Garden Tower Initiative

Garden Tower Initiative, in Response to Food Security Issues caused by COVID-19

Figure 1 - Indicates the location of the Windward side of Oahu.

The Ko’olauloa District (or Ahupua’a o Ko’olauloa).

Image source: Kamehameha Schools

PROJECT BACKGROUND

Even decades before 2020 started, the lack of food security on the island of Oahu has reached dangerous levels. Less than 5% of the land on Oahu is used to grow crops for the local population. Less than 10% of that land is certified organic and much of that is used for growing food that is exported outside the state.

Many local farmers have lost their jobs since most of the farmers’ markets were closed due to COVID-19. There is also a potential of food distribution disruption with recent rioting in the US and the main shipper of food to Hawaii has requested bailout money in order to continue its operations. With a population of 953,000, (not including the 6 million annual tourists), the island of Oahu only has less than a month's food supply in case there is a stoppage of shipping containers from the US mainland.

According to one report, Oahu has only about 3,000 acres of prime farmland, of which 1,550 acres are now being considered for urban use for a development called Ho’opili. (1) There is potential for more farmland on Oahu, but much of it is susceptible to fires, or the land contains pesticides or herbicides from previous use, or the land is excessively sloped and/or does not have a good source of clean water. Much of Oahu’s water is diverted for commercial and residential use.

2017 Honolulu Farm Overview. Total and Per Farm Overview, 2017 and changes since 2012 (2)

In one year, the Hawai‘i Foodbank (the state’s largest free food distributor), through its cooperating agencies, served 183,500 different people in the state, including more than 55,000 children and more than 11,000 seniors. According to the Foodbank (2010):

  • 79% of client households served are food insecure, meaning they do not always know where they will find their next meal.

  • 43% of these client households are experiencing food insecurity with hunger, meaning they are sometimes completely without a source of food.

  • 83% of client households with children served are also food insecure.

Of the 183,500 people the Hawai‘i Foodbank network serves:

  • 79% of households have incomes below the federal poverty line.

  • The average monthly income for client households is $850.

  • 42% of households have one or more adults who are working.

Figure 2 - Thousands of Honolulu residents line up for food handouts during COVID-19.

Image source: KHON News

More than 40% of the Students at Kahuku High and Intermediate School receive Title 1 (free and reduced meals) within the Ko’olauloa District of Oahu, Hawaii. For a few years, I (Christian Wilson), volunteered at our high school to compost all the waste food and drink from their cafeteria. While working there, I noticed several disturbing situations. There is nothing worse than witnessing a child go hungry at school when, at the same time, there was a lot of waste from students not eating all of their meals. For example, a kindergartener in a neighboring school would receive the same food portion as a huge 400 football pound football player. Federal laws prohibit students from taking leftover food from the trays. Young people need nutrition to develop healthy minds and to build positive attitudes. I also noticed that the high school required 5 large dumpsters to handle the food and packaging waste. The heaviest part of the waste was food.

One morning I witnessed a teacher at our school make a healthy and delicious home-made breakfast for her at-risk students. By demonstrating how she cared for their physical needs, it was much easier for her to get them to start caring about the importance of caring for their need to educate themselves. I was amazed how some periodic meals served in the morning transformed their attitude towards learning.

Due to the growing population and the amount of shrinking farmland, as well as the impact of COVID-19, the threat of food insecurity in Hawai’i is a problem that demands innovative approaches to solve. Hawaii may soon face the harsh realities that Cuba faced in the 1990’s by not providing food security for its citizens as income from tourism to the State of Hawaii collapses.

Cuba offers a glaring example showing that sustainable development is not only possible but also necessary. After the fall of the Soviet Union, this small country was left in a tight corner and forced to abandon its sugar monoculture. However, it survived thanks to organic agriculture.

Until 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed, Cuba heavily relied on sugar, which was its principal produce, and USSR, which was its main sugar market. With this gone and the tightening of trade embargos by the US, the Cuban economy was in an ultimate crisis, famously called the “special period”.

