Monday, October 26, 2009

Hawai'i School Gardens: Pa'auilo School

At the Hamakua Alive! festival held at Pa'auilo School this weekend, I saw many excellent ideas demonstrating sustainability in action, but most impressive was the school's garden itself. Above is one of the school's milk goats. (Would you believe it was love at first sight? Sigh.)

Here are the greenhouses and gardens...

...here's Donna Mitts, garden educator,
and the school's ever-expanding vermicomposting facilities ...

I couldn't help but admire the efforts of Donna Mitts. She's gearing up to do mid-scale vermicomposting using cafeteria waste, making this the first school on the island to take this bold step toward sustainability.

Hawai'i Island School Garden Network director Nancy Redfeather counts Pa'auilo among the school garden jewels dotting the island that are part of the Hawai'i Island School Garden Network.

"Donna's 10 year old program is certainly an example of the integration of various types of agricultural work into a small model that can be worked by the children," says Redfeather. "When a public/private partnership is formed, as I hope to see someday, communities around the island will be able to lend their voices to the decision."

To get the full story about this amazing outdoor learning lab -- "Wormville" and all -- read this insightful blog by Hawai'i Island investigative journalist Alan McNarie - click here.



6 comments:

Sonia said...

Lovely article and photos, Janice...I just missed the whole garden experience with my duties as cooking contest coordinator for the Hamakua Alive! event....I will have to make it a point to visit the "school farm". Mahalo!

Janice said...

Thanks, Sonia. You were one busy bee! Hope everything you had to taste was at least yummy!

mharing said...

What a great school garden project! Do you have any contact information for Donna Mitts, the garden educator?

Janice said...

Yes! You can reach Donna at Pa'auilo School or email ohanadonna@yahoo.com.She's looking for volunteers, if you're interested.

ohanadonna said...

Thanks to everyone who helped get our campus ready for Hamakua Alive. Also a special mahalo to my wonderful garden volunteers Susan and Terry. I can use a few more volunteers if anyone is interested. Either on weekends or during class time with students on Mondays, Tuesdays or Thursdays, 12:00-2:30. I can also be reached at my school office at 776-7710, ext 235.

Ann Sly said...

I love this! Hawaii school children, and the folks that help, are so lucky to be able to be a part of this effort. We live much of the year in Montana and the kids out here have NO opportunity for this type of experience. The climate and environment is harsh, there is little interest in growing anything here. There could be a school greenhouse and a program, but it would take years of effort, and someone like Donna Mitts. I applaud their efforts on the islands. Thank you Janice for posting about this. All the best, Ann