Written and photographed by Mike Riccio
There are many things we take for granted. The air we breathe, the rising sun that signals the beginning of our day, and the land with which we build our foundations and futures on. All of these in tandem are essential to the rich tapersity of humanity. Nature is the focal point in which we sustain our existence collectively. Many people are disconnected with nature and often overlook what a pivotal role it plays in our daily lives. At Leeward Community College, The Plant Biology and Tropical Agriculture Program (PBT) is perfect for those seeking to reconnect with nature or for those who are interested in growing their own food. Whatever the reason may be, you will undoubtedly find the Plant Biology and Tropical Agriculture Program to be a worthwhile endeavor. Many of the lessons taught in the program are interconnected into all facets of life.
Plants grown and harvested in the Plant Biology and Tropical Agriculture Program are used in the dishes created by Leeward Community College’s award-winning Culinary Program. This partnership was created to supply the Culinary Program with fresh, quality ingredients while also providing PBT Students practice for sanitary and ethical harvesting methods. Dishes utilizing these ingredients can be found in The Pearl, Leeward Community College’s Four-Star Restaurant. Students in PBT program will see the literal fruits of their labor, come from “Farm to Table”.
Due to our increasingly urbanized lifestyle, most people don't think they have the time to grow and care for a plant. At one point, most households had a garden that they would use to grow their own food and wouldn't need to rely on outside resources or providers. Many people take the skills and knowhow learned in the PBT Program to cultivate the space in their homes into something that connects them with the natural world. Such a principle is paramount towards growing a cleaner, better Hawaii. Most of the food cost in Hawaii comes from the shipping needed to transport imported goods to the Islands. The greater the interest grows in local agriculture, the less dependent we are on outside resources.
The PBT program fulfills both the practical and principle aspects of a person. On one hand, it stimulates the mind with complex, yet interesting, socio-political issues that affect each and everyone of us every day. On the other hand, it satiates the intrinsic need to be outdoors. Whichever side you lean towards, The PBT Program wants you.