With no petrol or pesticides anymore and no cash to import food, the Cuban population was on the verge of famine. The desperate situation, however, turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it sparked the organic agriculture revolution in Cuba. “Boats had arrived from the Soviet Union full of chemicals and fertilizers and suddenly there were no more boats from the Soviet Union, and people asked, do we need all those chemicals?,” Miguel Angel Salcines, a leading organic farmer of Cuba told The Guardian. To feed themselves, Cubans resorted to adopting a mix of old and innovative ways of doing things. Ordinary citizens started growing food plants in their balconies and home gardens. The farmers returned to traditional agriculture methods. They used oxen for ploughing fields, utilized natural alternatives to pesticides, and got closer to the customers through direct sales. This is how organic agriculture gained ground in Cuba and it is how the Cubans saved them from starvation and the country managed to reduce its dependence on imported goods. “Organic agriculture isn’t a mirage, and the closing of half of the country’s sugar refineries represented the first step towards our food independence,” says Fernando Funes Monzote, who is an Agronomy scholar and the son of a great supporter of organic agriculture in Cuba. Despite all its inadequacies, Cuba’s transition towards organic agriculture is an impressive example, demonstrating beyond doubt that food security and sustainable development are not only attainable but also deeply connected. Will Hawai’i and the rest of the US and other countries be forced to follow Cuba’s path or can we start now and be proactive and take responsibility for organic food security, water and land conservation? (5)

Lack of food not only leads to hunger, it also causes stress which further degrades the human body and spirit. Eating only processed, canned and fast food is not the quick and easy answer to hunger. An innovative approach and a permanent solution to end hunger, and preserve water and land is needed.

Figure 3 - Food Composting Flowchart

Image source: hawaiisustainability.com

INTRODUCTION

Students at Kahuku High and Intermediate School in the Ko’olauloa District are excited to start learning how the Garden Tower Project can help their families grow their own food at a low cost and will also help them become healthier as well.

The Garden Tower Project is a new, socially-responsible business concept focusing on the accessibility gap for wholesome food, the Garden Tower.

The Garden Tower is a 70-plant vertical container garden that transforms kitchen scraps directly into organic fertilizer within 4 square feet of space with a minimal use of irrigation. The result is considerably faster, more abundant veggie, flower, and herb growth than conventional gardening can offer. It is the perfect solution for anyone who either: lacks resources, desires the ability to grow their own food, or simply wants an easier way to a low-cost, abundant harvest.

Figure 4 - Garden Tower 2

Image source: gardentowerproject.com


MISSION

The mission of the Garden Tower Project is to provide a superior portable, non-GMO & heirloom supporting, gardening ecosystem. ”The Garden Tower is a revolutionary self-contained garden/composting system with the potential to transform home gardening, urban gardening, and world hunger programs. The staff and followers of the Garden Tower Project are passionate about healthy food for everyone. They believe in doing everything they can possibly be done as a sustainable and responsible business to help those most in need. We are working towards a more resilient and sustainable economic future for individuals and communities. We believe that the Garden Tower can play a major role in this effort.” (5)

OBJECTIVES

The Garden Tower Project strives to create easy availability of fresh, organic food to populations who lack either the access, or the ability to grow their own food. The primary objective is to make this happen innovatively, collaboratively, and affordably.

Imagine the possibility of witnessing several families in the district Ko’olauloa growing and processing their own food in an organic Garden Tower in their own yard, instead of waiting for food in a long line of cars hoping for an unsustainable and unhealthy food handout from perhaps a donor food preparer that has been previously condemned by the Hawaii Department of Health for food safety concerns. What if food imports are stopped due to a shipping container business failure, natural disasters, a strike, an act of war, etc.? Initiating the responsibility of food security is up to each individual family, and teaching young people at school is a great place to start and it is long overdue. How many K-12 students in Hawai’i have memories of their parents or even grandparents growing their own food in their yards or farms? We have become too complacent with the convenient but harmful “plate lunch” and “drive-through” models.

