Serving our community `ohana since 2006

ESPC-Workshop

• Want to improve your skills on propagating? Ever collected seeds that didn’t sprout & wonder why? Taken cuttings that didn’t root? Got a plant that up & died?

• At this workshop you will learn how to safely and effectively share valuable plant material with friends and neighbors

• Save seeds that can be used for years to come

• Properly prepare taro huli & banana keiki for planting

• Avoid spreading unwanted pests & diseases around our fragile island environment

• Malama `āina!

• $5-10 suggested donation

• Participants will have the opportunity to receive seeds, trays and soil to propagate for the upcoming seed exchanges in November!

• Space is limited; reserve your place by calling 652-4118

Soil-Remediation-web

 

In celebration of Earth Day 2014, Regenerations Botanical Garden, KKCR, and Kaua`i Community College present a panel discussion and film focused on remediating contaminated and depleted soils on Kaua`i. Soil is the foundation of life on Earth and essential to food production on the backyard to commercial scale. Kaua`i soils have been negatively impacted by decades of management practices that have left the ground polluted and stripped of essential minerals and biological diversity. More than ever, Kauaians are seeking ways to transition to sustainable land management focused on healthy local food production. The panel will identify the challenges and opportunities in restoring the vitality and fertility to our soil so that we can reach our food security and environmental and community health goals. The panel discussion will be broadcast live on KKCR Kaua`i Community Radio, and will be followed by a screening of the film “Neal Kinsey’s Hands-on Agronomy”, a soil fertility management system already in practice on Kaua`i.•    Tuesday, April 22 at Kaua`i Community College Electronics Room 114
•    Panel Discussion: 4-6pm
•    Film & Discussion: 6:30-8:30pm
•    Free Event
▾    Purpose of the Forum
•    What is soil remediation?
•    The state of Kaua`i’s soils on residential, agricultural, and commercial land,
and how they got that way.
•    Leading toxins that contaminate Kaua`i soils and groundwater.
•    Can we afford to stop poisoning our soil; can we afford not to?
•    Best opportunities moving forward, transitional strategies to “wean off” of toxic products
and poor soil fertility practices. Bioremediation, ecological agriculture focus.
•    Green small business opportunities for soil remediators.
▾    Panel Members
• Dave Gerow, Kaua`i Environmental
• Sun Hadley, One Song Farm
• Ray Maki, Permaculture Kaua`i/Regenerations Botanical Garden/Hawai`i Farmers Union United
• Paul Massey, Regenerations Botanical Garden/Kaua`i Community Seed Bank
• John Parziale, Kaua`i Authentic Farms
• Dr. Hector Valenzuela, University of Hawai`i College of Tropical Agriculture• Moderated by Felicia Cowden. The panel discussion will be broadcast LIVE on Feliciaʻs “Kaua`i Soapbox” radio program on KKCR – Kauai Community Radio 91.9FM islandwide/90.9FM Hanalei/92.7FM Moloa`a/104.7 FM Haleiwa, O`ahu/95.1 cable/Streaming at kkcr.org▾    Film: “Neal Kinsey’s Hands-on Agronomy”
•    This fascinating video details Neal Kinsey’s most important lessons. He teaches a sophisticated, easy-to-live-with system of fertility management that focuses on balance, not merely quantity of fertility elements. It works in a variety of soils and crops, both conventional and organic. In sharp contrast to the current methods only using N-P-K and pH and viewing soil only as a physical support media for plants, the basis of all his teachings are to feed the soil, and let the soil feed the plant. The Albrecht system of soils is covered, along with how to properly test your soil and interpret the results. The video teach you the major principles of Kinsey’s system that will take the viewer a long way down the road to improving the productivity of their soil. A discussion will follow the film.

For more information, call 652-4118

 

13th Biannual Kaua`i Community Seed and Plant Exchange

Saturday, April 19th 2014 Noon-5pm

Waipā Foundation in Hanalei

 

Welcome to the seed and plant exchange! Whether you are a season veteran or brand new, we’re sure that youʻll have an enjoyable and rewarding experience. This is truly a community created event, and we want you to know how much we appreciate your effort and generosity. Over the years we’ve co-created a system for the day that really works well, as volunteers plug in where they are inspired and called. Here is our basic schedule for the day:

 

Event Schedule

 

10am-noon ((Setup and preparation))

• 11am ((Volunteer Meeting))

• Noon-2pm Arrival and check-in of seed & plant material
& talk story with other gardeners & farmers

• 2pm Pule (Group blessing)

2-3:15pm Seed & Plant Exchange!

