Taste of School Gardens 2019 Recap

On the evening of March 9, about 375 people came together at the beautiful Maui Tropical Plantation, to celebrate 10 years of building school gardens with Grow Some Good at the Taste of School Gardens 2019. Mahalo to the chefs, vendors, sponsors, volunteers, auction donors and guests who made this event come together. It truly takes a community! We raised over $46,000 to support school gardens and engaged many old and new friends.

Taste of School Gardens Opening Ceremony

Taste of School Gardens 2019 started with an opening that featuring hula and song by the 4th graders from Pōmaikaʻi Elementary School. Throughout the evening, our videos featured songs from Songs For Change where all songs were written and performed by students and teachers from Pōmaikaʻi.

Kathy Becklin, current Grow Some Good Executive Director, and Dr. Phyllis Robinson, started the program. Phyllis was a founding member of South Maui Sustainability, where Grow Some Good got started 10 years ago. She is now the Program Director for FAM — the Farm Apprentice Mentoring Program so we like to think that our students may someday join her program. Phyllis interviewed Kathy about how Grow Some Good has grown over 10 years. Kathy shared that we have provided over 250,000 class hours in our gardens. The program all started 10 years ago with just one teacher and her science classes; and that teacher, Ms. Alana Kaopuiki-Pellegrino was one of our guests!

Founding Teachers at Taste of School Gardens 2019
Alana Kaopuiki-Pellegrino (right) was the infamous teacher who first asked us to build some garden beds. Sandee Rivas (left) was also one of first teachers at Kihei Elementary School and was instrumental in starting a garden program at our newest school, King Kamehameha III Elementary School, where she is now the technology coordinator.

The Food, Entertainment and Silent Auction

Maui’s most conscious instrumental funk ensemble – Three to 5! provided great music as a backdrop to the social part of the event. Food is always the #1 feature at Taste of School Gardens and once again our ten chefs blew everyone away with their fabulous creations. Guests enjoyed friends, food and drinks and the silent auction. Make sure to take a look at the detailed photos below of the delicious food, beautiful setting and look for yourself and friends.

Program – 10 Years and Progress

The program was kicked off by co-founder and first official garden coordinator, Kirk Surry with a short video about the Day in the Life of a Garden Coordinator.

The Live Auction followed. Next, Grow Some Good co-founder, Nio Kindla, engaged the audience talking about progress that is being made in our school lunch programs through the ‘Aina Pono program. School gardens are an important part of the success of the program by connecting kids with the food they are eating. A focus on nutrition and waste reduction is improving the quality of lunches served in our schools.

Taste of School Gardens -- a look at the changing face of school lunches.

In celebration of Grow Some Good’s 10 year anniversary, volunteer Peter Liu compiled a video that tells our mission and garden stories, using footage collected over 10 years. This video is technically just over three minutes long, but during the 10 year’s worth of rolling credits, precious kids quotes take up another 3 minutes! Best to watch on a big screen!

The Closing : ‘Ohana

We closed with a final paddle raiser fundraiser, and then everyone joined hands in singing ‘ohana, from Songs for Change.

Growing a strong community – ‘Ohana

Means I’ll take care of you, you take care of me – ‘Ohana

Here’s the karaoke-style video of the kids singing, which was the led at the event by Ms. Melinda Carroll and the band. Melinda was the teaching artist who helped the students compose and perform the songs on Songs for Change.

Taste of School Gardens 2019
Enjoy all 184 photos from our Flickr Album.
Day of event photography by Mieko Photography.

Mahalo to all who participated in the Taste of School Gardens 2019!

If you missed the event and would love to contribute to this amazing cause that is changing the way kids think about their food, connecting them with the earth and building strong minds and bodies for our future generations, we would be very grateful. Join our ‘ohana!

Donate Now!

2019 Taste of School Gardens Menus

Want a glimpse into the wonderful dishes the chefs are preparing? Scroll through this list and share your favorites!

Thanks to All of our Sponsors

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.

DUO Restaurant Event

Jazzing it Up at DUO Restaurant to Support Grow Some Good

Jazz & Blues Party at DUO Restaurantproduce-and-signs

Our friends DUO Restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea partnered with the Maui Jazz and Blues Festival to create a unique dining experience benefiting Grow Some Good. Guests enjoyed selections from a special menu and live performances of some of the world’s best Jazz and Blues talent. It was an evening of wonderful food and great entertainment in a beautiful atmosphere at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.

Fresh from School Gardens

img_4173Chef Craig Dryhurst and his team served up a mouth-watering menu featuring fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs from our own school gardens.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            .

Special Musical Guests

img_4190Diners enjoyed Live Jazz and Blues with a special sneak peek of this year’s JazzFest artists, including Blues Guitar Legend & Blues Hall of Fame Inductee Joe Louis Walker, Grammy and NEA Master New Orleans Jazz Royalty Delfeayo Marsalis, and Grammy Nominated Jazz Saxophone Master Javon Jackson (pictured at right).