Our project will evaluate the effectiveness of 10 different garden tower systems. We will use mostly soil system garden tower systems because we are not sure if hydroponic chemicals will be available to the public if the pandemic, natural disasters or acts of war would limit one’s ability of growing one’s one food. We aim to compare soil, hydroponic, aquaponics and fogponics and combine some systems together in innovative ways which will be measures for, efficiency, cost and effectiveness. Cost of a system will be divided by pounds of produce.

TASKS

The Garden Tower is a uniquely viable solution for areas of the world where poor soil conditions, water scarcity, flooding and drought contribute to chronic hunger. Further, the Garden Tower is perfect for gardeners of all sorts, especially the millions who lack access to land to start a garden, those with physical restrictions, and beginning gardeners. Anyone who is ready for a faster, easier way to grow food will love it. Absolutely no gardening experience is necessary. The design is elegant in its simplicity, and initial setup is straightforward and easy. One doesn’t have to bend down a weed the traditional way. To harvest, you can simply cut leaves or pick the fruits and vegetables with your hands.

Task 1 - Preparation of location for a Garden Tower.

  • Prepare the location of the 4 square foot Garden Tower on a flat, solid surface with at least 3 feet of space around it for watering and harvesting. Try to position the tower near a water spigot.

Task 2 - Preparation of soil.

  • Insert organic compost, mineral rock pellets, perlite into the garden towers.

Task 3 - Preparation of seeds and seedlings.

  • Insert plants from heirloom seeds or seedlings.

  • Instead of buying expensive seedlings from a store or nursery, grow heirloom seeds in a small greenhouse to replace any dead plants in the Garden Tower.

Task 4 - Preparation of Garden Tower.

  • Put the Garden Tower with wheel casters in the yard or on a lanai.

  • Put 3 cans on the bottom of each leg with salt to prevent slugs from crawling up and to prevent composting worms from escaping.

  • Install some suspended CD’s above the tower to reflect light to deter birds.

  • Install a water timer, a water filter and split 3 water spigots. Make sure that the plants get just the right amount of water (not too much and not too little).

  • Install 3 LED lights on the sides of the Garden Tower if it is placed indoors.

  • Install watering timers.

  • Install solar panels with batteries.

  • Add composting worms, put in coconut coir, newspaper bedding, and food scraps.

  • Wait one week before harvesting leaves from perpetually growing vegetables and herbs.

Task 6 - Preparation of food processor and recipes

  • Boil some leaves (moringa, noni, ko’oko’olau, mikaki, etc), collect the tea.

  • Put other herbs leaves and vegetables (ginger, spinach, watercress, ko'oko'olau leaf tea, carrots, cilantro, turmeric powder, microgreens, t

  • omatoes, basic, sweet peppers, Swiss chard, lettuce, bok choy, breadfruit, broccoli, carrot, taro, etc) in an Omega food processor. Add herbal tea to the juice. Add any other vegetable leftovers.

Task 7 - Preparation of blender and recipes.

  • Collect fruits and vegetables, leftovers (acai, acerola, almond butter, aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, ashwagandha, B3 capsules, baby spinach, bananas, bioastin, spirulina, black cherry, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, chia seeds, chocolate banana protein drink, chocolate protein drink, cinnamon, coconut water, collards, concord grape juice, cranberry juice, dragon fruit, egg, ginger, grapefruit juice, guava nectar, hemp seeds, ionic drops, jelly, kale, kalo, kiwi fruit, lime, mango, microgreens, noni, onions, orange, organic apples, organic honey, papaya, passion fruit, peach, peanut butter, pear, peppermint, pineapple chunks, plum, passion fruit, pomegranate, pomplamoose, popolo fruits, potato, soursop, pure cacao or cocoa powder, strawberries, sugar-free ice cream, sweet potato, tonic water, vital reds, yogurt). Quinine from tonic water allows the body’s cells to absorb vitamins and builds the immune system. Add any other fruit leftovers from your refrigerator or freezer.

