Newsletter 28 - June 2011
This month features five articles from across Hawai'i Island and Kauai. We hope you enjoy their stories about growing food, medicine, and community.
Please remember to send us your local & sustainable food event announcements, which are posted to our events calendar in real time.
Enjoy eating locally & sustainably!
Mahalo nui loa,
Every Thursday, 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm, Hilo
Every Friday, 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm, Hilo
Every Saturday, 3:30 pm – 7:00 pm, Oahu
Saturday, May 28, 2011, 10:00am, North Kona
Wednesday, June 01, 2011, 03:30am - 05:00pm, South Kona
Friday -Tues, June 03-07, 2011, 07:00pm, Hilo
Saturday, June 04, 2011, 09:00am - 12:00pm, South Kona
Saturday, June 04, 2011, 09:00am - 12:00pm, South Kona
Saturday, June 04, 2011, 10:00am - 03:00pm, Oahu
Sunday, June 12, 2011, 01:00pm - 03:30pm, South Kohala
Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 06:00pm - 08:00pm, Hilo
Wednesday, June 15, 2011, 11:00am, Puna
Wednesday, June 15, To Wednesday, July 13, 2011, Puna
Saturday, June 18, 2011, 09:00am - 04:00pm, Puna
Monday, June 20, 2011, 07:00pm - 09:00pm, North Kona
Saturday, June 25, 2011, 10:00am, North Kona
Saturday, June 25, 2011, 10:00am - 03:00pm, North Kohala
Saturday, July 09, 2011, 01:00pm - 05:00pm, Hamakua
Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 04:30pm
Saturday, July 16, 2011, 09:00am - 12:00pm, South Kona
Saturday, July 30, 2011, 10:00am - 05:00pm, North Kona
Monday, September 12 -- Thursday, September 15, 201, South Kohala
Saturday, September 24, 2011, South Kona
Friday, September 30, 2011, South Kohala
Saturday, October 29, 2011, 09:00am - 03:00pm, Hamakua
Written by Tane Datta
Several times a week I get asked the question: “What should I grow?”
There are so many ways to answer. Some answers are trite but true, like ”Grow what you like to eat and what you can”. Other answers include a quick list of wanted plants: basil, beans, peaches, potatoes and on and on. Some of these could be grown here in Hawai‘i, depending on your elevation, rainfall, soil, etc., and others….well, not so easily.
Usually, I answer with a set of questions, the first and most important being, “Why?” There is no wrong answer, but the more deeply and honestly this question is answered, the better the choice of crops will be. People often have several reasons for growing plants, sometimes at cross purposes to each other. For example, a person may want to buy a farm, put in a large garden to become self sufficient, improve their health and make $2000/month land or mortgage payments. The self-sufficiency and health crops may have a very different agroeconomic profile than the profit-making crops. For self-sufficiency, the crop value may be measured in meals per hour and reliability of the harvest. Crops that fit this bill include bananas, breadfruit, coconut, squash and yams. These crops provide high food value for low care or time allotment. They may sell, but not at a high dollar per hour value.
Written by Sonia Martinez
Ohia Fields Farm is unusual in that it is located in two separate locations. The current home site and animal husbandry part of the operation is located on 4.5 acres of pasture above Honoka’a in Ahualoa, with beautiful views of Mauna Kea. The crop part of the farm is roughly 15 miles southeast on about 3/4 acres of their eventual home site farm. This consists of 22 forested acres up in the O’okala mauka area of Hamakua. Both properties share approximately the same 2500 foot elevation.
Miliana and Jeff Johnson started by raising sheep and chickens for about 5 years. Miliana had gained previous animal husbandry experience while working at another farm, and it is only in the last year and half that they have raised vegetables and decided to operate the farm as a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) business.
Although not organic, Miliana and Jeff do practice sustainable growing methods and do not use chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Soil samples are sent periodically to be analyzed and the soil is amended when needed using organic supplements such as K-mag, gypsum, OMRI Sulfate of Potash, dolomite and phosphate as well as composted chicken, horse and cow manure as well as their own composted waste from the fields.
Written by Colleen Carroll
Just imagine what kind of world we would have if everyone grew gardens instead of lawns.--Leez, Kekaha community gardener
In the tiny little town of Kekaha, far on the west end of the island of Kaua‘i, a visionary preacher, church congregation and small group of dedicated gardeners have banded together to start the Kekaha Community Garden. While one intention is to create a place where locals can grow fresh, healthy, affordable food, the underlying philosophy is really to grow a stronger more connected community. The setting is quite informal (you might wonder, what could be formal in a garden -- but gardens and landscapes like homes, churches and public buildings have their own sense of place, and spoken or unspoken rules of order). In Kekaha Garden there is a sense that all are welcome. On Sunday evening when we entered the gate I was instantly greeted by a very large well-mannered dog and a few children gathering tomatoes and exploring the bounty.
Written by Andrea Dean
‘A‘ohe ‘ulu e loa‘a i ka pōkole o ka lou
The first Hawai’i Breadfruit Festival will be happening September 24, 2011 at Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in South Kona, but will there be any mature breadfruit available in Kona at that time? This is the question that came up last month when Festival co-director Craig Elevitch and I met with Chantal Chung of Kids of Kona. The Kona ‘ulu trees had been loaded with fruit for the past three months, meaning that another big Kona harvest may not happen as soon as September.
Written by Barbara Fahs
It’s great that so many people are jumping on the homegrown food bandwagon. There is nothing more delicious and healthful than your own fresh fruit and vegetables grown with love without pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers.
But for me, homegrown also means making my own medicines from plants in my garden, from the wild and from friends’ yards. And also using locally sourced materials -- like neem -- to improve soil fertility and food production. Recently I was brought into a discussion about a number of neem trees growing on the Hamakua Coast. The property owner had wanted to tear out his 70 or so trees in favor of fruit such as lychee and longan. Although I wasn’t directly involved in convincing him of their value, I am very happy that this valuable resource is now being preserved.
Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us? is a new, magnificent feature film about colony collapse disorder of the honey bee and the need for sustainable agricultural systems. It will be showing at the Palace Theater in Hilo from June 3rd to 7th, at 7 pm, with the Sunday showing a matinee. "A remarkable documentary that's also one of the most beautiful nature films I've seen."-Roger Ebert. “Stunning.. as soulful as it is scientific, as uplifting as it is alarming.” -Film.com. See www.queenofthesun.com and our Calendar of Events for June 3rd.
Farmers' markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Please visit our comprehensive page dedicated to Hawai'i Island farmers' markets and Community Supported Agricuture.
New web site listings
Hawai'i County Resource Center, a program of the County of Hawai'i Department of Research and Development.
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Hawai'i Homegrown Food Network