Kihei School Garden Chef Sponsor Featured in Maui Menu Magazine

Chef Sponsors in the News

Kihei School Garden Chef Sponsor Featured in Maui Menu MagazineChef Brian Etheredge of Capische? and Il Teatro  and friend, celebrated Maui Chef Dan Fiske, recently teamed up to help fund the  South Maui School Gardens Project at Kīhei Elementary School where kids learn about the importance of food systems in their community and get connected to the environment in a hands on and exciting way.  A positive offshoot of the project is that young people learn about nutrition and sustainability while using skills helpful in language arts, math, science and social studies.

“Society and mass marketing put forth food options for children that I don’t necessary support and this is my way of standing up for the future health and welfare of our children,” shares Chef Brian in a typical moment of enthusiasm when asked about the garden project.  “Everyone has a voice in this community and this is one way that I choose to use my skills to give back and contribute to the Island ‘ohana.”

Read full article in Menu Magazine.

Local Chefs Adopt Garden

This year, Chef Brian Etheredge, owner of Capische Restaurant, and Chef Dan Fiske, owner of, have signed on as major sponsors of the Kihei Elementary School Garden. Their combined sponsorships will supplement other funds to purchase garden materials and support a part-time school garden coordinator position. Chefs Etheredge and Fiske also plan on contributing their culinary talents to food education classes and harvests later in the season.

Stay tuned for some awesome harvest parties and other special events to benefit the garden!

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.

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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!

Introducing Our New School Garden Coordinator

Aloha Friends –South Maui School Garden Coordinator

My name is Kirk Surry and I’ve been volunteering for the past two years in the garden, watching it sprout from three plots to a 10,000 square foot living classroom. It’s truly been the most heart warming and fulfilling experience. I’m now serving the garden and school as a part-time coordinator, working with Nio, Kathy, Susan and other volunteers to manage the garden and get the most out of what it has to offer our students, teachers, parents and volunteers.

This newsletter is our new hub to share garden updates and class activity ideas we hope will inspire you to learn and teach in this living classroom. As we try new things, we’re hoping to hear from you – your opinions, ideas, experiences in the garden, favorite stories, and anything else you’d like offer. Please email me with your thoughts. I’m excited to see true seeds of change being planted for the futures of our keiki and so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of that change! Mahalo – Kirk

Canoe Garden 2010

Hōkūao Pellegrino works with other volunteers to educate kids about our “Canoe Garden” that features plants that were brought by the Polynesians when they settled in Hawai’i. He educated kids in the historical importance of the plants and how they were used hundreds of years ago as well as today.

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View the entire slideshow on Flickr!