“The best fertilizer for the farm is the farmer’s footprint on the land”
German farmer quoted by Nancy Redfeather on KKCR’s garden show (kkcr.org)
Sylvia Partridge moved to Kaua`i eight years ago, and is best known for her musical talents with two CDs out–Heaven is Waiting and Walking Home. She joined the Kilauea Community Garden to learn the answer to her question, “Where does my food come from?” Sylvia, like many of us, has easily navigated through the food pyramid, creating 100s of meals, while maintaining a distance from the origins of the food on her plate. Today, she has set about changing that. By immersing herself in the soil of Kauai’s north shore she is learning to distinguish between the weeds and the small papaya plants that she hopes will soon be lining her breakfast table with their fruit. One of Sylvia’s greatest pleasures is spending time with the other gardeners. “They are inspirational. They come here with a deep seated passion for the garden, the plants, and the land.”
|'Grow Your Food, Grow Your Future|
Gardening community-style is not a typical feature of Kaua`i’s contemporary agricultural landscape. While in years past, plantation camps offered a bit of land for gardening or individual plots for families, the notion of formalized community gardens is really blossoming just in the past few years. A major impetus for Kaua`i is in recent years we have become more influenced by economic issues, more concerned about the quality of our food and cognizant of our isolation from our food sources. Lets face it–3,000 miles is a long way to go for groceries. But generally that’s at least the distance 80 to 90% of our food travels to get to the island’s shores and stores. Building our capacity to feed ourselves has been a great motivating factor for many of our small farmers and gardeners for years on Kaua`i and today, the idea is growing.
|Jerri Di Pietro of GMO free|
Kauai see hawaiiseed.org
for more on efforts in
Hawaii to keep taro GMO free.
Here in Hawai`i, the growing and cultivation of the kalo plant is a tradition that stretches back for centuries. The Hawaiians loved, honored, and cared for kalo and were in turn, as the creation story implies, fed and supported by it for generations and generations. By tending carefully the kalo, the Hawaiians eventually cultivated more than 300 varieties by selecting the plants for certain conditions, climates, and soils and by hand-pollinating over years and years. (Excerpt from interview with Walter Ritte and Jerry Konanui for more see malamakauai.org/radio/).
|Kalo, cultivated as part of the|
Kauai Community Seed Bank Project
of regenerations Botanical Garden.
|A successful community garden needs to be tended|
by a dedicated gardener like Paul Massey, who
takes the lead at Kilauea.
The Kilauea Community Garden is a site of exceptional peace and beauty. People come to learn about food, to grow food for others and to share in the bounty and joy that comes from growing your own. Some might come just for the sanctuary it offers.
|Laurel Francis helps with the harvest of Spanish|
Pumpkin, Cucurbita maxima. Photo contributed by Paul Massey.
NatureTalks is dedicated to connecting people with nature. Currently we are exploring the local garden scene to see what’s blooming. We specialize in environmental education and urban forestry programs. If your environmental project needs a hand, see www.naturetalks.net for more details or contact naturetalks to talk about your specific project.