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Girl Scouts get hands-on experience with local farmer

LIHU‘E — Two Senior Girl Scouts from Troop 174 on the North Shore of Kaua‘i, learned a lot more than they anticipated on their “Sow What?” Journey.

“One of the activities in the Journey is to ‘Dig Deeper,’ to learn more about the agriculture or science behind food in our region,” said Korin Dunford, the troop’s primary leader. “The girls decided to reach out to a contact one of the girls knew who was starting his own locally-grown and produced salsa company, Rudy Perez of Granny’s Goat Salsa.”

Angela Hoover, the Girl Scouts of Hawai‘i Regional Island Coordinator, said the “Sow What?” Journey teaches the girls to learn more about food, including how and where it’s grown, harvested, processed, distributed, and consumed, and why this matters.

“The seniors looked through all of the Journey options and decided the ‘Sow What?’ Journey looked the most interesting to them because it dealt with both local and global food issues,” Dunford said. “They chose to learn from Rudy Perez because the discussions touched on a multitude of topics including business issues like costs and marketing, organic versus regular farming, and community service on the island of Kaua‘i.”

With the newfound knowledge, the girls plan a Take Action Project to share what they learned through projects like hosting a farmers market, inspiring others to eat locally, or planning a community vegetable garden before earning their Harvest Award.

The collaboration between Perez and the Girl Scouts took the scouts beyond the introduction to local food system issues. The Journey fostered their entrepreneurial spirit as Perez taught the girls about starting a new business, government regulations, working with the Department of Health, local and organic production, branding, marketing, and sustainable practices.

Throughout the Journey, Perez emphasized aloha ‘aina, or love of the land, and giving back to the community.

“It was a great honor to help the Girl Scouts earn another badge,” Perez said. “A big mahalo to the Girl Scouts for allowing us to be a part of their community and contribute to positive growth here on Kaua‘i”

Granny’s Goat Kaua‘i is a food product wholesaler and manufacturer that sells fresh salsa made on island with local produce.

Perez sources the business’s ingredients sustainably and utilizes containers that are reusable, dishwasher and microwave safe. The production of Granny’s Goat Salsa aims to minimize waste production and the state’s reliance on imported food. These were highlighted during Perez’s presentation to the Seniors and demonstrated the various ways in addressing some of Hawai‘i’s food issues.

The Girl Scouts of Hawai‘i supports more than 5,000 girl and adult members throughout Hawai‘i, building girls of courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place.

The next Girl Scout activity is the launch of the Girl Scout Cookie sales with the Girl Scouts Cookie Tasting, Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e. The event will introduce the new Adventurefuls, “an indulgent brownie-inspired cookie with caramel-flavored creme and a hint of sea salt” to the lineup of Girl Scout Cookie favorites.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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