Kamehameha Schools Kapālama seniors, from left, Trinity Asing, Chloe Akiona-Bannan, Micah Pascua and Zachary Higa (not pictured) organized the first student-run farmers market to be held on campus Sunday, April 28, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Elementary School courtyard.
For the first time in school history, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama will host a student-run farmers market on campus, and the public is invited to attend this collaborative event that grew from brainstorm to reality in a matter of months.
The farmers market entitled Hui Mana ‘Ai, “Food That Empowers,” was organized by KS Kapālama seniors Trinity Asing, Chloe Akiona-Bannan, Zachary Higa and Micah Pascua as part of the science-and-sustainability class Papa Mālama Honua taught by Chris Blake, director of Pacific Innovations, focused on the theme of “Ho‘oulu iā Kamehameha: Making Kamehameha a Better Place.”
The farmers market will be held Sunday, April 28, at the KS Kapālama Elementary School courtyard from 8 a.m. to noon. Hui Mana ‘Ai will feature live music and entertainment, as well as products from at least 12 vendors including pastries, fresh produce, hot plates, kombucha drinks, jewelry, clothing and soaps.
Monies raised through the farmers market will help fund a scholarship for haumāna looking to pursue educational and career pathways in sustainability and entrepreneurial fields.
“It’s something more than just a project for us students to complete. We want to make an impact for years to come,” said Asing, who is part of the KS Kapālama student leadership team, and is “looking to stay home at UH Mānoa” where she plans to pursue a career in sustainability or agriculture.
After undertaking the project with her cohort, Asing came to realize that her peers were eating or seeking out locally sourced food less than 10% of the time.
“There’s a lot of work that goes into this, it’s like starting our own company!” said Asing. “When I started to reach out to vendors and up-and-coming participants, they provided a lot of guidance. You meet a lot of people that are willing to help you.”
The students also collaborated with Executive Chef Dean Matsushita, who helps to feed haumāna on campus through the FLIK Independent School Dining program. Matsushita connected the students with multiple vendors, from farmers to bakers, to help complete the diverse lineup that will offer goods on Sunday.
In addition to planning the operation of and logistics behind the farmers market, haumāna also learned about demographic analysis and identified audiences that would be best served by the event. Part of this process included taking multiple huakaʻi (learning trips) to Mokauea, a small island at the bottom of the Kapālama ahupuaʻa, where Kumu Kehau Kupihea helps steward the land and explained the rich history and mana of the island, and its connection to the Kapālama campus.
“Five streams in the ahupuaʻa lead directly to Mokauea, so it is crucial to understand the importance of watershed management and realize the need to be responsible for this area,” said Kupihea.
The group, as well as the other teams in Papa Mālama Honua, collaborated with staff from KS communications, marketing and operations during class and brainstorm sessions to refine ideas and concepts. Haumāna utilize team-run blogs to keep Blake and other kumu and administrators around campus updated on milestones and progress throughout the school year.
For more on the students’ efforts, visit the team’s blog at https://huimanaai.weebly.com, and follow @HuiManaAi on Facebook and Instagram.
Throughout the year, Papa Mālama Honua planned, planted and harvested a sustainable aquaponic garden in a previously unused area just below its classroom in the Konia building. The garden will serve as a legacy project for future classes to cultivate for years to come.