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Building local, sustainable food communities on Hawai'i Island
• Find others for buying, selling, sharing, and learning | Farmers Markets
• Empower yourself and your community to become food self-reliant | Reports
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Conversations with the Most Poisonous Plant in the World
Change the way you look at things,
and the things you look at change.
Recently, I took part in starting a small agroforest on a section of cleared property. I prepared the newly excavated landscape, pulling any unwanted existing plants, then applied what I thought was a good layer of mulch. Next came the planting of young fruit trees, along with supportive shrubs and edible ground covers. Wiping dust and soil from my forehead and hands, I walked away crossing my fingers for a good combination of rain and sunshine. I revisited this area day after day, monitoring and watering as needed. Very quickly it was easy to see little green castor beans (also known as castor oil plant) sprouting all over, their dormant seeds having been awakened by the disturbed soil.
A few weeks ago, Lauryn Rego of Maui realized she was spending all her time focusing on things she didn't like. Her off-work hours were spent protesting pesticide spraying and fighting against genetically modified crops. She wanted to focus on something positive, and do something to support the "people doing it right" in Hawai'i - the farmers growing and selling organic food locally.
So Lauryn decided to start an eat local food week and challenged her friends (and anyone else) to join her. I saw it on Facebook and decided to jump on board.
We first featured the South Kona Green Market (SKGM) in the December 2010 issue #23 of the HHFN newsletter. The Sunday market recently relocated to its original home, the Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Gardens in Captain Cook, and also celebrated its 5th anniversary.
Visible and easily accessible from Mamalahoa Highway and with plenty of parking all around, the number of vendors has grown from approximately 78 members and 35 vendors to 200 members and 80 vendors. The market is self-funded by membership participation and weekly vendor fees.
In 2008, the residents of North Kohala stated a strong desire in its Community Development Plan to "Keep Kohala, Kohala." As a historically agricultural community, part of "Keep Kohala, Kohala," is to develop a community life rooted in sharing and bartering from individual homesteads that grow food and animals, as well as gathering from the communal mountains, gulches and ocean.
Most of the land in Kohala is agriculturally zoned. The sentiment of Kohala residents is generally that they would like to see agricultural land used for agriculture, not luxury subdivisions and/or "gentlemen estates."
In service of this sentiment, the community has a strategy to promote and support a community of diversified agriculture and the goal to "produce 50% of the food it consumes."
Wedged between the road from Honoka'a to Waipio Valley in front, and the Hamakua Ditch in back, Taro Patch Farm is one busy little farm.
Edith (Edie) Bikle started her first garden when she was 15 years old and has been farming one way or another ever since. She bought the present 1,000 foot elevation 1½ acre property 7 years ago and immediately started adding an edible garden and fruit trees to the already established macadamia tree orchard.
Jimmy Chan went into business after graduating from college in 2000. After two important learning experiences with businesses that did not take off, Chan found success in his chip company, which is now 20 employees strong with distribution throughout Hawai‘i. As his business grew, he found that focusing on product quality was the key to success in selling to bigger and better accounts. Every new account challenged him to continue maintaining quality, while a track record of high quality led to additional accounts.
- Welcoming WWOOFers to Your Farm
- GMO's: Have you done your homework?
- Learning from Scratch: Take Small Steps
- Large-scale aquaponic lettuce by Kunia Country Farms
- Hubbell's Hog Heaven & Liz's Happy Hens: A Farm Tour -- Book Review
- Honopua Farm
- Farmer Feature – Ohana Farm Orchards
- Learning to Eat from the Land