|Lloyd Nakano, of Ka`u Valley Farm, hosts MyFarm and Ka`u High School's team members, who |
are building a new farm on campus. Photo from MyFarm
|Kaʻū High Farm director `Aina Akamu with student Nettie|
Masters, starting a new bee hive off campus for the
school farm. Photo from Bee Boys
Hirata, Akamu and students met with Derek Kurisu, who started the Mountain Apple Brand of local grown produce at KTA stores and has given numerous cooking and entrepreneurship presentations at Kaʻū High. Kurisu has offered to act as an advisor on the project and to help students learn how to create and launch quality food products.
The MyFarm team also met with Bee Boys Ryan Williamson and Kevin O'Conner. Students started a beehive and plan to learn regenerative beekeeping. "We will eventually establish a safe area for the bees in our school farm and help increase awareness that living in harmony with bees is essential for human life and balance," said Akamu.
Hirata said that MyFarm specializes in hooking up younger people with Japanese Natural Farming. Its core mission is to remodel farms abandoned as older farmers retire and young people move to the cities. The approach is to inspire young people, who have become very interested in the quality of food they consume. Through the MyFarm program, they learn that producing food can be exciting - much more than repetitive labor. They learn to make a unique product and bring it to market, developing horticultural, business and marketing skills. From efficient use of water to soil health and creating resistance to pests and disease, the MyFarm students learn the math and organization it takes to calculate costs and manage money, the language and computer skills to communicate with a team, design, market and deliver a product. They also learn such innovations as flying drones to manage farms. Hirata said the partnership program with Kaʻū High is MyFarm's first outside Japan.
Hawaiian Earth Products hosted Kaʻū High ag students to introduce
them to making good soil. Photo from MyFarm
The program has been adopted by the school and begins next school year for ninth and tenth grade. Also
|Students visit an aquaponics farm in Puna, getting ready|
to make their own on the Kaʻū High School campus.
Photo from MyFarm
A community advisory board is underway along with a new Kaʻū High Ag Hui Kokua booster organization. Those interested in contributing time, knowledge, business experience, equipment, supplies, skills and enthusiasm are invited to a live stream and in person meeting on Saturday, April 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the ag building on campus. It will be followed by a workday on the Kaʻū High Farm.
|Derek Kurisu, founder of the Mountain Apple Brand of fresh produce for KTA, shows|
MyFarm and Kaʻū High School students the quality of the food. Photo from MyFarm
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This time in 2020, Baseball, Softball, Boys Volleyball and Track were scheduled, but cancelled due to the onset of the COVID-18 spread of disease.
Before the pandemic, DOE offered 20 interscholastic sports each school year — from air riflery to wrestling — and was launching an intermediate athletics program for middle schools. According to DOE,
The Trojan Track team ended its 2020 season early last
year with the onset of the pandemic. Sports could return
sometime this Spring or with the next school year.
Photo from Kaʻū High School Athletics
Possible sports, should there be enough participants, a venue and a coach are: Air Riflery, Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Canoe Paddling, Cheerleading, Cross Country, Diving, Golf, Football, Judo, Soccer, Softball, Soft Tennis, Surfing, Swimming, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball, Water Polo and Wrestling
Hawaiʻi state Teachers Association union President Corey Rosenlee said, “HSTA is committed to making sure more students can return to face-to-face learning at our schools safely." HSTA’s Board of Directors meets March 6 to "discuss the important factors needed to ensure safety for teachers, staff, and students. HSTA wants to honor our internal democratic process and wishes to hear from its teacher leaders across the state about their concerns before making further public comments.”
|The white areas mean no COVID cases |
for the last two weeks of February.
Map from state Department of Health
Long's Drugs in Pāhala, the only public pharmacy in Kaʻū District, posts a sign saying that COVID-19 vaccines are not yet available there, but it could happen soon.