Visit any farmers' market on Maui and many vendors will proudly promote their vegetables as organic. Some use organic farm practices, while others are certified organic.
Consumers might wonder what this means and how to make wise food choices.
Farmers might ponder the pros and cons of pursuing organic certification, knowing it entails specific requirements.
The Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resources Department at the University of Hawai'i Maui College (UHMC) is offering its first Organic Certification class to guide attendees through the required steps.
The course will be held on Thursdays, Jan. 16 through May 15, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at UHMC.
Another collaboration between the credit and the Continuing Education branches of the college, both enrolled students and interested community members can take this class.
Between classroom instruction and onsite farm visits, every aspect of Certification will be explored, including organic system plans, inspections and recordkeeping.
UHMC Instructor Mailani Souza, who holds a degree in agroecology and environmental quality, has a background in farming diverse tropical vegetables, nuts and fruits, as well as livestock.
The cost is $123, reduced to $23 for those eligible for tuition assistance through the A&B grant. To register and confirm eligibility, call EdVenture at 984-3231.
Tuition assistance is available for most sole proprietors, businesses, employees and unemployed workers.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.