3:15-4pm Presentations

• 4-5pm More talk story time and begin cleanup

• 5:30pm Cleanup completed

 

 

Setup and Preparation

 

Beginning at 10am, we set up tables and benches, information booths, and other event infrastructure. If you would like to volunteer during a portion of the event, try to make it to the 11am volunteer orientation meeting. This is when we get to meet our fellow teammates and firm up our coordination. Being a volunteer at the exchange is one of the most enjoyable parts of the day for many.

 

Arrival and check-in of seed & plant material  & talk story with other gardeners

 

For those of us bringing seeds, cuttings, or potted plants to share, please arrive with ample time to unload your offerings and get them submitted to the exchange with assistance from our plant material check-in stewards. You will be supplied a blank information card to fill in for each variety you have brought to share. Try to supply as much information as you can about the variety, including common and botanical names, location and season grown, growth habit if not obvious (for example herb, vine, shrub, tree), and anything special or notable about the species or variety, including flavor, color, size, medicinal or cultural uses, your contact if desired, etc. The check-in stewards will help to confirm that your seeds and plants are free of pest and diseases (see Preparing Seeds, Cuttings, Plants for more information). Your offerings will be received and placed in the appropriate areas for the exchange–generally seeds and cuttings inside or under cover, and potted plants outside. Bringing plant material to share is encouraged but not required to participate. Once you have checked-in, visit the educational booths, get some food, and enjoy the company of other gardeners and farmers who’ve come to the exchange: connecting with others who share our passion for growing is a key aspect of this event.

 

Pule (Group Blessing)

 

At 2pm, the sweet tones of a harmonic bowl will signal that it’s time to pause our conversations and join hands in a circle of appreciation and heartfelt thanksgiving for the invaluable gift that the plants give to us. Aloha `aina (deep love for the land and its bounty) is our unifying purpose as we send our prayers to the seeds and plants that are about to join our `ohana (family). Then, at the sound of the bell and with great exuberance, the seed and plant exchange begins!

 

The Exchange

 

It has been described as a plant potluck party–now is the time to fill your baskets with a wealth of locally adapted plant material for growing at your home, school or workplace. Seed envelopes are available for a nominal donation. Make sure to mark down the information contained on the check-in cards including the date…you’ll be glad you did in the months and years to come, when you want to be able to identify the precise qualities and suitability of that variety for your intended use. We have 3 general requests about your gathering of seeds, cuttings, and plants at the exchange:

 

1. Please wait until after the group blessing is given to take seeds & plants. This gives everyone a fair and equal chance to share in the abundance that’s been brought to share. It also allows us to bless all the plant material with our good intentions and gratitude, and these blessings are part of what you receive when you take seeds and plants home.

 

2. Take no more that 1/4 of each offering. In actual practice you may be taking much less than that. However when supplies are running low, 25% of what’s left may only be 3 seeds of a particular variety. We also want to encourage you to save seeds from your grow out of the variety, and with some plants it’s better to have a population rather than only a couple of individuals, so it may be appropriate for you to take a higher percentage of seeds that remain. In general, help yourself to a smaller amount of potted plants and vegetative cuttings so that there’s enough to go around.

 

3. Take only what you will grow. In our enthusiasm, it’s tempting to gather as much plant material as we can, spurred on by visions of a massive garden that can accommodate all our new leafy friends. This enthusiasm can easily exceed what’s realistic, and plant material gets wasted (don’t feel bad, it’s happened to all of us at one time or another!). What we’re asking here is for you to make an honest assessment of your ability to plant out what you receive. The seed and plant exchange is for activating our planting activities now, not stashing seeds away until the end of the world arrives. That said, seeds that are properly dried and refrigerated can last for several years, and we encourage you to care for your seeds so that they can be the source of bountiful harvests for many seasons to come.

 

Presentations

 

At each seed exchange, we are treated to a speaker or two that share their particular perspective on seed saving or some other aspect of ecological agriculture and land stewardship. It’s always worth staying after the main hustle and bustle of the exchange to enjoy these presentations and honor the speakers for sharing their expertise with us.

