Mazzy's Hawaiian Adventure - Part 3

June 12, 2024
View from the Waihe’e Ridge trail in Hawaii - a large green mountain surrounded by clouds in the background and Mazzy with a backpack in front

This summer we've been super excited to spotlight Mazzy Grisak as she takes on a new adventure in Hawaii!

Mazzy is one of our Sustainable Plant Systems (SPS) students specializing in Horticulture and she has been interning on a farm in Maui, Hawaii as part of the Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) program.

Check out her last (at least for this summer!) update from Maui to see what she has been up to, some highlights from her internship and her advice to fellow students considering pursuing internships. Without further ado, we'll turn this over to Mazzy...

I am back in Columbus for the summer. It was so hard to leave Maui, (I almost extended my stay), but I’ve decided I will be returning to the farm next year! Hans is looking for more permanent workers and after graduation in the Spring, I will be flying back out to stay for some time. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience on this farm! I learned a lot and got to experience so many new things. 

During my last week on the island, I rented a car, so I was able to go a little further than the buses had allowed me to go. I did a mini road trip around most of the island one day, visited the National Park, and went paddle boarding on the ocean. There were so many huge sea turtles that joined me, which was absolutely one of my favorite moments from the entire trip.

A hidden waterfall surrounded by grey rocks with Mazzy looking out towards the waterfall

My last week on the farm was incredible as well because I was able to help Sumi’s vision for her gardens come to life. I helped clear out lots of weeds and built some more fencing around her beds to keep the deer out. We began planting wildflower seeds on my very last workday, officially finishing up the project. I only wish I could see the wildflower garden come to life! Sumi sent me home with some dried seaweed and some quick rundowns of how to make her favorite traditional Japanese dishes. One of the things we bonded over was cooking, especially with homegrown vegetables. I already miss Sumi and the crew so much and am looking forward to seeing them again.

Haleakalā National Park view of green and grey mountains above the clouds and Mazzy standing on the red rocks in front of the mountains

I am so thankful for the new experiences I had like surfing, swimming with sea turtles, trying new fruit, and seeing the coolest National Park! I learned a lot and was able to provide some new knowledge for Hans as well. Me and my friend that I travelled with were able to show him some key characteristics that differed between a native tree we were planting and a pesky invasive tree that looked very similar. I learned so many things about vegetable gardening from Sumi, time management and how to run a farm operation from Hans, and built up my teamwork skills with the crew. If you’re considering WWOOFing for your internship, I say do it! Do your research on the farm and its location, and you might strike gold like I did.

  - Mazzy Grisak

Eager for more news from Mazzy? You're in luck - check out her articles here.