower or open seed pod on a mound, simulate rain with watering can to watch a seeds travel in the water stream and replant itself downstream).
Seeds are sorted, categorized, bagged or jarred, and labeled with collection dates.
Seeds are then stored in a cool, dry, airtight place for use in next year’s school garden and/or planted in starts containers for students to add to their summer home gardens.
Check out more ideas for all grades and experience levels in this free e-book download made available by the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center.
For three full days, April 24-26, world-class chefs led garden recipe workshops with more than 950 students in nearly a quarter-acre of garden space in the heart of the Kihei Elementary School campus. Kindergarten through 5th grade students and chefs prepared Asian stir-fry and gourmet veggie pizzas using ingredients grown and harvested from the school’s Pizza Garden and Gardens of the World. Students chopped, peeled and spiced their garden delights before chefs tossed them into a giant wok and wood-fired pizza oven and served it up in a pop-up café to celebrate the school’s annual Harvest Fest.
Now in its sixth year, Kihei Elementary School garden, managed by Grow Some Good, has become a model program for integrating sustainability and nutrition into curriculum while inspiring future farmers, chefs, scientists, teachers and entrepreneurs on Maui. “We have observed children who are shy or those who don’t do well in the classroom, blossom just like the plants they are cultivating,” says Halle Maxwell, Kihei Elementary School Principal.
Grow Some Good is a nonprofit community program dedicated to creating 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, the organization provides resources and curriculum support through community partnerships in agriculture, science, food education and nutrition. For more information about Grow Some Good, visit GrowSomeGood.org.
And, as always, MAHALO TO OUR WONDERFUL VOLUNTEERS who make these special events run smoothly and inspire greater nutrition for our keiki!
– Nio Kindla, Terry Huth, Kathy Becklin, Dania Katz, Eric Ulman, Ray and Laura Van Wagner, Connie Mark, Jordan Lauren Claymore, Wyatt Gouveia, Anthony LaBua, Sierra Knight and Ruby Ayers… you are AWESOME! We couldn’t do this without you!
Mahalo nui loa to more than 250 friends of Grow Some Good who attended our school gardens benefit last Saturday at Hotel Wailea. We are thrilled at the incredibly warm reception received from the community and excited to grow some more good in the neighborhood!
The benefit was our first annual event and raised more than $18,000 to assist school gardens serving nearly 2,000 students on Maui. Special thanks to Marty Dread and Maui’s world class chefs who harvested produce with our students, then kept the crowd entertained while they feasted on delicious cuisine prepared from school garden ingredients. Not only do these chefs raise funds for school gardens, they also mentor students during recipe workshops to improve nutrition choices with localicious recipes!
Premiere chefs participated from Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, Ferraro’s Bar e Ristorante, Capische? & Il Teatro, Spago, Private Maui Chef, and The Outrigger Pizza Company. Featured sponsors: First Wind, Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine, Four Seasons Resort and Hotel Wailea. Thanks to your support, Grow Some Good is expanding our programs to reach more keiki on Maui.
For those of you just getting to know us, Grow Some Good is a nonprofit community program dedicated to creating 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 partnerships in agriculture, science, food education and nutrition.
Here’s a sneak peek at the menu from our fabulous chefs supporting the upcoming Grow Some Good event – A Sunset Taste of School Gardens. Saturday, March 2, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Hotel Wailea. Buy your tickets by 2 p.m. Saturday and get $10 off. Tickets going fast! Don’t delay!
Each course is inspired by a different area of our curriculum-based gardens.
Inspired by the Three Sisters Garden: According to Native American legends, corn, beans and squash are the three sisters who only thrive when planted together. This has become a legendary story in U.S. History as Native Americans taught immigrants to farm using this technique that was passed down through generations. The corn grows straight and tall, the squash shades the ground and helps keep pests away and the beans grow up the corn stalks while their ability to fix nitrogen keeps the soil fertile. This 5th grade garden project is used to teach history, interdependent relationships in nature, and soil health.
Pumpkin gnocchi with garden veggies
Sweet corn soup with cilantro pesto and toasted pumpkin seeds
Green beans with garden basil and roasted cherry tomatoes
Inspired by the Salsa Garden: The salsa garden provides many different fresh flavors for students to sample. Many students previously thought of salsa as a mushy mix of store bought and preserved tomatoes and peppers in a jar. Now they’ve learned that most delicious salsas can be made fresh from the garden in just minutes. Classic salsa has morphed into varieties made out of whatever is fresh and in season. Students don’t even need chips to enjoy salsa! Dip with carrot or zucchini chips or wrap in a kale leaf. This 3rd grade garden project introduces students to new cultures, teaches basics of food preparation, preservation and nutrition.