Task 8 - Preparation of storing juices and smoothies.

  • Pour the green juice and smoothies into recyclable 16oz single serving glass bottles and refrigerate.

Task 9 - Cleanup procedures

  • All the waste pulp from the juicer can be reprocessed, the final leftover pulp is fed to the composting worms in the garden tower. Make sure you recycle the water collected at the bottom of the garden tower since it is nutrient rich.

Task 10 - Preparation of learning materials for students and public.

  • Write lesson plans on paper and as digital pdf files.

  • Use google classroom and google forms to organize lesson plans and google forms for quizzes and tests.

  • Write flyers to promote and share community outreach programs.

  • Create vinyl banners for public demonstrations.

  • Film students teaching the community and save as YouTube videos on our own YouTube channel.

  • Promote lesson plans and videos on social media (Facebook and Instagram).

  • Host materials on our yes.education website.

Task 11 - Preparation of android app and wifi arduino sensors.

  • Create an android app and wifi arduino and sensors to monitor and turn the garden tower to capture more light from the sun or the 3 LED lights..

  • Measure light intensity, temperature, water level, acidity of soil and send data to the android app via wifi on the arduino.

Task 12 - Monitor the garden towers for birds, snails, chickens, small animals, etc., and put these plants in the Garden Tower. Use a Ring web camera to detect motion from pests:

  • Marigolds - Marigolds attract beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, hoverflies and parasitic mini-wasps, that prey on garden pests. If you sow the marigolds as a cover crop they will repel harmful nematodes.

  • Mint - Mint plants can repel spiders, ants, and mosquitoes.

  • Basil - Repel mosquitoes and houseflies with this wonderful herb.

  • Citronella grass - Everyone knows this is an ingredient in mosquito repellents, but a lot of people don’t know it’s a grass.

  • Lavender - Gnats and mosquitoes hate a smell that so many people love.

  • Chives - Japanese beetles and carrot rust flies won’t want to stick around your property if you have chives growing.

  • Petunias - Add color to your yard while repelling asparagus beetles, leafhoppers, various kinds of aphids, tomato worms, and a variety of other pests.

  • Bay leaves - This plant will repel flies, and if you have a roach problem you can use these to deter roaches in your worm farm inside the Garden Tower.

  • Garlic - Known for its health benefits and seasoning, garlic plants deter Japanese beetles, root maggots, carrot root flies, codling moths.

  • Rosemary - Rosemary will protect your vegetable plants by repelling a wide variety of bugs that will want to feed on the plants you’re growing and plan to eat.

Figure 5 - Garden Tower 2 Process Diagram

Image source: Christian Wilson


PROCESS

LOCATION AND SIZE OF PROJECT

The project will be based inside and in the back of Z building at Kahuku High and Intermediate School. Demonstrations will be hosted at each elementary school within the Ko’olauloa District: Ka’a’awa Elementary School, Hau’ula Elementary School, La’ie Elementary School, Sunset Elementary School. The main demonstration area will be at Kualoa Ranch at their annual Farm Fair that draws over 10,000 people from our island over a two day period. The project can also be demonstrated by the staff at prisons, homeless and abuse shelters, soup kitchens, schools, business, state fairs, convention centers, food and product shows, etc.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

  • As Project Director, and as a teacher and researcher of sustainability (Environmental Resource Management, Computer Science, volunteer to Computer Repair Club and owner of yes.education at Kahuku High and Intermediate School since 2012, Christian Wilson has studied and tested various food production systems such as aquaponics, microgreens, vermiculture, composting and hydroponics. He will be responsible for overall progress, reports, and all communications with the team. Christian has partnered with Kregg Teichert, sustainability teachers at Kahuku High and Intermediate School and other key individuals.

  • Mr. Teichert has had his students build various hydroponic and microgreen systems, he and his 120 students have been growing a taro field on the campus as well as other agricultural Career and Technical Education projects. In addition, Mr. Teichert will have the primary responsibility for teaching students how to set up and use the garden tower systems.

