Categorized | Agriculture

Students grow herbs for Village Burger Waimea’s iced tea

MEDIA RELEASE

When chef/owner Edwin Goto opened Village Burger Waimea a year ago, he staked his culinary reputation on a personal belief that the most delicious, wholesome foods are grown close to home.

His tiny fresh-from-scratch restaurant boasts a “low mileage” menu and even posts the miles to the farms and ranches that provide fresh hormone-free beef, locally caught fish, lettuces, tomatoes, mushrooms, strawberries, breads and more.

His newest addition – an April special – is Malaai “Simply Herbs” Iced Tea, made from Moroccan mint, Hawaiian Mamaki, lemongrass and Mexican tarragon that were cultivated just 450 footsteps away at Malaai: The Culinary Garden of Waimea Middle School.

Sixth, seventh and eighth grade WMS students grow the herbs at Malaai, a three-quarter acre organic garden and outdoor living classroom where core curriculum is integrated with environmental and cultural stewardship, nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices. The garden is a private not-for-profit 501c3 working in partnership with Waimea Middle School.

The school understands the value of experiential learning so includes garden classes as part of Health, Physical Education and Science for all of its 270 middle school students.

Malaai is funded by community donations, fundraisers and grants, and is led by Garden Leader Amanda Rieux and Executive Director Alethea Lai along with a team of interns and volunteers.

Malaai is, literally, 450 steps away from Village Burger Waimea so it was a natural fit for Chef Goto to support the not-for-profit’s educational program by contributing all proceeds from the sale of “Simply Herbs” Ice Tea to Malaai throughout April.

“Malaai provides an opportunity for our students to use the garden as an outdoor classroom. Hands-on learning engages our students and supports core curriculum. Malaai also is committed to sharing the pleasure and excitement of working with the earth to grow food. We believe that this experience encourages our students to begin to make healthier choices for themselves. This includes how to grow and prepare fresh fruits and vegetables, how to have a more active lifestyle, and how to avoid or minimize sugars, certain types of oils and highly processed foods,” Rieux said.

The Malaai “Simply Herbs” Ice Tea is – just as its name implies – a refreshing herbal infusion with no sugar added. It may be sweetened if desired.

Price for the Malaai “Simply Herbs” Iced Tea is $2.

For more information on Malaai school garden, visit www.malaai.org

For more information about Village Burger Waimea, visit www.villageburgerwaimea.com

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