Hawaii Legislators Support Farm to School Programs

KITV screenshotOver 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!

Lokelani Waverider Pride Blooms

DSCN2243(1)This week, students at Lokelani Intermediate School continued their campus wide beautification and sustainable agriculture program with more than 100 students, teachers and volunteers gathering to Mālama ‘Āina as ohana. Garden terraces, classrooms and entries were weeded, mulched and planted with incredible enthusiasm from students.

Mahalo nui loa to the Cooke Foundation for funding and inspiring the continuation of this incredible transformation. The entire campus is filled with new life, tremendous pride, honor and laulima – many hands working together – to create a kinder, more prosperous future.

It’s happening in a school garden near you. Dig in.  https://growsomegood.org/volunteer/

To see more photos by ‘Āina Angels Laura Van Wagner and Nio Kindla, VISIT OUR FACEBOOK ALBUM

Apply Now: Part-Time School Garden Coordinator

School Garden Coordinator / Class Facilitator

Kihei Elementary School Garden

kids-in-classmattbitesHOURS:
Contract position starting at 30-35 hours per week
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 5 days per week + prep time (TBD)

WAGE:
$18 – $22 per hour depending on experience

Job Description

Grow Some Good is contracting part-time Garden Coordinator at Kihei Elementary School to provide support for the growing school garden. Position offers support to teachers and students to maximize the educational potential of the garden. The Garden Coordinator leads curriculum focused outdoor explorations and garden-based nutrition workshops, while providing professional development training for teachers in the process. The Garden Coordinator acts as a resource for teachers as they plan their own cross-curricular lessons in the outdoor classroom, and models skills that teachers need to feel comfortable using the garden to teach science, history, social studies, cultural studies, math, literacy and other standards in practical real-life applications.

The Coordinator

• Facilitates garden science classes, incorporating both environmental science and nutrition education as they relate to the garden;

• Works closely with classroom teachers to develop lessons that support classroom teaching in a range of curriculum areas (science, social studies, mathematics, language arts, etc.)

• Oversees and coordinates students’ hands-on experiences in the garden

(planting, tending, harvesting and cooking);

• Builds involvement in and commitment to the school garden within the school

community, including teachers, administrators, students, parents and community

volunteers;

• Builds relevant participation within the school by co-teaching with classroom teachers, and developing teacher skills in outdoor classroom management techniques;

• Maintains the garden, coordinating volunteers and working with PTA and Grow Some Good to secure all needed supplies;

• Leads a group of students in garden-related projects through after-school programming.

Job Responsibilities

  • 4-6 garden-based education classes per day, 5 days per week;
  • Collaborate with Grow Some Good on garden scheduling / maintenance, plan and prepare for garden work activities, co-manage planting schedule, ensure availability of tools and other necessary materials;
  • Establish garden time schedule for teachers;
  • Attend school wide staff meetings;
  • Co-teach after-school garden club;
  • Participate in community garden events that bring students, families, teachers and community members together;
  • Participate in school-wide garden events;
  • Attend grade level meetings on a monthly basis for collaborations and core curriculum alignment;
  • Monitor, document and report on all activities and extent of student and teacher participation;

Desired Skills and Experience

  • 2-3 years of facilitation or teaching experience with youth aged 5 – 12 (outdoor group management experience preferred);
  • Knowledge and skills in small scale organic food production or home gardening;
  • Knowledge of or interest in topics including urban gardening, botany, biodynamics, indigenous farming techniques; environmental science, health and nutrition, food systems, food access;
  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse populations including youth and adults;
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, including public speaking skills;
  • Ability to work independently and be flexible;
  • Computer skills and project management skills;
  • Experience and/or training in positive behavior

To Apply, Send cover letter and resume to Apply@GrowSomeGood.org. No phone calls please.

 

 

 

 

Grow Some Good Benefit Raises More than $18,000!

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!

World-class chefs prepare amazing cuisine from school garden ingredients at "Maui Chefs Grow Some Good - A Sunset Taste of School Gardens" March 2, 2013. Left to right: Chefs Brian Etheredge (Capische? & Il Teatro), Dan Fiske (Private Maui Chef), Peleg Miron (Spago), Christopher Kulis (Capische? & Il Teatro), Kristen Etheredge (Private Maui Chef), Samuel Faggetti (Four Seasons Resort Maui), Nicholas Porreca (Ferraro's Bar e Ristorante), and Eric Mitchell (The Outrigger Pizza Company)
Left to right: Chefs Brian Etheredge (Capische? & Il Teatro), Dan Fiske (Private Maui Chef), Peleg Miron (Spago), Christopher Kulis (Capische? & Il Teatro), Kristen Etheredge (Private Maui Chef), Samuel Faggetti (Four Seasons Resort Maui), Nicholas Porreca (Ferraro’s Bar e Ristorante), and Eric Mitchell (The Outrigger Pizza Company)

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.

Check out photos by Peter Liu on Flickr.

