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Building local, sustainable food communities on Hawai'i Island
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Thirteen years ago, Bob and Janice Stanga bought property in the Laupahoehoe area of Hawai'i Island with the idea of creating a niche food for island chefs raising either mushrooms or edible snails. Mushrooms won and The Hamakua Heritage Mushroom Farm became a reality.
The enterprise started small and eventually grew to fill a 16,000 square-foot production building that houses their own sterile tissue culture laboratory, incubation rooms and six indoor growing rooms. The facility is equipped with automated specialty mushroom cultivation equipment and climate control installations, and is where they produce a variety of mushroom species of exceptional quality.
On Saturday, April 6, the North Kohala Eat Locally Grown Campaign partnered with 'Iole Hawai'i to bring the Farm to Fork Tour series to the historic Bond district of North Kohala. The Hawai'i Institute of Pacific Agriculture (HIP Ag), Risley Farms and ʻŌhua O Nā Kiaʻi No Nā Keiki O Ka ʻĀina invited the Kohala community, Hawai'i Island residents and visitors to tour -- and taste -- what's growing at 'Iole.
Holualoa Kona Coffee Company grows certified organic coffee and processes from ripe beans through to roasted coffee for sale at his on-farm retail outlet. “We have control of all stages of production, which means we can maintain quality. It is very fulfilling to take our coffee all the way to a final product,” explains Twigg-Smith when reflecting on the wet and dry milling and roasting facilities he has developed over the years. For him, producing products that he can take pride in is much more than earning a living, it’s a lifestyle that gives satisfaction beyond what money can provide.Desmond Twigg-Smith of
"Grow your own future" was the theme of a coconut day program attended by sixty people at the Intergenerational Center in North Kohala on April 13th. The three-hour event offered information, demonstrations, a slide show, exhibits, coconut snacks, coco water, songs, dances, drumming and plenty of community networking about how to plant and use coconuts. Tim Head and Carolyn Mondress, co-chairs of "Coconuts for Kohala" led the event and Forrest Arnold served as group facilitator.
During the last two weeks of March, over two hundred island residents took part in a statewide workshop series to educate small-scale farmers and producers about adding value to their enterprises. The workshops, sponsored by the State of Hawai'i Department of Agriculture Specialty Crops Program, were presented by Craig Elevitch and Ken Love, Hawai'i Island locals and leaders of the sustainable food movement in Hawai'i.
The workshop, "Value-Added Innovation for Hawai'i Growers: Making the Family Farm Profitable" focused on ways to enhance locally grown and produced products in order to create more profitable and sustainable small agricultural businesses in Hawai'i. Workshops were held in Hilo and Kona, as well as on Kaua'i, O'ahu, and Maui, and registration was free of charge.
The second annual Puna ‘Ulu Festival took place Saturday, March 2, 2013 at Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School in Puna. Over 2,500 people attended the event this year, which included many well-attended cultural practitioner demonstration, games, chef demos, a cooking contest, and much more.
See the captioned festival slideshow here.
- Supermarkets demand perfect produce: Tom Palusak
- The human elements of value-added enterprises
- Diversification is key to success: Ken Love
- When Pigs Fly Island Charcuterie
- Kohala Farm-to-Fork Tour
- Sun's Microgreens
- Learning from the 'Aina: Puna Charter School Develops Model Culinary Arts Program
- Local chefs desire regional, seasonal, and artisanal products: Chef James Babian