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Taste of School Gardens to benefit Grow Some Good

By BY CINDY SCHUMACHER - | Mar 1, 2018

Students work in their garden at Princess Nahi‘ena‘ena Elementary School. PHOTO COURTESY OF GROW SOME GOOD.

WAILUKU – Taste of School Gardens, the sixth annual Grow Some Good (GSG) fundraiser, takes place Saturday, March 10, at Maui Tropical Plantation from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

Attendees and sponsors will enjoy a spectacular evening of gourmet cuisine inspired by school garden-grown ingredients.

Creations from Maui’s top chefs and restaurants, live entertainment, silent and live auctions and much more is planned to help keep the school gardens growing.

A nonprofit organization, GSG is dedicated to creating hands-on outdoor learning experiences, and establishing food gardens and living science laboratories in Maui schools. By cultivating curiosity about natural life cycles, they are strengthening local agriculture and improving access to nutritious, affordable food.

Students learn about the benefits of the fruits, vegetables and herbs they plant, harvest and eat.

Additionally, GSG provides local students with a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) curriculum through community partnerships in the fields of agriculture, science and food education.

Valuable lessons are learned in conservation, collaboration and sustainability to inspire future farmers, chefs, scientists, teachers and community members.

“With years of experience in growing school gardens, GSG is recognized throughout the island of Maui for changing lives and changing perspectives through hands-on outdoor education,” said Kathy Becklin, GSG executive director.

“Our programs are designed to grow more than just gardens; we grow healthier and more sustainable communities by creating affordable access to local produce and educating students, their families and the greater community on practices that improve nutrition, health and fitness.”

The GSG program was created in 2008 by South Maui Sustainability’s School Garden Committee to support gardens at Kihei Elementary, Lokelani Intermediate School and Kamali’i Elementary.

Committee members felt that outdoor classroom lessons would teach future generations about traditional Hawaiian plants and growing and preparing foods in a sustainable environment.

Since its inception, GSG has expanded its outreach from one teacher at Kihei Elementary and three small raised beds to 11 schools island-wide and more than 4,500 students participating in open-air learning programs.

GSG continues to expand its gardening outreach to neighborhood schools and their surrounding communities through partnerships with the County of Maui, Community Work Day, Maui School Garden Network, Kihei-Wailea Rotary Club and other local organizations, local chefs and restaurant sponsors.

For tickets to the Taste of School Gardens fundraiser and for GSG sponsorship opportunities, visit www.GrowSomeGood.org. To volunteer in the school garden programs, contact volunteer@GrowSomeGood.org.