5th Annual East Side Seed Exchange
At La'akea Community, Puna
Opening ceremony at the 5th Annual East Side Seed Exchange on October 10, 2009
The love for seeds brought over 100 people together this past October 10th. Sharing information and seeds while exchanging contact information focused the diverse group of farmers, presenters, landscapers, homeowners and land stewards who gathered for the 5th Annual East Side Seed Exchange.
The day began with an opening circle recognizing the importance of cooperation with each other and the land for our ongoing survival. Then the exchange began. Participants did not need to bring their own seeds in order to get seeds -- there were plenty of generous gardeners and farmers sharing seeds. Another aspect of the day was the sharing of information. Kumu Aina Farms was well represented with a table displaying tropical fruits and the seeds. Tim and Keri displayed Essential Microorganisms (EM) and were available to answer questions about how EM can improve plant growth. Some of the other folks present included: Dragonfly CSA, Milk & Honey CSA, Polestar CSA, Ron's Bees, Hawaii Invasive Species, the Hawai'i Homegrown Food Network, Know Your Farmer's Alliance and the Master Gardeners.
After a few hours of sharing seeds and information, Professor Norman Arancon of UH Hilo shared his vast knowledge of worms and vermicomposting. The presentation was informative and engaging as we learned that the red wrigglers, although not as prolific as the blues, may be preferred, as they have less tendency to jump out of the bed! Professor Arancon used his wit and knowledge to dispel myths and inspire local gardeners, home composters, and island farmers. At the conclusion of the vermicomposting presentation there was a tour of La'akea Community and more time to visit the information tables, share seeds, and talk story. Everyone returned home with seeds to try out and plenty of information about creating food sustainability. Mark your calendars for next year -- the 6th Annual East Side Seed Exchange will take place the first weekend in October in 2010.