Stories from the Garden: from The Story Connective

This fall, garden coordinators, administrators, and board members from Grow Some Good met with the Story Connective to do a Story Bridge workshop. Participants were prompted to talk about a time they experienced in the garden that a child will never forget.

These stories provide a glimpse of the magic that happens in school gardens. Take a listen to these remarkable stories here.

Mahalo to the Story Connective for putting together this wonderful collection.

A Message from Kathy Becklin, Executive Director

Kathy Becklin, Grow Some Good’s first Executive Director, has done a tremendous job managing the organization and helping it move forward in critical areas of fundraising, curriculum development, and garden management. Now, as Grow Some Good enters its tenth year of providing school gardens, she shares why she’s stepping down.

As Kathy explains, she’s not going anywhere! She will still be active as a volunteer and serve as Treasurer on the Grow Some Good Board of Directors.

View on YouTube here.

Grow Some Good’s Strategic Focus

Growing Some Good for 10 Years

The 2018-19 school year marks the 10th year of Grow Some Good providing educational school gardens for Maui students. It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years! As a strategic and visionary organization, we took a look at where we have been and where we should put our focus for the next five years and beyond.

 

 

 

Board Discussions

In June, the Board of Directors met to discuss the organization’s status and future strategic goals. As part of the process, we reviewed the strategic planning documents from our last session in 2015. A highlight of this review was recognizing all the great things we have accomplished since 2015!  It is also reassuring to see that we are still on our planned path toward our mission to “cultivate healthier communities by strengthening local agriculture and improving access to nutritious, affordable food.”

2018-19 Goals

Looking at the immediate future, Grow Some Good identified goals and activities for the 2018-19 School Year.

Strengthen School Relationships. Enhance our work in curriculum across grade levels, especially in the areas of science. Set expectations of schools and students and provide key curriculum, making it easy for teachers to utilize complementary lessons in the classroom. Demonstrate the true value of the garden as an effective learning tool.

Strategic Expansion. Focus on areas of maximum opportunity, such as adding a grade or class at an existing school or enhancing a specific project.  We see limited expansion into new schools during the upcoming school year.

Build and Solidify Partnerships. While we have an active and supportive network in the chef and restaurant community, we want to expand beyond this group.  Our goal is to reach more local farmers, businesses, community groups and educational resources.

Enhance our Outreach Programs. In our early years, GSG volunteers and staff actively participated in many community events. This has tapered off recently. Our goal for the coming year is to participate in relevant community activities to engage with new volunteers and supporters. Leveraging off a tagline we had for years, we are calling the Outreach Program “Grow Some Good in Your Neighborhood,” and will include participation in events, Work & Learn Days, and other activities.

Adaptation and Utilization of Specialists. We are reviewing various cost saving opportunities such as outsourcing some Human Resources activities, or utilizing an irrigation specialist. This allows GSG to leverage the expertise of people and groups in our community while focusing on what we do best.

Looking at the Future

With over 4,000 students participating in our programs at 11 Maui schools, Grow Some Good is one of the largest school garden program providers in the state. As the Farm to School movement in Hawaii gains traction, we recognize the opportunity to provide leadership, data, and activities to support the movement. Initiatives like the ‘Aina Pono Farm to School Program re-introduce local produce and agriculture products into select school cafeterias across the state. We anticipate this program will grow in popularity, creating a need and desire to provide more local and school-grown produce for school cafeterias, as well as opportunities to develop more growing spaces and food forests on campuses. Grow Some Good is preparing for this opportunity by reaching out to local partners and funders who might be interested in supporting this important change for our schools and students.

As we look to the next school year, we are excited about deploying some new projects, enhancing our gardens and working with our schools to increase the educational value of the garden programs.

Growing Food and Inspiring Healthy Eating

Fuel Up. Do Good. With Ohana Fuels

Ohana Fuels ‘Fuel Up. Do Good.’ Program to Support Grow Some Good

Grow Some Good will be the beneficiary of Ohana Fuels ‘Fuel Up. Do Good.’ program for the fourth quarter of 2017.  From October 1st through December 31st, Ohana Fuels will generously donate a portion of all gasoline sales from their Maui gas stations to the organization.

Supporting our Garden Programs

“Through this donation we can teach science, math, history, art and culture in our gardens, inspiring the next generation of farmers, chefs, teachers and scientists on Maui. With strong roots in our community, Ohana Fuels understands the importance of preparing our keiki to be future leaders. We’re excited to have the support of Ohana Fuels,” said Kathy Becklin, Executive Director of Grow Some Good.

“We are proud to have the opportunity to support the extraordinary service organizations in our community through our ‘Fuel Up.  Do Good.’ program,” said Kimo Haynes, President of Hawaii Petroleum/Ohana Fuels.  He continued, “We look forward to giving back to organizations like Grow Some Good now and in the future.”

Eight Convenient Locations on Maui

Ohana Fuels has eight locations on Maui, in Makawao, Pukalani, Lahaina, Kihei, Wailuku and Kahului. Certified as a TOP TIERTM fuel provider, Ohana Fuels meets the premier standard of gasoline for optimum performance and fuel efficiency.

Stop by one of their stations to Fuel Up. Do Good. And support Grow Some Good!

Mahalo to Ohana Fuels for your support!

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.

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.

 

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

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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