In trick-or-treat like fashion, home gardeners from all corners of the community made their rounds at the Urban Garden Center’s recent “Extension in the Garden Day.”
Visiting Extension faculty and Master Gardener educational booths, the excited participants filled their recycled containers with a diversity of locally adapted crops that had been field tested by Extension agents around the state. Hundreds of seedlings and seeds were distributed, and sensory container gardens kits constructed by 4-H and Mental Health America served to inspire CTAHR stakeholders to create systems in their homes, offices, and classrooms.
“I love this concept!” said one community member. “Because of this event, I’m planning to make a mini sensory garden for the patient waiting room at my work. We are always looking for ways to inspire patients to flavor food with herbs rather than salt/shoyu, and also to cook at home and get away from processed foods. I want to grow herb seedlings like you?ve done, and during the holiday season, I?ll let our patients to choose a seedling to start their own sensory garden at home.”
Vegetable crops developed by Dr. Ken Takeda, CTAHR horticulturalist (retired), were released and put into the hands of backyard seed-saving food producers. Takeda’s round bottom daikon, and an eggplant variety (Poamoho Dark Long) with tolerance to bacterial wilt were distributed along with UH named cultivars such as Hirayama mustard cabbage, Hawaiian Chili pepper, Koba green onion, Hamasaki eggplant, etc.
Participants left with citizen science backyard assignments. Based on testimonials received, a great time was had by many.
Funding and supplies for the event were provided by Extension agents, CTAHR, Sustainable Pest Management Lab, ADSC, WSARE, HDOA, IR-4 Minor Crop Registration Program and Mental Health America of Hawaiʻi.