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Kohala High School Students Complete Farm Internship

Lauren Ruotolo
Lauren Ruotolo
Director of Development

Friday the 13th of July marked the final day of the Hawaii Institute of Pacific Agriculture’s (HIP Ag) 6-week High School Farm Internship. The internship took place between the Kohala High School farm and HIP Ag’s market garden farm in Kapaau between Monday through Friday from 8 am to 12 pm.

HIP Ag would like to congratulate the four dedicated high school student participants, Angel Elarco, MJ Macaspac, Aotealoa Masalosalo, and Hunter Perez, for their hard work and effort on the HIP Agriculture market garden farm. The interns earned $1,500 each for their participation while they gained invaluable knowledge and skills in agricultural practices including harvesting techniques, identification, food handling and safety, pest management, nursery, and general plant care. Aotealoa shared that her favorite part of the internship was “harvesting and being able to take healthy foods back to my family; they love eggplant!” and that the most valuable thing she learned from the internship “the different types of plants and the skills to take care of them.” Similarly, Angel expressed, “I had fun learning about canoe crops and other crops growing at HIP Ag’s garden.”

A few of the projects interns worked on with the HIP Ag crew included implementing irrigation, mulching plant rows, building soil foundation through amendments, making fermented plant juices and growing IMO (indigenous microorganisms) batches, harvesting and planting a variety of vegetable and fruit crops, weeding, watering, plus a major chop and drop in HIP Ag’s I’ole field. Besides all the garden knowledge gained, Hunter revealed that his most rewarding aspect from the program was the development of teamwork and communication over the six weeks. HIP Ag would like to thank the Department of Agriculture and Hawaii Community Foundation for its partnership and sponsorship in making this internship possible. To learn more please get involved.


To practice and teach ecologically conscious agriculture, empowering individuals and communities to cultivate alternative systems of living that restore human and environmental health.

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