  • Lucie Taie will teach 20 after-school students through the Kahuku Complex 21st Century Community Learning Center grant program. She will ensure that the project results are documented and made available to the school, producers, and the public. Lucie Taie has a masters’ degree in education. She is a nationally certified teacher by the French government.

  • Dr. Don Sand, DDS will lead the nutrition and vegan lectures to students. Dr. Sand is a graduate of the University of Michigan. He completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at Loma Linda's dental school. He has worked in both cosmetic dentistry private practice, dental consulting as well as working to grow organizations with a mission to help under-served children. He has served as a board member of the Ko’olauloa Health Center.

OUTPUTS/PROJECT DELIVERABLES/PRODUCTS

This project adapts a proven technology in an innovative food production system, it also uses a land and water conservation approach to improve performance and encourage adoption. The following products/outputs are anticipated from the objectives in this project.

Fresh organic produce is produced from heirloom seeds grown with the Garden Tower that uses a minimal 4 sq. ft. of space and minimal water from a timed irrigation system controlled by sensors and motors controlled by an Android App.

  • One can harvest the perpetual growing salad plants with scissors and use some of the leaves to make a fresh salad and juice the rest with a food processor.

  • One can store the pressed juice and also make green smoothies in 16oz single-use glass beverage containers and store them in a refrigerator. The drinks can last for about a week if sealed properly. This means you don’t have to rely on unhealthy preservatives that most beverages contain. It also minimizes one’s urge to buy single-serving drinks at a convenience store which are normally in plastic bottles or cans. This reduces waste and impact on our environment.

  • Americans go through a startling amount of bottled drinks every day, breaking down to around 5,000 bottles consumed every second. That adds up to 300,000 every hour and nearly 7 million each day. Only about 20% of the bottles are recycled. It takes as much as 50 million barrels of oil to produce plastic bottles each year.

  • Refrigerating the glass bottles makes it very convenient to use. One can make the juices and smoothies once a week instead of making them each day. This means you will always have a healthy meal replacement available in your home.

Hopefully these facts will inspire you to avoid running to the store to load up on unhealthy food or snacks and spending hard-earned money unnecessarily. After consuming healthy food for an extended period, you will notice that your body will actually start craving for healthier ingredients. The unhealthy ingredients in many processed foods and drinks tricks the brain in craving bad nutrition choices.

Here are some things one can do to prepare produce for the Garden Tower from your own yard.

Graft fruit trees so that you can enjoy 40 or more varieties from one tree. Plant female trees to speed up the fruiting time. Use dwarf varieties so they don’t grow too tall, making it difficult to pick the fruits.

Grow heirloom seeds in a small greenhouse in your yard or kitchen to replace any dead plants in the Garden Tower instead of buying expensive seedlings from a store or nursery.

Drink the juice first thing in the morning as a meal replacement. You can have a regular meal at 3pm. If you are really hungry or thirsty at night, then drink one of the green juices or green smoothies.

Cleanup is very easy as well. You don’t need a dishwasher, just hot water, dish soap and a sponge.

Pets can also benefit from juices and smoothies that are made from a Garden Tower. Over $40 billion dollars a year in the US is spent on pet food which is usually made from low grade, waste animal and plant byproducts. Why not serve your pets with the freshest and healthiest nutrition made in your own yard at a very low cost?

OUTCOMES

Once you start enjoying the healthy and time saving outcomes and positive impacts on your health, the processes involved with the Garden Tower will become routine and will actually be fun. To make a Garden Tower a part of your daily routine, it is recommended that you continually try different combinations of fruits and vegetables in your green juices and smoothies. As time goes on, you will decrease the need to sweeten the taste.

You will be surprised how much money and time you will be saving by using a Garden Tower. First of all, you will stop buying expensive single-serving beverages, junk processed food and the time and money spent on gas to drive to a store or a drive-through restaurant. All you need to eat or drink will be conveniently located in your fridge or in a cooler in your vehicle.