Mahalo to Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea and the entire team at DUO!

four seasons resort maui at wailea

Maui Jazz & Blues Festival

JAZZ FEST LOGO 2016The 6th annual Maui Jazz and Blues Festival held a variety of events across Maui. Featured Festival performers included  Joe Louis Walker,  Jazz/Rock Guitar Legend & Godfather of Fusion  Larry Coryell,  Delfeayo Marsalis,  Grammy winners  The Band Courtbouillon  with Wayne Toups, Steve Riley and Wilson Savoy; Javon Jackson,  Award Winning Jazz Trumpeter  Gabriel Mark Hasselbach,  Sax Master Rock Hendricks  and Maui’s own Jazz Guitarist & Na Hoku Winner  Benny Uyetake, The King Kekaulike High School Jazz Band, and  The Jazz Alley TV Trio.

Eat Your Beets – at Fork & Salad

Fork & Salad SpecialBeet and Goat Cheese Salad

Fork & Salad, Maui’s newest farm-to-table eatery, shares the same vision as Grow Some Good – to support local agriculture and improve access to nutritious food for everyone in our community. To help support this vision they are offering a signature salad special benefiting Grow Some Good now through March 2017.

 

Eat Your Beets

Salad Board 2

With the purchase of each Beet and Goat Cheese Salad, Fork & Salad will donate $1 to Grow Some Good. This delicious salad features spinach, roasted beets, Surfing Goat Dairy cheese, raw beets, apples, seasonal local fruit, health grain mix, and macadamia nuts, topped with a grapefruit honey vinaigrette dressing.

 

#Eat Local, Eat Healthy

Fork & Salad is a chef-inspired salad company that features locally-sourced ingredients in an effort to support Maui’s farmers, ranchers and fishermen. The menu includes signature salads, wraps, sandwiches, soups, juices, specialty drinks and more. By providing tasty, affordable, fresh meals, Fork & Salad hopes to expand the farm-to-table movement throughout Hawaii, making it available to all consumers and boosting the local economy.

MaFork & Saladhalo!

Mahalo to co-owners Jaron Blosser, Travis Morrin and Cody Christopher for their generous support and for sharing our vision to inspire youth and support local agriculture.

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

Summer School Garden Tours

IMG_3167Grow Some Good supporters recently took a tour of all the good things growing in two of our most established school garden programs at Lokelani Intermediate School and Kihei Elementary School.  Guests spent 2 hours exploring the transformation of garden spaces and learning about the scope of garden planning, education and maintenance involved.

Before & After

Visitors compared the current sites with “before” pictures to fully appreciate the school beautification improvements since the school garden projects began.

Lokelani Intermediate School

The before and after photos below feature one of many building sites at Lokelani, comparing the original landscaping in 2011 to present.  Grow Some Good led student and faculty efforts to renovate the entire campus, earning a statewide Cooke Foundation Beautification Award in 2013.

Lokelani classroom - before and after

Lokelani Intermediate also houses Grow Some Good’s equipment and tool resource center and serves as the site of the main Grow Some Good nursery, supporting 12 Grow Some Good schools and Maui School Garden Network schools across Maui, Lanai and Molokai. This central storage facility for plants, gardening tools, event supplies, and lesson materials is critical to providing consistent school garden operations throughout the islands.

Kihei Elementary School

before12IMG_3192

Kihei School Garden Coordinator Nadine Rasmussen (left) showcases a vibrant kalo (taro) patch, compared to the original garden expansion (above) in 2009 where temporary grow bags were installed while soil was mulched and amended for in-ground planting.

 

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Here we have three layers of activity in the garden: carrots growing in the foreground, tomato plants climbing behind them up the base of the trellis, and ipu hanging up above, where they are drying in preparation to be made into musical instruments as part of our cultural studies program.

 

 

IMG_3240

Program Operations Manager Nio Kindla talks about the importance of composting and soil sifting, and how it benefits the entire garden.

 

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Visitors gather under a shade structure that was recently built through a capital improvement grant to protect students from the harsh Kihei sun and provide a comfortable outdoor classroom.

If you would like to join us for an upcoming school garden tour, contact us.

 

Maui RSVP Dine Out Supports Maui Youth Programs May 27 – June 5


Dine Out and Support Maui Charities

chef-paris-nabavi_400x400Award-winning Chef Paris Nabavi, owner of Sangrita Grill and Cantina, continues to make his mark on the Maui community.

Grow Some Good is thrilled to be included in his new “Maui RSVP” dining program, which supports eight local non-profits while giving diners an opportunity to dine out at a great discount.

