Waimea High School farm featured in HIDOE documentary

  • Contributed by Hawai‘i Department of Education

    Waimea High School’s class of 2018 seniors in front of the school at mile marker 23.

  • Contributed by Hawai‘i Department of Education

    Zion Gasaway, Taylor Ryan, Rhyder Kupo-Perriera, Elijah Henderson, Alohi Lujan, and Rayson Ruiz were prepping a grow bed for planting onions.

LIHU‘E — The Department of Education (DOE) is airing a short documentary film created by their Communication Branch titled “Sustainability in Action.”

The film tells the story of the “Aloha Aina” farm located on the Waimea High School’s (WHS) campus on Kaua‘i and will be aired on Spectrum Channel 356 from Jan. 6 through Jan. 30, 2021.

Ann Marie Kirk, director of the film and staff of the Hawai‘i Department of Education’s (HIDOE) Communications Branch and Video Production Section explains where she got the inspiration to film the students and their farm.

“Being in the DOE’s Branch, I’ve seen through the state how DOE schools and teachers are implementing new and exciting curriculum for students around sustainability,” said Kirk. “And it is sustainability that is not just seen as a buzzword to learn about, but a word that is a call to action to practice what it means and be realized on their school campus like what’s being done at WHS with the Aloha Aina farm.”

According to Kirk, the film will share the story of how the farm began, with the support of Principal Mahina Anguay, and how the farm has grown, led now by teacher Greg Harding.

“I learned about the Aloha Aina farm from other educators who said if there is one school I have to check out with what they are doing with sustainability, it is WHS on Kaua‘i,” Kirk said. “I was totally pointed in the right direction.”

Kirk handled the entire filming and editing with one exception. She always carries a spare camera and gives it to a student who expresses an interest in wanting to film with her.

“On this project, I gave a camera to a student named Meha Ferreira,” said Kirk. “I have to say, she did a fantastic job and I used a lot of what she filmed in the piece. I want to have her with me on all my projects.

“It seems like a lifetime ago, but the documentary was filmed right before the pandemic was declared for Hawai‘i and the world. I came to film at WHS in late February of 2020,” said Kirk.

Kirk said many of the students she filmed expressed to her how they are choosing to make sustainability work their career.

“It gives me faith in the future, a sustainable future for our community, for the world, because the students of WHS today will be the leaders of tomorrow in this vitally important field,” Kirk said.

Teacher Greg Harding said the school’s farm provides healthy organic produce to the community in three basic ways.

“One to the senior citizens at Waimea Community Center,” Harding said. “Teachers and staff purchase produce weekly, and finally any student can take home and share with their families whatever they helped to grow.”

Harding said WHS’s Principal Mahina Anguay was excited to have been chosen as the school to be filmed by the HIDOE.

“I’m thrilled about Ann Marie’s video; I think it really captures the essence of Mr. Harding’s program and how it helps students find their passion,” Anguay said.”

The January television airdates for Sustainability in Action on Spectrum Channel 356:

Wednesday, January 6, 07:30 pm – TEACH 356

Thursday, January 7, 07:30 am – TEACH 356

Wednesday, January 13, 07:30 pm – TEACH 356

Thursday, January 14, 07:30 am – TEACH 356

Wednesday, January 27, 07:30 pm – TEACH 356

Thursday, January 28, 07:30 am – TEACH 356

Thursday, January 28, 11:00 am – TEACH 356

Thursday, January 28, 11:00 pm – TEACH 356

Friday, January 29, 07:00 pm – TEACH 356

Saturday, January 30, 07:00 am – TEACH 356​

  1. I saw a Vampire once December 31, 2020 12:39 am Reply

    After all these years of growing up, I finally come to like farming. I don’t know why, but I see all kind of articles about a lot of things and farming always catches my attention as good reading. I enjoyed the articles on farming and the pesticides control substance they have to produce more crops. I always viewed farming as an interesting field to enter. If you’re a farmer, it gives me a sense of joy to see this subject being promoted as a degree or career. It could lead to a world of options that you’d never knew existed. Bell peppers my favorite veggie. Great to see young minds interested in farming. I hope to see more articles out. Congratulations to you if you chose farming as your career choice.

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