Inspired by Gardens of the World: Since Hawaii is such a melting pot of ethnic backgrounds, one area of the garden is dedicated to celebrating their cultural gifts. This 3rd grade garden introduces geography and explores the vast variety of fruits and vegetables that cultures with weather similar to Maui enjoy. It is such a delight to hear the kids’ stories about their families, their traditions and the food they’ve enjoyed for generations.
Thai red curry with farm vegetables and Green papaya salad and Thai basil
Local Hawaiian mushrooms with Chinese garlic-pepper sauce fried garlic and brown rice
Inspired by Super Greens Garden: This 1st and 2nd grade garden project introduces students to the power of chlorophyll for plants and people. Students learn how plants convert energy from the sun into life giving nutrition. The Super Greens Garden includes several heirloom varieties of kale, chard and other greens which are harvested with papaya, apple bananas and mint to make their favorite recipe: Super Green Smoothies! Kids delight in drinking these vibrant green drinks and have given the recipe nicknames like “The Healthy Hulk” and “Green Lantern Juice.” Check out the recipe and video of kids screaming for more greens on our blog post at GrowSomeGood.org.
Local caught fish bone soup, served with super garden greens, tomato, cilantro and Meyer lemon.
Tuna belly slider with Maui onion gremolata, served on a Moloka’i sweet potato chip and garnished with micro shiso. Vegetarian option: Sautéed Ali’i mushroom slider.
Chef Eric Mitchell, The Outrigger Pizza Company
Inspired by the Pizza Garden: In this mini-labyrinth circular garden grows all the ingredients to make kids all time favorite food: pizza! We even grow some wheat to show the kids that the crunchy crust comes from the garden too! Students love meandering through the pizza-slice pathways, picking tomatoes, smelling the basil and oregano, sizing up the onions and eggplants and harvesting the bounty for pizza parties! This 1st grade project introduces the concept of growing ingredients for familiar foods, asking “where does my food come from?” It also serves as an example of pollination as bees hover and extract nectar from the flowering basil with balls of pollen stuck to their legs, then continuing onto the other flowering plants.
Mediterranean pizza made with eggplant, red onion, kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes, feta and pesto. Served with or without chicken
Marinara pizza made with tomato, olive oil, mozzarella and basil
Garden herb “Green Pizza” made with a variety of school garden herbs and olive oil
Inspired by Tropical Fruits of Hawaii: Our school gardens have a variety of apple bananas, citrus, lilikoi and, of course, papayas, which pop up all over the garden from seeds in our rich compost. Kids love catching papayas with the help of Mr. Handy – a 12 foot bamboo pole with a hand glove on the end. They amaze at the sight of a tall banana stalk and observe with great patience as fruit trees mature from saplings to fruit bearing beauties. By growing fruit, all grade levels learn about the importance of pollinators, the surprising differences between fruits and vegetables, seed saving techniques, nutrition and more!
Fresh tropical dessert prepared from school garden limes and a medley of tropical fruits
Measuring Perimeter, Area & Volume / Inspiring Entrepreneurial Minds
This week, third and fourth graders at Kihei Elementary School and Wailuku Elementary School practiced measuring perimeter, area and volume in the garden to determine quantities of soil and lumber required to build a new raised garden bed and design garden layouts.
The measurements were also used to determine how many plants could be planted in the surface area of the new bed and how a farmer would use these math skills to determine what price to charge for produce.
Lots of fun and a great way to inspire entrepreneurial skills at an early age!
Please join us Saturday, Sept. 15, at Spago for a very special dinner to benefit Grow Some Good – Educational School Gardens on Maui. Chefs Cameron Lewark (Spago), Christopher Kulis (Capische?) and Nicholas Porreca (Ferraro’s Bar e Ristorante) will co-host a limited seating engagement with 60 guests in the beautiful Spago restaurant, located at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. The four-course dinner will feature school garden-grown ingredients and wine pairings.
For $98 per plate, attendees will have the opportunity to taste cuisine from three of Wailea’s top chefs in one evening. On the menu:
Haiku Tomato, Hana Pohole Ferns, Surfing Goat Cheese
The terrace project in the heart of Lokelani Intermediate School is nearly complete, thanks to significant contributions from Goodfellow Brother
s Inc., Hawaiian Cement and numerous other local businesses and community members. Students are planting food garden starts from seeds and preparing native Hawaiian cultural plants for terraces and additional garden spaces throughout the campus.
If you’d like to contribute to the positive growth happening at Lokelani, emailinfo@GrowSomeGood.org for more information. Student and volunteer hours at Lokelani Intermediate School are typically 7:45 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. weekdays. Some additional afternoon weekday hours and weekends will also be scheduled over the next few months. Email us your availability, and we’ll be in touch soon with upcoming dates! Mahalo!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Contact Grow Some Good
1215 S. Kihei Rd #O-1047
Kihei, HI 96753
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