Kanu Hawaii & Kokua Hawai’i Foundation
EAT LOCAL CHALLENGE AT SCHOOL
September 4-30, 2011
The Kanu Hawaii Eat Local Challenge during the month of September strives to build a more healthy, sustainable, secure food system in Hawai’i. The month will feature weekly mini challenges, including a week of planting gardens and our annual Eat 100% Local Challenge. Let‘s inspire our youth to participate in the challenge to finding our way back to local health and abundance.
- Take a field trip to a farmers’ market for a morning scavenger hunt. Many are within walking distance of schools.
- Define “local: grown in Hawai’i” vs. “local: plate lunch” with students
- Map the food sources in your community: super markets, restaurants, open/farmers’ markets, school and home gardens, food trucks.
- For older students, discuss why most food in Hawai’i is imported rather than grown here and why this needs to change.
- Have students interview an elder about their favorite local fruit or vegetable dish. Compile recipes and stories.
- Learn about what was traditionally grown in your ahupua‘a (and try to grow it!)
- Research bills on local food issues submitted during the 2011 legislative session: Which ones passed? Which ones didn’t? Share what you’ve learned with others.
- Visit your local grocery store’s produce section. Take note of local and imported produce and the countries food is being imported from. Compare prices between local and imported options (ex: bananas).
- Visit your neighborhood community garden. Interview the gardeners to learn why they have a plot, what they choose to grow, their favorite gardening tip and more.
Plant and Harvest
- Instead of pencils/pens/stickers as class prizes, give seeds to encourage students to grow their own food at home.
- Plant “mystery seeds” with students. Journal about plant growth, guess at what kinds of plants they might be, and celebrate when the mysteries have been solved.
- Start small with a classroom planter box of herbs, a tub of baby lettuce, or a flower box, and work your way up to a classroom garden.
- Plant themed gardens: a pizza and pasta garden of basil, parsley, oregano, eggplant and tomatoes; a Hawaiian garden of kalo, sweet potato, yams, fern shoots, sugar cane; a Three Sisters garden of corn, squash, and beans; a pollinator garden filled with flowers.
- If your school already has a garden, send home garden-fresh produce with recipes as a way to encourage families to prepare a locally sourced meal.
- Host a garden party for people in your school or invite another school in your ahupua’a to harvest and work in the garden together, then share refreshments made with produce from the garden.
- Ask each student to bring one locally grown fruit or vegetable and make a dish or two as a class: salad and dressing? Soup?
- Create a fully local lunch menu. Research recipes, where ingredients can be purchased, and determine cost for the lunch.
- Have your students plan, prepare, and host quarterly tastings in the school cafeteria using local produce.
- Organize an Eat Local classroom potluck. • Invite a local chef to demonstrate cooking with produce from your school garden or a “new” and interesting locally grown ingredient (e.g. ulu). Have tastings and recipes on hand for people to take with them.
- Organize an“Iron Chef”event at your school, with a student team led by a local chef, vs. a faculty and parent team. The “secret ingredient” should be a locally grown produce item.
- Participate in the Eat Local Challenge during the month of September, and try to eat 100% locally grown food for the final week. Journal about your experience and connect with others at www.kanuhawaii.org/eatlocal
Grow the Challenge
- Keep an Eat Local journal during the month of September to reflect on what is learned, what is especially fun and pono, what activities are the most challenging.
- Record what you eat and where it comes from.
- Challenge students to envision and describe their dream school, gardens and cafeteria, considering resources such as food, water, waste, and energy. See where and how they are interlinked.
- Homework: bring the Eat Local Challenge home – ask students to cook a local meal with their family and report back on how it goes.
- Write a letter to the Editor of the newspaper about what you’ve learned, and/or contact your local lawmaker.
Make two Eat Local Challenge commitments for the year at www.kanuhawaii.org/eatlocal
October is Farm to School Month
Keep the Eat Local momentum going and celebrate National Farm to School Month throughout October. Schools are encouraged to get involved by inviting a farmer or chef to campus to share their experience growing and preparing delicious, Hawai’i-grown food. Watch for special events and connect with your Island School Garden Network www.hawaiischoolgardenhui.org.
Kanu Hawai’i is dedicated to the vision of islanders leading the way toward environmentally sustainable, compassionate, and economically resilient communities. www.kanuhawaii.org.
The Kokua Hawai’i Foundation supports environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawai’i. www.kokuahawaiifoundation.org.