Vegetable Garden Isle

Extension agents feed the hungry with the fruits of their research

Vegetable Garden Isle

The Kaua‘i community has a long history of helping one another, and CTAHR’s Kaua‘i Cooperative Extension is no exception—agents recently donated 556 pounds of vegetable greens to the Hawai‘i Foodbank there.

The vegetables were grown at the Kaua‘i Agricultural Research & Extension Center by assistant Extension agents James Keach and Emilie Kirk, with the help of agricultural technicians Andrew Ehlert and Michael Carle.

“We’re so glad we can provide these vegetables to the community during these uncertain times, and we hope the trials will also provide useful info for local folks getting into gardening,” James says.

The field space was originally planned as a demonstration and trial garden for the Kaua‘i Master Gardener program. But when COVID-19 closed the facilities to the public, James, the Kaua‘i Master Gardener coordinator, rolled with the punches and decided to trial new vegetable cultivars under local conditions.

Selections of the best plants from these trials will also be used to produce more seed, as a part of a new statewide Seed Saving initiative in which Emilie and James are active.

The vegetables donated to the Foodbank were given to over 250 Kaua‘i households as part of a community distribution event on July 21st. Future donations of greens are planned, and longer-season vegetables like tomatoes and eggplants will also be given when they ripen.

As CTAHR facilities reopen to volunteers, the Master Gardeners are excited to get involved with the vegetable trial again.

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