Photography: Peter Liu  PeterLiu47.comFor 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.

Dig into all the good things growing in our schools!  Check out our volunteer page for more information or donate online. You can also join keep in touch via Facebook and Twitter.

Mahalo Nui Loa to Our Sponsors

    
        

 

Special thanks to:
Tri-Isle Resource Conservation & Development
Mulligan’s on the Blue
Chef Jana McMahon
Maui Culinary Academy
Wailea Golf Club
Four Winds Maui
Ali’i Kula Lavender
Kinaole Grill
Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods
Edible Hawaiian Islands Magazine
Surf Rents Trucks

… And every wonderful teacher, parent, volunteer and local business that digs in to help school gardens on Maui thrive!

Work & Learn Days – 2nd Saturdays & 3rd Thursdays + Lokelani May 4

Mark your calendars for April/May Work & Learn Days!

  • “Second Saturday”

Saturday, April 13

8:30 a.m. – Noon

Where:

Kihei Elementary School

250 E Lipoa St  Kihei, HI 96753

  • “Third Thursday”

Thursday, April 18

2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Garden care

Where:

Kihei Elementary School

250 E Lipoa St  Kihei, HI 96753

  • Lokelani Ohana All Campus Work & Learn Day – May 4

Saturday, May 4

8 a.m. – Noon

Join Lokelani teachers, students and volunteers for an all campus Work & Learn Day. We’ll be refurbishing garden beds and planting in new garden areas, including the new Hawaiian terrace project in the heart of campus.

Where: 

Lokelani Intermediate School

1401 Liloa Drive

Kihei, HI 96753

  • “Second Saturday” – May

Saturday, May 11

8:30 a.m. – Noon

Noon – 1 p.m.  Bokashi Workshop with Maui Bokashi‘s Jenna Leilani Tallman.

Learn to easily transform food scraps into rich compost with effective microorganisms & Bokashi.

Where:

Kihei Elementary School

250 E Lipoa St  Kihei, HI 96753

 

Join us every “Second Saturday” morning and “Third Thursday” afternoon at Kihei Elementary School Garden as we plant new garden starts from seed, build bamboo trellises and vertical gardens, harvest heirloom produce, prep soil for replanting, turn compost, weed & mulch pathways, paint garden signs and more.


Share the Harvest
& Starts
Come for gardening care, inspirations and share in the bounty.  Organic and heirloom garden plant starts available to help get your own back yard gardens started.

Ask the Gardeners
Grow Some Good volunteers and certified Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions about bugs, plant disease issues and tips on growing an organic garden in Kihei.

Our garden care days are always a lot of fun and a great way to learn about organic gardening from people in the neighborhood. Join us for all or part of the day. Water and light refreshments will be provided.

If you have questions in advance, please email info@GrowSomeGood.org, call 808.269.6300 or visit our Volunteer PageSee you there!

New Identity, Look & Mission – Grow Some Good


Grow Some Good Educational School Gardens - Kihei Maui HawaiiJust as the caterpillars emerge as butterflies, a new season brings a new name, look and metamorphosis for our group, formerly called South Maui School Gardens Project. Grow Some Good – Educational School Gardens on Maui – speaks to the heart of our dedication 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.

Big Mahalo to Saedine Ota and her crew at Sae Design for our new logo! Sae Design has taken Grow Some Good under their wings as their new probono account, helping us to create this new identity with eye-catching designs for our outreach materials and events. So far, we’ve incorporated the new look into our website, cards, banners, organic seed packets, videos and more.

Keep your eyes peeled for the Grow Some Good carrot at community events throughout the island, where we’ll be demonstrating easy home gardening techniques and giving away seeds and starts to help you get growing.

Grow Some Good:

What’s Growing On?
> Education– We work with school administration and teachers to become an integral part of the education system, enabling garden projects as an outdoor classroom setting.  We host/teach classes tied to Hawaii public school curriculum K-5 and are starting up a new middle school program.
> Eats– Our programs directly tie food grown in the garden to what students eat. Our work with chefs give us a unique capability to have special ‘in the garden’ events featuring the chefs who change foreign looking garden ingredients into awesome healthy eats!  We look forward to sponsoring mini-grants that make similar programs available to schools island-wide. For example, we could connect a chef to a school for a recipe demo or food tasting or provide a mini-grant to provide student chef kits.

> Fundraising –  Our relationships with local chefs goes beyond teaching students; it is what has sustained us and helped us connect the hard work in garden to the delicious payoff for students and volunteers. In a variety of programs from monthly pledges to larger fundraisers, our chefs are an integral connection to raising funds that support our programs.

> Gardening – We educate students, teachers, volunteers and the community about gardening and growing food in Hawaii.  We encourage student’s natural curiosity through planting, finding worms, identifying bugs, composting and understanding plant lifecycles.

