Windward's Agpro cohort 6 showing some great production coming up.
Windward Farm Coach, Jay, visited the AgPro cohort at Leeward/North Shore. A great group led by Coach Pam--just look at their crops! (consider that this is early in their harvest "season")
The AgPro class is harvesting their bounty and fulfilling their required CSA marketing (subscriptions still available!). Nice harvest by Noe Bunnell.
The famous Frankie's nursery, home of one of the greatest collections of exotic tropical fruits in Hawaii. Windward's AgPro class visited yesterday and learned a ton (and ate some cool things!)
Jay, Nora, and Kailu recently returned from the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association’s 2016 conference “The Ecology of Food Systems” held in Santa Cruz, California. Along with over 300 others attendees from University, College, and Community College farms, new farmer training programs, and education centers around the U.S. they spent three days discussing ways to make agricultural training more inclusive, effective, and geared towards creating viable careers for aspiring farmers. Among the highlights of the conference was the time spent touring the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems on the University of California Santa Cruz’s beautiful campus, an almost 50-year-old educational farm. Jay and Nora came away from time of the farm with some great resources on irrigation and a hard copy of the excellent Teaching Organic Farming and Gardening: Resources for Instructors to share with GoFarm Hawai’i, as well as some organizational ideas AND a long list of pie-in-the-sky equipment fantasies. Jay and Nora presented a poster about GoFarm Hawai’i. Jay and Daniela Dutra-Elliott gave a presentation entitled “Ingraining on-farm experimentation through variety trials and participatory selection/breeding”.
Jay, Nora, and Kailu chose to visit Pie Ranch for the half-day tour, an interesting farming project combining on-farm education of youth, traditional CSA production, farm-stand sales, value-added sales (in form of pie!), as well as a growing “institutional CSA” model – selling directly to food services of large Universities and corporations. This farm and its creative, novel organizational, funding, and ethical approaches are well worth investigating further.
GoFarm Hawai’i was in excellent Hawaiian company at the conference as Kukui and Gary Maunakea-Forth, Kamuela Enos, Cheryse Sana, and Taylor from Ma’o Organic Farm; Albie Miles and Monique Mironesco from UH-West Oahu; Daniela Dutra Elliott from Leeward Community College; and Amy Brinker and Neil Hannahs (retired) of Kamehameha Schools were also at the conference. Following the conference many of the Hawaiian representatives, along with UH Sustainability Guy, Matthew Lynch, met with CASFS staff to gather ideas and inspiration for the Center for Sustainable Community Food Systems at UH West Oahu, which is in the early stages of what promises to be a significant and impactful evolution for agricultural education in Hawai’i.
The produce in California was AMAZING, as was the cool and dry weather. Seeing the accomplishments (and staff and budgets!) of long established farm educational programs was humbling, but also made the accomplishments of GoFarm Hawai’i in its short life all the more impressive. What makes GoFarm Hawai’i so interesting and successful is the diverse and driven participants who give it their all.
The GoFarm Hawai'i team..