IMPACTS

After a few days of drinking green juices and smoothies from plants mostly grown in a Garden Tower, you will begin to notice that any hardened fat on your body will begin to soften, and you will gradually lose weight. You will feel energized from the fresh, organic plants you are drinking each morning. Your immune system will strengthen naturally and you will be able to sleep easier. Your brain will function with more clarity and less fog. You will have more energy to work, exercise, and get things done.

Figure 6 - Omega Food Processor (juicer) and a Ninja Blender (smoothies)

Image source: Amazon.com

You will minimize the need to spend money and time on doctors and prescription drugs. Your body is the best healer if you put the right mix of vitamins, minerals and nutrients in from the best organic foods and herbs in an optimized soil mixture that is watered properly and has the optimal energy from the sun. The process is made easy by growing the food in a Garden Tower and using a food processor and juicer to deliver healthy ingredients in a convenient and palatable way.

By frequently using and taking care of your Garden Tower food production system, you will save money over the long run. You will no longer crave getting junk food and cola drinks from drive-through restaurants. You can save hundreds of dollars per month on food, prescription drugs and medical bills. Almost half of all Hawaiians are susceptible to Type II diabetes, obesity and many of them are impacted by the excessive intake of sugar and salt.

Captain Cook described Hawaiians as the healthiest people he had ever seen. That is because at the time, they developed vast food production systems that could sustain over a million people on Oahu alone. Once the King of Hawaii started growing sandalwood as a cash crop for export, then the depleted farms impacted the food supply and caused famine, and when Western Civilization took over, they removed the remaining essential farmlands and converted them for sugar and pineapple exports; residential, commercial and tourist use. Now is the time for not only Hawaiians, but for all people to invest time and effort in growing their own food in Garden Towers on their properties to promote food security and better health.

Figure 7 - Ancient Hawaiians were the original masters of sustainability

Image source: Maui No Ka Oi Magazine

Perhaps families could consider buying Garden Towers and plants as birthday, wedding or Christmas presents instead of plastic toys or other unsustainable items. The gift of proving a perpetual food production system using Garden Towers is the best gift for a families and community’s health and wealth. The cost of a Garden Tower is the cost of 60 medium-sized drinks at a movie theater. If we can convince one person to give up 60 sodas, that will allow them to have a food production system that will save them tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of healthy meals and nutrition over their lifetime.

Teaching children in K-12 and in college how to sustain themselves growing organic food in your yard (or your room) instead of just growing grass (just to have a manicured lawn) is of monumental importance. This is especially true in Hawai’i since it enjoys year-round tropical weather for gardens but is also vulnerable to food shortages due to viruses, strikes, hurricanes, etc.

We seek to educate individuals and communities on the benefits of "Distributed Agriculture", as a path to increasing resilience during times of price shocks or disruptions to the food supply. Our plan is to teach the importance of concepts, such as, sustainability and diversity while demonstrating this by the integration of our projects in the community. We seek to support educators in the areas of: Advanced Placement Environmental Science, Vermicomposting, Permaculture, Organic Gardening, Environmental Art and Eco-Psychology.

The Garden Tower Project will allow individuals and communities to easily become more self-sufficient, sustainable and ultimately create a more resilient local economy. We share a vision of a world enhanced by easier gardening, healthier produce, and food security for all.

The Garden Tower concept can thrive when planted in any community. We believe there is great need for education and community involvement in protecting ourselves from contaminants in our monolithic, over-processed and inefficiently transported food supply. Our food system is troubled today, but a much great work can be accomplished to create a more sensible, sustainable, and healthy food system for tomorrow’s needs. Our project staff plan to make a difference, and with your help, we will.

We plan to have over 360 high school students teach members of the Ko’olauloa District how to set up and use Garden Towers for their own homes. We hope to host several demonstrations at each of our elementary schools and the main high school.

SAVINGS AND ROI CALCULATOR

We will need Garden Towers, composted soil, heirloom seeds or seedlings, wheels for the Garden Towers, Actuators, UV lighting for one of the towers, solar panels and battery for the UV system, vinyl banners advertising and explaining the Garden Towers, a juicer and food processor and a refrigerator or large cooler to store the drinks, paper cups to serve sample drinks. See attached budget for details.

