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Newsletter 56 - October 2013

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The GMO debate continues in the Hawai‘i County Council. You’re encouraged to read the report below to help you do your homework about that debate, and make your voice known.

In addition, we present a feature about a local farm’s experience with WWOOFers, who can add significant value to many of our local, sustainable food growers, and another feature about the Taro Patch Farm, which grows a remarkable diversity of food crops on a relatively small “patch” of ground. Finally we continue our marketing profile series with an article about Hawaiian Chip Company.

Add to that stew upwards of twenty upcoming classes, workshops, festivals and seminars just about local food on Hawai’i Island over the next month or two, along with pertinent announcements and websites, and you’ve got a recipe for inspiration, education and action towards growing and/or consuming more local food!

Craig Elevitch and Pedro Tama
for the Hawai'i Homegrown Food Network
visit us on Facebook

Breadfruit tree in South Kona.


Saturday, September 7 to Saturday, October 5, 2013, 01:00 pm - 5:00 pm, Hamakua
Beginning Organic Beekeeping

Friday, September 27, 2013 to Saturday, September 28, 2013, Oahu, Maui, Hawai'i, Kaua'i
23rd Annual Hawai’i Tropical Fruit Growers Conference: Best of Both Worlds

From Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 09:30 to Monday, September 30, 2013 - 08:30, Maui
23rd Annual Hawai’i Tropical Fruit Growers Conference: Best of Both Worlds

Tuesday, October 01, 2013, 09:30 am - 05:00 pm, Hilo
23rd Annual Hawai’i Tropical Fruit Growers Conference: Best of Both Worlds

Wednesday, October 02, 2013, 09:30 am - 08:00 pm, Kona
23rd Annual Hawai’i Tropical Fruit Growers Conference: Best of Both Worlds

Thursday, October 03, 2013, 09:30 am - 09:00 pm, Kaua’i
23rd Annual Hawai’i Tropical Fruit Growers Conference: Best of Both Worlds

Friday, October 04, 2013, 06:00 pm - 08:00 pm, South Kohala
Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Saturday, October 05, 2013, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, Kapa’au, North Kohala
Kohala Country Fair

Saturday, October 05, 2013, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm, Puna
Composting Workshop

Saturday, October 05, 2013, 10:00 am - 04:00 pm, Puna
Intuitive Treatment-Free Beekeeping Workshop

Saturday, October 05, 2013, 02:00 pm - 04:00 pm, Hilo
Composting Workshop

Tuesday, October 08, 2013, 06:00 pm - 08:00 pm, Hilo
Hilo Natural Farmers’ Monthly Meeting

Friday, October 11, 2013, 09:30 am - 12:30 pm, Puna
Community Permaculture Tour and Open House, La’akea Intentional Community

Saturday, October 12, 2013, 09:00 am - 04:00 pm, Hamakua
E Ala O Mahiai - The Way of the Farmer

Saturday, October 12, 2013, 03:00 - 05:00 pm, North Kohala
Medicinal Herbs at Your Feet

Monday, October 21, 2013, 07:00 pm - 09:00 pm, North Kona
Hawai’i Tropical Fruit Growers Meeting

Sunday, October 27, 2013, 02:00 pm - 05:00 pm, Hilo
Let’s Grow Hilo Edible Landscaping Beautification Day

Monday, October 28, 2013, 09:30 am - 05:30 pm, North Kona
Growing Organics: Moving Hawai’i’s Organic Industry Forward

Monday, November 04, 2013 to Wednesday, November 06, 2013, Volcano
Community Cup Tea Hawai’i Tour: Global Relations in Tea

Saturday, November 09, 2013, 02:00 - 04:00 pm, North Kohala
Unveiling North Kohala’s Permanent Seed Bank

Saturday, November 16, 2013, 01:00 - 07:00 pm, North Kohala
4th Annual Kohala ‘Aina Festival 2013

Every Tuesday. 09:00am - 12:00pm, Puna
Hands in the Earth Practicum

Every Thursday. 09:00am - 12:00pm, Puna
Permaculture Classroom & Field Studies

View events calendar


Welcoming WWOOFers to Your Farm

Written by Rachel Laderman

WoofersTaylorandHeidiTaylor and Heidi washing taro and sweet potatoes - and having a bit of fun with it, as usual!We are feeling extra productive and on top of our chores these days and the reason is that we have HELP! For the last month we have had our first real experience with WWOOF, that is, Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (also known as Willing Workers on Organic Farms).

