Did you know that chocolate grows on trees?!
Ok... maybe you did but these students had an awesome time learning through taste, touch, and visuals of cacao. Together they listened about the fascinating process of chocolate making from “bean to (chocolate) bar.” Mahalo teacher Erika Kuhr for highlighting this important lesson on where our food comes from! ⭐️
We are so grateful for these teaching opportunities granted to us through the 2018 Kona Cacao Foundation, Big Island Chocolate Festival beneficiary award. Through the award HIP Agriculture was able to provide 13 field trips and served 363 students and 30 teachers visit from six schools in Hawaii Island and one from Japan.
Thanks to BICF, we planted, tasted, and learned about the lifecycle of cacao from bean to tree to chocolate bar with 105 students. These students also were able to participate in a sensory farm tour where they observed cacao growing on trees in our orchard that hosts 50 cacao trees plus citrus, avocado, banana, plantain, and others. Additionally, within our field trips we taught: lei making, compost building with a focus on indigenous microorganisms, soil investigations with a microscope and pH tests, agro-forestry plantings with a focus on canoe crops, nutrition and healthy eating through fruit snack lessons.
As a result of our field trips, we served 346 students and three teachers, 95% of students learned something new, 97% of students had fun while learning, 94% of students enjoyed being outside, 93% tried something new (planting, eating, harvesting, processing). Of the Teachers, 98% enjoyed the lesson, 95% believed lesson tied in well to the curriculum, 95% would have HIP Ag back and refer its programming to other teachers.
Every year our community becomes more empowered to grow their own food, eat locally grown produce, and lead a healthy and conscious lifestyle. We have already witnessed improved eating habits in the households of our students, more families shopping at farmers’ market and new home gardens started by family members. Students, parents, and teachers are taking home seed, planting material and have increased interest in environmental stewardship as a product of our education programs. We are building the foundation of the next generation of environmental leaders and community activists. Through our experiential field trips and in-school workshops, HIP Ag is preparing local youth by using a community-minded approach to meet the critical need to train the next generation of health advocates, farmers, conscious consumers and environmental stewards. We are grateful for the Kona Cacao Foundation’s support, mahalo.