Table 1 - Break Even Analysis per Household

PROJECT EVALUATION

Measures of success that will be used in the evaluation are described below.

  • A Garden Tower can easily promote healthy living and food security and if purchased and used as intended, the ROI is 60 days.

  • A Garden Tower can save tens of thousands of dollars on healthy ingredients instead of being wasted on fast food and sodas.

  • The benefits of using a Garden Tower will be taught and delivered effectively to a global audience through YouTube videos and social media.

  • The Garden Tower Initiative conforms to the description of the project. It adapts a proven technology to improve performance, innovative projects and will demonstrate effectiveness and transferability.

  • The Garden Tower Initiative will objectively evaluate the effectiveness of 10 different garden tower systems. We aim to compare soil, hydroponic, aquaponics and fogponics and combine some systems together in innovative ways which will be measured for: efficiency, cost and effectiveness. The cost of a system will be divided by pounds of produce as key measure of effectiveness.

  • The Garden Tower Project Management Timeline & milestones are clear and reasonable.


TIMELINE

September 15, 2021

Order, receive, inventory, store Garden Tower supplies in room Z-3 at Kahuku High and Intermediate School. Introduce Garden Tower Project to 140 AP Environmental Science and Environmental Resource Management high school students. Have Barbara Keen complete the Android App and Arduino Sensors for the Garden Tower. Have Dr. Don Sand test and evaluate the nutritional values of green juicing and smoothies we plan to produce. Both Barbara and Dr. Sand will collaborate their innovations and findings with the students. After completing lesson plans, have students learn how to set up and teach how the Garden Towers are used. Have them test various green juicing and smoothie recipes for taste, nutrition and overall health. Have a small group test the drinks on their pets.

November 2021

Have the students prepare flyers and vinyl posters describing and promoting Garden Towers. Host an essay competition for students about Food Security and the winning entry will win a free Garden Tower.

December 2021

Have students demonstrate and share Garden Towers at all of the Ko’olauloa elementary schools, the intermediate and high schools and to the public. Have them prepare science boards with their tests and results. Have students hand out a printed and an online survey to the elementary and as well as to the intermediate and high school students to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the program.

June 2022

Have students share Garden Towers at the Hawaii State Farm Fair to an audience of over 10,000 people. Host an essay competition for the public about Food Security and the winning entry will win a free Garden Tower. Have students hand out a printed and an online survey to the public to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the program.

September 2022

Introduce Garden Tower Project to 360 AP Environmental Science and Environmental Resource Management high school students. Have Barbara Keen complete the Android App and Arduino Sensors for the Garden Tower. Have Dr. Don Sand test and evaluate the nutritional values of green juicing and smoothies we plan to produce. Both Barbara and Dr. Sand will collaborate their innovations and findings with the students.

October 2022

After completing lesson plans, have students learn how to set up and teach how the Garden Towers are used. Have them test various green juicing and smoothie recipes for taste, nutrition and overall health. Have a small group test the drinks on their pets.

November 2022

Have the students prepare flyers and vinyl posters describing and promoting Garden Towers. Host an essay competition for students about Food Security and the winning entry will win a free Garden Tower.

December 2022

Have students demonstrate and share Garden Towers at all of the Ko’olauloa elementary schools, the intermediate and high schools and to the public. Have them prepare science boards with their tests and results. Have students hand out a printed and an online survey to the elementary and as well as to the intermediate and high school students to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the program.

February 2023

Have students share the Garden Towers at the Polynesian Cultural Center Hukilau Marketplace with 2,000 visitors a day.

March 2023

Have students compete in BYU-Hawaii University’s “Empower Your Dreams” annual business plan competition. (6)

June 2023

Have students share Garden Towers at the annual Hawaii State Farm Fair to an audience of over 10,000 people. Host an essay competition for the public about Food Security and the winning entry will win a free Garden Tower. Have students hand out a printed and an online survey to the public to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the program.