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Innovative local chips by Hawaiian Chip Company

Written by Craig Elevitch and Ken Love

CI0A9212-EditJimmy Chan of Hawaiian Chip Company at his made-to-order chip outlet in Kalihi.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.

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Farmer Feature: Taro Patch Farm

Written by Sonia R. Martinez

TaroPatchFarmEdieTony1Edith 'Edie' Bikie and Tony Dela Cruz of Taro Patch FarmWedged 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.

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GMO's: Have you done your homework?

Written by Pedro Tama

 MG 5756CElevitchDoes food and GMO biotechnology need any public oversight?The GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) controversy continues to dominate the news for our local agriculture's future. Hawai'i Island's farmers, both small and large, are actively engaged in this debate, as are our County Council, the University of Hawai'i, biotech companies, and some wholesalers and retailers of our entire local food system.

How well do you understand the issues? How much do you know, and how much is guesswork or knee-jerk reaction? Are you applying your critical thinking skills to the arguments from both sides, or are your feet more-or-less mindlessly planted in the concrete of your fellow-travelers?

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Farmers' Markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Visit our comprehensive directory of Hawai'i Island farmers' markets and Community Supported Agricuture.


New Rules for Shipping Hawai'i Avocados to the Mainland to Take Effect

The USDA Final Rule governing the shipment of untreated "Sharwil" avocdos from Hawai'i to the mainland will take effect on October 15, 2013. For all the requiremnts to satisfy this rule, see http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2012-0008-0036.

Farm Bill Conservation Benefits for Underserved Farmers: Hilo workshop

October 28, 2013, 8:30 a.m. to 3;30 p.m., Hilo
The purpose of this workshop is to increase the USDA, Natural Resource ConservationService's (NRCS) outreach to historically underserved farmers and landowners in Hawaii. This includes ensuring that underserved farmers and landowners have access to and understand the
conservation benefits derived from participation in NRCS Conservation Easement, Stewardship,Environmental Quality Incentives (EQIP) and Agricultural Water Enhancement (AWE) programs provided through the 2008 Farm Bill.
Summary:The NARC&DC and its partner RC&D Councils, along with the participation of NRCS, FSA, and RD personnel, will conduct a series of workshops that will focus on underserved farmers and landowners. These groups include (but are not limited to) Asian, Pacific Islander, and women landowners and producers. These are all groups that have traditionally lacked access to the assistance available to farmers and ranchers elsewhere due to their race, gender, ethnicity, or relative lack of language proficiency. The workshop will be conducted at the USDA Pacific Basin Agriculture Research Center, at 64 Nowelo St., Hilo, on October 28, 2013, 8:30 a.m. to 3;30 p.m., with site visits in the afternoon. Limited travel stipend is available.
Register for this workshop by October 14, 2013; or, for more information, please call BigIsland RC&D Council at 1-808-935-8426 Or email at < This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. >

Ulu smartphone app highlights Kauai breadfruit

Talking Trees Kauai IMG 0091The Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu project has added sites of interest on Kauai to the Talking Trees app for iPhone and Android.

The Talking Trees app is free and features suggested stops on Kauai and Hawaii Island that offer the opportunity to learn about the culture and history of the islands through stories of the ‘ulu (breadfruit). Information is conveyed through photos, articles and video interviews with local cultural practitioners. For people who want to learn how to cook with breadfruit, the app also features award-wining breadfruit recipes. Other links include information about how to cultivate and use breadfruit and Hawaiian mythology.

“There are many different drive guides out there, but ours is the only one in Hawaii that takes people on a journey to see the islands and learn about the culture and history by seeking out the breadfruit trees,” says Andrea Dean, Co-Director of the Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu project, “It's a fun way to see Kauai or Hawaii Island—kind of like a treasure hunt for ‘ulu trees.”

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Web Resources

This month's web site listings

Other web resources

Supporting Organizations


Hawai'i People's Fund and the Hawai'i Community Foundation


Founding sponsors

Hawai'i County Resource Center, a program of the County of Hawai'i Department of Research and Development. Hawaii Agricultural Development Program in partnership with the Big Island RC&D Council.


Agroforestry Net



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This newsletter is published by:

Hawai'i Homegrown Food Network
PO Box 5
Holualoa, Hawaii  96725  USA
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Web: http://hawaiihomegrown.net

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