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 ( ), 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!