PROJECT STAFF HAS TECHNICAL EXPERTISE NEEDED

Our project team is well qualified, as detailed in the brief summaries of qualifications on page 6.

Our budget is adequately explained and justified on pages 11-12.

The modest budget leverages contributions of others, and is explained in detail on Budget Narrative, page 1.

We have the experience and capacity to partner with and gain support of the following organizations: Kokua Hawaii Foundation, Sang Farms, Kahuku Farms, Keana Farms, Hawaii DOE CTE, Hawaii Community Foundation, Whole Foods Kailua, Captain Planet Foundation, Hawaii Community Foundation, Hawaii State Farm Fair at Kualoa Ranch, and others. The project team has already successfully collaborated in several projects with partners in the past with the above mentioned partners.

There is transferability potential for producers and landowners to use the innovative technology and there are many economic advantages to the Garden Tower Initiative, for this reason we are also willing to write a Community-based Economic Development loan since we currently lack capital to offer this on a large scale in our Ko’olauloa district. The Garden Towers offer a huge potential to transfer the approach to a broader audience, but it will require that everyone involved to be willing receive hands-on training. The supporters of our project will provide excellent demonstration sites for the Garden Towers. There will be potential for students and the community to successfully implement the innovative approach offered by the Garden Towers. We have discussed this project with Kahuku High and Intermediate and other partners, and have worked with several staff on other projects such as food production systems.

One partner in particular, called RiceUp Enactus (through BYU Hawaii University) will enable our students to collaborate with university students. RiceUp is a social enterprise which developed a sustainability road map that uses technology to innovate the Philippine Agricultural Ecosystem which empowers farmers to become agri-preneurs, involve youth in farming and enable local governments to be involved in reforming policies in agriculture: (7)

BYU-Hawaii and the Polynesian Cultural Center prepare over 6,000 meals per day in our small town. They are anxious to develop a “Farm to Table” program to reduce produce expenses, increase freshness of produce, decrease waste of oil and energy to transport produce and to improve the marketing value of their dining offerings. Normally, several containers trucks full of produce imported from thousands of miles away that are already day or weeks old make their way to students, teachers, locals and tourists to eat. Our extension experience and videos provide evidence that the information we will be sharing will be provided effectively to people who can use it.

IMPACTS

We are modifying accepted practices and our improvements will not change the approved standards. Monitoring follows accepted procedures, and is not likely to have any impact.

REFERENCES


1 Hawaii Land Use Law and Policy. “How Much Agricultural Land Does Hawaii Need?” How Much Agricultural Land Does Hawaii Need?, 11 Mar. 2008, www.hilanduselaw.com/2008/03/how-much-agricultural-land-does-hawaii.html.

2 “2017 Honolulu Farm Overview. Total and Per Farm Overview, 2017 and changes since 2012”, http://www2.hawaii.edu/~kent/FOODSECURITYINHAWAII.pdf

3 Schenfeld, Nikki. “Thousands of People Wait in Line for Hours for Food on Oahu.” KHON2, KHON2, 1 May 2020, www.khon2.com/coronavirus/thousands-of-people-wait-in-line-for-hours-for-food-on-oahu.

4 “How Organic Agriculture in Cuba Saved Its Population from Hunger.” LifeGate, 28 Mar. 2018, www.lifegate.com/people/news/organic-agriculture-in-cuba.

5 “GARDEN TOWER 2 Vertical Container Garden, Award Winning, System.” Garden Tower Project, gardentowerproject.com/.

6 “Empower Your Dreams.” The Willes Center, willescenter.byuh.edu/competitions/empower-your-dreams/.

7 Novio, Eunice Barbara C. “Poor Boy from Lubao's App for Filipino Farmers Wins BYU-Hawaii Tilt.” INQUIRER.net USA, 13 Dec. 2016, usa.inquirer.net/439/poor-boy-lubaos-app-filipino-farmers-wins-byu-hawaii-tilt.


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