12 May 2023

Fast Forward

Youths aren’t forgotten in Urban Garden Center’s many interactions with the public

Fast Forward

Future Farmers in Hawaiʻi

As more than 250 students from 24 high schools across the state gathered to participate in this year’s Future Farmers of America convention on Oʻahu, the Urban Garden Center proved a key resource in the event.

The youths visited UGC and took part in fast-paced educational activities around the facility. With their teachers, the students got their hands dirty restarting a static hydroponic system, harvesting locally grown fruits and veggies in raised beds, and transplanting succulents.

The potential agriculturists also had the opportunity to hear Christine Hanakawa of the Dept. of Family and Consumer Sciences, Bea Aragon-Balgas of Oʻahu County Extension, and Tina Lau and Alberto Ricordi of the Dept. of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences speak about their respective career pathways that lead them into the field of agriculture.

Students then were also able to see some of CTAHR’s active applied field trials, in the greenhouse and in the field, such as sunflowers grown for seed oil. Of course, all students were encouraged to join CTAHR after graduation.

Read the full Hawaiʻi Public Radio article.



Jari extended a heartfelt gratitude to the carpentry students of Honolulu Community College for devoting their time and resources to building eight raised beds at the Urban Garden Center’s new Native Hawaiian Learning Center.

“Your contributions will serve generations to come,” she wrote to HCC’s dean. “The raised beds will be used to grow food crops and Lāʻau lapaʻau, native Hawaiian medicine in partnership with the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine’s Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence.”

Jari added that years ago, HCC students helped build a gazebo at UGC, and it was great seeing them back at UGC. “We had a great time interacting and learning about how HCC’s carpentry program feeds into the Carpentry Apprentice Program. We look forward to future collaborations with HCC that benefit our local communities.”

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