The family that gardens together…At St. Catherine’s School garden, the Mendozas dig in. L-R: Mom Stacy; Jenely; Jasmyne, a 4th grader at the school; and Jacy,1st grader. Photo by Anne E. O’Malley
School Garden Network Flourishes
by Colleen Carroll Ed.D., director, Kaua`i School Garden Network
On-campus gardens are on the rise as schools make the connection between the healthy food they grow and a healthy lifestyle. From Hanalei to Kekaha, school teachers, parents and students are digging in and growing their outdoor learning environments, focusing on everything from social agriculture and Hawaiian culture to nature’s life cycles and a student favorite — harvesting and eating the plants they grow.
St. Catherine’s Elementary School, for example, increased its garden from a few beds to over 1,000 sq. ft. of new garden space, thanks to the efforts of Sam Henriques, a 6th- through 8th-grade teacher there and a team of community volunteers.
More is in the works as the Kaua`i School Garden Network, a program of Malama Kaua`i, continues its growth and outreach. For example, October is National Farm-to-School month, and schools and the Network — now over 100 persons strong — have activities planned for all to enjoy.