HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The first of a dozen Aloha Victory Garden donations was planted at IHS Women and Children's Shelter on this furlough Friday. The children couldn't be in the classroom, but they still learned some important lessons about growing their own food.
They got a crash course on how to use the "Wiki Garden." They're 3-foot long mesh organic growing socks that can be hooked end-to-end by a hose. The gardens can be laid out on the ground or set up in stands for small spaces, and set to water automatically with a timer.
The IHS planting party was the kickoff for a statewide community service project called "Aloha Victory Gardens." IHS has a vertical garden to teach families how to become more self sufficient, but wanted to expand.
"Here at IHS, we're trying to grow food for our kitchen to serve our guests, but we also want to equip our families with skills to grow their own garden when they leave the shelter," IHS Executive Director Connie Mitchell said.
Space and funds were limited so the garden donation was a welcome addition to the shelter. Wiki Garden owner Alan Joaquin was inspired to donate this garden to IHS and 11 others around the State. If the last name sounds familiar, here's the connection. He's Hawaii News Now Anchor Tannya Joaquin's husband. The Aloha Victory Gardens is a community service project they created together after the birth of their son Kai.
"If we can educate people that growing your own food is not difficult, not expensive -- in fact, you can save money -- more and more people would start doing it," Joaquin said.
Mitchell adds "The children will not only learn skills, but values through gardening."
The second Aloha Victory Garden will be planted Saturday morning at Kihei Elementary School on Maui. Applications for the 10 remaining sites are being accepted online now.