Chaminade student Clare Taira, president of the OSAL Garden Club, hustled together today’s team of six students to come back to campus during summer break to work in the noon sun on the club’s garden plot. “We haven’t been here since before finals,” she said as she mulled over the work now needed.
Today the six students focused on the lush kalo leaves and stalks, which had grown to nearly four feet high. They cleared the kalo beds, harvested the leaves and replanted the corms with stalks into the enriched dark soil.
Kawehiokekai Moefu from Palolo and Nicholas Kurosawa ‘16 from Manoa shoveled out large rocks found deep in the kalo beds. Christopher Aldrich from Arizona added his back to the toil. Kuha’apono Kanakaole ‘16 from the Big Island clipped excess greens and prepped the stalks. Lindon Kohama from Palau dug into the cleared dirt bed with his hands and pushed the corm stalks into the black earth.
Taira packed the leaves. “I thought of growing vegetables at home but then thought it would be more fun to do it with others,” she said. “As a group, we could have more bonding and fellowship…build a community.”
The Garden Club was launched in spring 2015 with its garden space originally located in back of Marianist Hall. Bro. Jerome Bommer, SM, advised and helped. However, the ground was too rocky with too little soil to be productive. Faculty member, Eric Collier, whose specialty is botany and tropical agriculture, offered to collaborate. By late fall 2015, the club began gardening at their new location between Kieffer Hall and Hale Malia with 12 solid club regulars, Taira said. Now here it was mid-May 2016 with an ample harvest to show.