Edible Hawaiian Islands Spots Something Good in the Schoolyard: FoodCorps!

By Jade Eckardt

“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece”

?Claude Monet

A resurgence of school gardens in Hawai‘i isn’t just connecting students with the joy of getting dirty. The growing renaissance of outdoor learning is bringing a holistic awareness of health and nutrition to students and their families. What the kids learn at school translates into the home, where long-term changes can happen.

School gardens are not a new idea in the Hawaiian Islands. Until the late 1960s, they were common in Hawaii schools. Yet somehow, student grown gardens became far and few between, for decades. “I’ve spoken with so many kupuna [elders] who remember working in their school gardens, bringing the harvest to the cafeteria, and eating what they grew,”says Nancy Redfeather, Director of the Hawai‘i Island School Garden Network.

In the last decade, classrooms in the form of school gardens have been rebuilt to inspire future farmers, hands on learning, and nutrition. According to a 2012 report on school gardens in Hawai‘i, the state boasts 168 campus gardens involving 21,577 students and 830 teachers on 30 acres of land. Redfeather says that Hawai‘i Island has more school garden teachers than any other island, while 96 percent of Big Island schools are home to a learning garden.

Read on at the Edible Hawaiian Islands site!