Chef, DOE Hoping To Sprout Keiki Farmers

Hawaii schoolchildren are helping to field test a new farming program that may become part of the state DOE curriculum.

After seeing it for himself at The Chef’s Garden in Ohio, Hawaii chef Alan Wong returned home to promote the 25-lesson course in Hawaii schools, starting with seven classrooms of fourth-graders at Kailua and Royal Elementary on Oahu, Wilcox Elementary on Kauai and Kihei Charter healthy eating and sustainable agriculture, as well as core concepts in plant science.”

The pilot course comes with a Veggie U kit for each classroom, and fourth-grade teachers are invited to sign up for it by May 23 at or by calling Malia Crowell at 990-7798.

“Our goal is to introduce agriculture to students at a young age so they can think about pursuing an agriculture-related career,” said Yuko Kitagawa, board chairman of Hawaii Agriculture Foundation which is partnering with the DOE on Veggie U. The kit includes a curriculum, materials, flats, root view boxes and a grow light.