GoFarm Hawai'i @ Maui AgSchool students put together a successful farmers' market on campus. Students, faculty, staff, and culinary students showed up to admire (and buy!) the cornucopia of fresh goodness. Producing for customers, post harvest handling, and marketing/customer service are all real-life lessons for the students. Plus it's always gratifying when people appreciate all the hard work you've put in to get quality products to market.
Visiting North Carolina State University sweet potato breeder allowed for an impromptu discussion on sweet potato tasting techniques. Shown: AgPro student Rose (in black) and her family, Dr. Ken Pecota from NCSU (in green), and our sweetest potato, Kailu (in mud and water).
You can't eat 'em, but the flower from the student plots at Maui's AgSchool really add a special touch to their latest CSA bags. Too bad the picture is so fuzzy!
From @ Kauai Coordinator/Coach Eric:
Here are photos from when we had the cover crop in before we started class, along with the tour with Dr. Adam Asquith of Kealia Farm.
Here's photos of the group working in Jerry Ornelle's Longan Orchard in Kapaa. Jerry is a seasoned farmer with lots of mana'o to share!
We went to Moloa'a Organica in Moloa'a to talk story with Ned Whitlock of Moloa'a organica. Uncle Ned is also the vice president of the Kaua'i Chapter of the Farmer's Union. This is 20+ acres of diversified orchard with an additional 4+ acres in just row crops. Uncle Ned is one of the best productive organic farmers on the island. He has so much knowledge and so much to share as well.
AKA Ann Emmsley's Ag251 class, posing proudly in their GoFarm Hawaii shirts in front of their beautiful CSA bags made from equally beautiful produce from their plots. A couple folks missing from picture... we'll catch 'em later.
Just 2 days after the AgCurious at LCC, over almost 100 people showed up for the AgCurious at WCC. Demand for learning how to farm continues to be high. Judah Lum of @KahukuFarms and Nick Reppun of @KakooOiwi talked about their farms, challenges, and successes. Current and former GoFarm Hawaii students talked about their experiences in the program.
I'll admit I didn't understand why there were beginning farmer training programs targeting veterans, until a recent conference of programs like ours, where I got the chance to talk to folks running veteran-focused programs. What I learned made a lot of sense. Military veterans are more likely than the general populace to: Have the wherewithal to endure the physicality and outdoor environments of farming; Be efficient and task-oriented; Know how to work hard; Follow instructions as students/be used to training; Come from rural areas; and "Need" the focus and freedom that farming requires and provides. A woman I spoke to just last night at Leeward's AgCurious event also suggested that the structure of a training program would also be attractive to many veterans (her job is vocational rehab for veterans).
In any case, just wanted to share that, and also take this chance to convey appreciation to our veteran's on this Veteran's Day!
A great AgCurious event (our 4th @LeewardCC ) was attended by 70 aspiring farmers. Besides the illustrious Dr. Theodore Radovich of CTAHR (also part of the GoFarm Hawaii leadership), alumni from the first 3 LCC cohorts came to speak. Lots of great questions and discussion. Lots of eager takers for the application into AgXposure.
5:30 video about why people are getting into farming. Romantic and inspiring!
The GoFarm Hawai'i team..