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June 24, 2019

I love the idea of “Farm to Table.”  Eating at restaurants that take this approach is so satisfying – food right from the garden, even better when the food is organic.   There is nothing quite like the crunch from a raw green bean that has been harvested that morning! While this dining option appears to be hip and trendy these days, farm to table is how our ancestors sustained themselves every day.

Living in Hawaii, where food grows abundantly, I got to thinking that it would be a healthy challenge to see if I could pull off the “Farm to Table” lifestyle.  So I planted, replanted, weeded, pruned and harvested.  I repeated the cycle and repeated it again and again.  After about a year I’m proud to report that I’ve achieved a seventy percent failure rate on the food I’ve planted. Consequently, I do eat thirty percent of my food from my garden, which I consider a mild success.  I am still mostly a  ‘Safeway to Table’ guy at this point (which is fine because they give fuel points and gas on the Island is expensive).

So why am I proud of my seventy percent failure rate?  Because I learned I need to keep planting.  I learned that “Farm to Table” is, in fact, all about resilience, perseverance, and practice.   If I choose to focus on the seventy percent failures, then I will be unlikely to plant.  If I choose to focus on the thirty percent yummy goodness from the garden then I’ll be more likely to keep planting.  

I’ve also learned that I can be resilient and strong in this way – like my ancestors.  So I choose to keep planting.  I strive to be as skilled as they were and I will enjoy the vast majority of my food from my garden.  I have to persevere in my planting, struggling and learning.

This past year, I have been particularly inspired by the effort and growth of my Pacific Quest students.  Witnessing their journeys of self-discovery, personal strength and resiliency is reaffirming and heartwarming.   Our alumni substantiate that their personal development at PQ is easily transferrable to life on the mainland.  The awareness, skill sets, and confidence our students develop are indeed sustainable.  Our students clearly know what ‘keep planting’ means, in their own, unique ways.