Veggie U At A School Near You

Kailua Elementary School fourth-graders are helping to field test a new farming program that may become part of the state DOE curriculum. The school is one of four in Hawaii to pilot “Veggie U” in a total of seven classrooms.

After seeing it for himself at The Chef’s Garden in Ohio, local chef Alan Wong returned home to promote the 25-lesson course in Hawaii schools, which also include Royal Elementary in Honolulu, Wilcox Elementary on Kauai and Kihei Charter School.

“Farmer Bob Jones developed this incredible Veggie U program,” Wong said, “that teaches kids about 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 all 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 tDOE on Veggie U. The kit includes curriculum materials, flats, root view boxes and a grow light.