Thursday, July 1, 2010


Summer is finally here! This year, we were invited to join in the Aina Ho'ola Hands Turned to the Soil annual youth conference to give a tour and work site for the conference participants.
We had a great work day and got a lot done. Students worked alongside parents to weed the perennial peanut, harvest fruits, mulch, and learn about what it takes to run a farm. Some of the participants had never seen broccoli before and it was exciting to see their reactions when they discovered it.
Josh provided a great tour and provided answers to many great questions about our diverse fruit collection and how we work.

After lunch and a little more work, we sat down and had a talk about what people can do to get involved or how to start a project at their own school. We then dove into an exciting question and answer session about organics and sustainability and where our food really comes from. We had a lot of great questions and almost ran out of time before heading back to the conference.

On the third day of the conference, Soft was invited again, this time to give a talk about farms in schools. There were a lot of eager people excited about starting their own student farms who were really interested in our side of the story. We talked a bit about our trip to the west coast and how that gave us an idea of what we wanted the farm to look like.

After the talk about school farms, we had the opportunity to wind down and just have a little fun demonstrating the techniques in making banana paper. Each student got their own personal frame and a spoonful of pulp. We explained the basic anatomy of the banana plant and the serious amount of waste that results in harvesting a bunch of bananas. This waste, we explained, can be used for making paper, and now students can do it at home too!