I’ve been spending a lot of time lately promoting and supporting Grow Some Good. We just finished our big fundraising event, Taste of School Gardens, and made $60,000. We had over 400 people in attendance. One fellow agent who is also very active in community programs recently asked me “How much time each week do you spend on Grow Some Good? That was a busy week — probably at least 40 hours; most weeks somewhere between 10-20. We are a small organization with “volunteer management” for the most part. We have plans to change that as we grow. I’m on the Board of Directors as the Treasurer and primarily support business operations. I’d rather be out digging in the soil than digging through spreadsheets but someone has to do it.
We started Grow Some Good 8 years ago as an offshoot of South Maui Sustainability. We were asked by a 2nd grade science teacher to help her start a few beds. Now we are in 12 schools and supporting 3000 students the majority of who get garden time once every 2 weeks. Our garden coordinators work with teachers to plan curriculum for the garden and then often lead garden-based classes. It is great that the kids can get outside, enjoy and learn about nature, food sources and nutrition.
The Mission of Grow Some Good is far bigger than school gardens; but educating young people is an important place to start! Here is our mission:
Grow Some Good cultivates a healthy community by strengthening local agriculture and improving access to nutritious, affordable food.
Why the Focus on Gardening?
I learned most of my gardening skills from my Grandfather in Minnesota when I was about 10. He had a small 1/4 acre garden; to him that was small. He taught me how to grow tomatoes, green beans and zucchini squash. We used to put zucchini in grocery bags, write FREE on them and put on curbside. While in California, I started taking some landscape design courses and connected with my “plant friends”. I had a small backyard garden.
When I moved to Maui, I quickly realized that we live in the middle of the Pacific ocean. I started keeping a 30 day supply of non-perishable goods. We have a climate where we can grow year round. Why aren’t we growing more food? Many visitors don’t realize that at any given moment, there is only enough food on Maui to last about 3 days. I wasn’t here after 9/11 when all the planes stopped flying but many people said the stores were bare and people were hungry. About 90% of food on Maui is imported. I went through the Master Gardeners program that gave insight into the complexity of farming. I’m still not a great gardener. My life is too busy to give the daily care that a great garden needs. That said, there is usually something to be harvested in backyard and my compost piles are great! I learned the lessons early and growing something is good for your body and your soul. No place to garden? Help out at a local school garden. There is usually lots to do and produce to share! Sign up for our newsletter at: GrowSomeGood.org/newsletter/
Below was a recent news article in the Kahiau column featuring Kathy and Grow Some Good. Thanks to Sarah Ruppenthal for a great article and the Maui News for supporting this weekly column!
Kathy says “We are part of a community and it is important to do something to make our community better. “