> Community – Through plant adoptions, work & learn days, and other outreach, we share the school gardens with our community to inspire backyard gardens and neighborhood gardens everywhere. We share what we’ve done and learned on our blog site, so others can grow similar programs in Hawaii and beyond. From teachers, staff, volunteers, parents and students, thousands are already touched in some way by the gardens.  In turn, they share the seeds of knowledge with an exponential network of friends and family. For example, in its first few months, Project: Plant It! students and volunteers have given away more than 400 plants and sampled recipes to hundreds of parents with YMCA… we look forward to growing this outreach and our relationships with people who care about growing our future.

> Reading – We co-sponsor grants to supply teachers and students with garden and nutrition-inspired books for curriculum, projects, classrooms and libraries.

This has been an incredible year of transformation for our gardens, students and families who are taking new steps to Grow Some Good in their neighborhoods… and having a great time while they’re at it.

We hope our work together inspires the same growth in your neighborhood!

Calling All Volunteers: Come Grow With Us!

Planting season is in full swing at Kihei Elementary School Garden. This week, more than 200 students replanted kalo (taro), ‘olena (turmeric), learned pa’i’ai (pounding poi) and Native American “Three Sisters” companion planting traditions.

What else is growing on?
> Gardens of the World (East Asia, Latin America, Mediterranean & more!)
> Green Bean Teepee Tunnels
> Sweet Potato Mounds
> Carrots & Beets Patch
> Salad Bowl Garden
> Pizza Garden

… and we’re just getting started.

Planting is happening every day for the next few weeks until Winter Recess begins (Dec. 19 – Jan. 2).  We need volunteers to help us make this a fun, learning experience for everyone. No gardening experience necessary. Learn as you volunteer!

V
olunteer Hours:
Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
NOTE: All volunteers must register at the school office upon arrival

Where:
Kihei Elementery School
250 E Lipoa St  Kihei, HI 96753

If you’d like to get involved, please email info@KiheiSchoolGardens.org or call 808.269.6300. Please indicate day(s) / time(s) available during weekdays. We’ll match you with a class that fits your schedule and fills your heart!

Mahalo for your kokua!

YMCA Camp Nalu — For The Love of Food

One of the most important aspects of school gardens is connecting kids to healthy eating habits and engaging them in growing and preparing their own food.  For school garden programs, chefs are the connection to inspiring lifelong healthy eaters.

We are so fortunate to have local chefs – Dan Fiske (www.PrivateMauiChef.com ), Brian Etheridge & Christopher Kulis (Capische?) and Peter Merriman (Monkeypod Kitchen) – who support South Maui School Gardens Project as financial sponsors, farmers, volunteers and mentors.

Earlier this summer, Chef Dan traded his chef’s jacket for overalls and became “Farmer/Chef Dan” for six days with more than 50 kids in YMCA Camp Nalu and our amazing volunteers.  Each Monday, campers rushed into the Kihei Elementary School garden to learn about soil building, pollinators, planting and harvesting fruits and vegetables. Then, Farmer/Chef Dan recruited kitchen helpers from the group to prepare keiki-friendly recipes using fresh, organic garden ingredients.

Check out our YMCA Camp Nalu Flickr album with highlights from the summer!

Mahalo nui loa to our sponsors and volunteers who continue to share their love of good nutrition and local ingredients with our future locavore chefs and organic farmers!

 

Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman Dinner Raises More than $2,400 for Lokelani Garden

Monkeypod Kitchen by MerrimanOn Wednesday, June 14, Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman in Wailea hosted a special fundraising dinner to support the launch of new school gardens and outdoor learning programs for more than 600 students at Lokelani Intermediate School in Kihei.  The Lokelani program launch is a collaborative effort between South Maui School Gardens Project, Community Work Day Program and the Maui County Department of Water Supply.

The percentage of net dinner receipts collected during Monkeypod Kitchen’s dinner service plus cash donations totaled more than $2,400 to support installation of educational gardens and program support for teachers, students and volunteers.

Guests from Slow Food Maui enjoying great eats for a great cause. Photo: Kaiscapes

“Helping kids connect to the land. It’s good for the kids and good for the ‘aina,” says Chef Peter Merriman about the restaurant’s support for the project.

In addition to hosting the fundraising dinner, Monkeypod Kitchen has signed on as an ongoing financial contributor to the program and provides an incentive program for employees who volunteer in the garden.

Plans for Lokelani Intermediate include Native Hawaiian gardens, food producing and educational gardens, fruit tree orchards, a chef’s garden for the cafeteria, multi-cultural heritage gardens, aquaponics, and pocket gardens throughout the campus. Students and teachers from all disciplines are taking ownership of this transformative project by creating new outdoor learning activities.  Nutritional education, natural science projects, video documenting, creative writing for the school garden blog, garden design drafts, research and planning are just a few curricula in development with Lokelani teachers for the coming school year.

Mahalo to everyone who dined out to support the Lokelani School garden and special thanks to Peter Merriman and his amazing staff for helping us get this program off to a great start!