Participating restaurants will offer select entrées and menu items at a 50% discount. Scheduled for the week of May 27th-June 5th, Chef Nabavi has partnered with some of Maui’s best restaurants to join him in his efforts.

Maui RSVP

Flyer Photo CroppedMaui RSVP – Restaurants Support Vital Programs – is designed to support a select group of Maui non-profits that provide services close to Chef Nabavi’s heart: literacy, nutrition, cooking, school gardens, the arts, and support services. One of Chef Nabavi’s goals is to help change the way children eat. Engaging and educational programs, like school gardens, give them an early introduction to nutrition and healthy eating.

Beneficiaries of the Nabavi Legacy Fund are: Book Trust, Grow Some Good, Imua Family Services, Kids Cook / Teens Cook with Heart, Maui Academy of Performing Arts, Maui Culinary Academy, Maui Food Innovation Center, and Maui School Garden Network. The Fund, managed by Grant Central Station, will be distributed to the beneficiaries annually.

“I believe supporting these eight organizations is truly vital to the Maui community,” Chef Nabavi says. “They share a common thread in that they each provide unique services and opportunities to our children, who are the future of our island. Whether it’s nutrition and cooking, education, arts or support services, these groups are dedicated to enhancing lives and empowering Maui’s youth for generations to come.”

The Nabavi Legacy Fund will administer donations for Maui RSVP. Currently the event is scheduled to run again in the fall, from September 23rd – October 2nd.

Participating Restaurants

Participating restaurants for the May 27th-June 5th event include:

MAui RSVP Logo

Cane & Canoe at Montage Kapalua

Joey’s Kitchen at Whalers Village

The Mill House at Maui Tropical Plantation

Oceanside at Ma’alaea Harbor Shops

Pūlehu, an Italian Grill, at The Westin Kā‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas

Sangrita Grill & Cantina in Kā‘anapali

Taverna in Kapalua Resort

Three’s Bar & Grill in Kīhei

 

Mahalo, Chef Nabavi, for your continued support of Grow Some Good and our Maui community!

 

 

Taste of School Gardens Gala Grows Some Good!

Sunset views are a given on the Sunset Lawn at Hotel Wailea.Wow! What a night! More than 400 people attended the 4th Annual Taste of School Gardens gala on Saturday March 12th, 2016, on the Hotel Wailea Sunset Lawn. Thanks to all the support from our ‘ohana, we raised $60,000 for more than 3,000 students in school garden programs across Maui.

The evening featured fabulous food prepared by local chefs, fine wines, local brews, and music performed by Maui’s own Soul Kitchen, and a special outdoor garden classroom area for guests to learn more about the school garden program’s lessons and activities.

Soul Kitchen Entertains the Crowd.
Soul Kitchen Entertains the Crowd.

 

Chicken Cacciatore Over Pasta Courtesy of Fabiabi's.
Chicken Cacciatore Over Pasta Courtesy of Fabiabi’s.

Fabulous Food, Wine, Local Brews & Produce!

Featured chefs included: Chef Gary Johnson of Hana Ranch Provisions, 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, Chef Brian Murphy of Cow Pig Bun, Chef Kevin Laut of The Outrigger Pizza Company and Chef Don Marceaux  of Fabiani’s.

Wine Selections by Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants, Southern Wine & Spirits, and Young’s Market. Specialty local beer and beer cocktails by Maui Brewing Company.

Also a big mahalo for the amazing generosity of our local farmers and artisans! Produce and local products provided by school gardens in South, Central and West Maui and the following local farms: Local Harvest (Island-wide), Evonuk Farms, Herb Co (Oahu), Hāna Ranch, Kahanu ‘Aina (Wailuku), Kumu Farms (Wailuku), Kupa’a Farms (K

Pizza Courtesy of Outrigger Pizza Company
Pizza Courtesy of Outrigger Pizza Company

ula), Mālama Farms (Haiku), Maui Breadfruit Company, Maui Nui Farm (Kula), Otani Farms (Kula), Simpli-fresh Farms (Lahaina), and SEE Farms (Kula).

 

 

 Wonderful Program

Guests got to enjoy the outdoor classroom experience and participate in one of the most fun activities in the garden – making edible art! Garden equipment and tools were displayed along with special art made by student gardeners.

We Brought the Garden Classroom to the Event.
We Brought the Garden Classroom to the Event.

 Mahalo!

Taste of School Gardens is Grow Some Good’s premier fundraising event to support our community programs.

Grow Some Good’s mission is to cultivate a healthy community by strengthening local agriculture and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. Currently, we provide school garden program support to more than 3,000 students in 12 schools in South, Central, and West Maui.

Your support helps make this happen. Thank you to the many individuals and businesses that are donating their time, talent and resources to our event this year.

Check out our Facebook album for more awesome shots by Mieko Photography!

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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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