 

Talk Story and Cleanup

 

Many hands make light work, and many hearts make the work play. Breaking down tables and benches, sweeping, collecting up compost, recycling and trash–all the things needed to return the event site to a pristine condition–is achieved easily and joyfully with your help. We’re still feeling the glow of the seed exchange; new friends we’ve met and good friends we’ve reconnected with; new ideas and growing techniques we’ve learned and can’t wait to try ourselves. The inspiration we now hold carries us through the next six months, as we make good on our commitment to regenerate these seeds and plants we’ve received, and bring the abundance to share once again at the next seed & plant exchange!

 

Volunteering

 

The exchange is an all-volunteer event, and your kōkua (assistance) is welcome and needed. There are a variety of tasks that you can play both during the lead up to, and during the actual event. These include:

 

  • Pre-event
    • Picking up rental tables and benches in Kapahi and delivering to event site
    • Hanging posters and handing out flyers
    • Packaging seeds at the Kaua`i Community Seed Bank
    • Promoting the event on your social media network

 

  • Day of event
    • Set up tables, seating, tents, booths
    • Set up signage and banners near the road
    • Directing parking and plant material drop-off
    • Welcome Team: Invite attendees to sign contact list, write name tags, general orientation
    • Seed & Plant Check-in team: helping with filling out plant material information cards, receiving seeds and plants, screening for infested, diseased, or invasive species, organizing seeds, cuttings, and potted plants with labels on tables or other areas
    • Regenerations information & merchandise Booth Team
    • Cleanup and Breakdown Team: compost/recycling/trash disposal, sweeping/mopping/cleaning, stack tables and benches, take down signage and banners, load vehicles
    • Return rented tables and benches to Kapahi

 

To volunteer before, during, or after the exchange, give us a call at 652-4118.

 

Preparing Seeds, Cuttings, and Plants for the Exchange

 

It’s essential that we share our treasured plant varieties with each other, and equally important that we don’t pass along unwanted and sometimes harmful pests, diseases, and GMO-contaminated crops in the process. The first line of defense is to educate ourselves about these problematic organisms so we can identify and deal with them. Seeds should be removed completely from pods or fruit, and be free from insect damage or mold. Sometimes mold is seen as a white or sooty powder, but even if it is not visible, your nose will tell you if the seed is moldy. If so, a bath in half water, half 3% hydrogen peroxide (the kind from the grocery store) for 5 minutes will usually deactivate the mold spores. It may help to rub the seeds together while in the liquid to get them clean. Then blot them dry with a kitchen towel and let them dry in a well-ventilated place. Discard seeds with broken seed coats or holes, and rub off any egg cases that may be attached to the seed coat (most commonly seen on beans like pigeon pea). Cuttings are best made soon before the event, so they don’t dry out or lose vitality (yes, there are always exceptions in nature, like gliricidia or cassava cuttings which can last for months before they are planted if stored properly). Discard any cuttings with dark spots on the stem (disease) or insect entry holes. Taro in particular should be sanitized in a 10% bleach solution and should not come from an area where Apple Snails are present. Bananas need to be free of Banana Bunchy Top Virus (BBTV), and banana corms paired down similar to taro huli to prevent corm borer and nematode spread. Keep cuttings well-ventilated but also moist, removing much of the leaves on the cutting to avoid them drying out. Potted plants present multiple challenges, as pests may be not only on stems, leaves, flowers, and fruit, but also in the pot/under the soil. Ants of various types are a growing threat to our gardens and farms and spread pests, so the best course of action is to move the plants you intend to bring to the exchange to an isolated area a week before the event. Place a few sticks with peanut butter in the pots and in a day you will know if ants are present in your pots. Ants can be dealt with on a pot-by-pot basis by submerging the pot in a bucket or other container of water for 10-20 minutes. Confirm that the ants are vanquished by flipping the pot upside down and removing the pot from the root ball and visually inspecting it. Pest and Disease identification and treatment information is readily available on the web, notably from the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture. One excellent resource is here. Invasive species is a subjective term based on context, for instance tomatoes are listed as invasive in Hawai`i because wild cherry tomatoes compete with native plants for space in coastal habitats. However we should be informed about serious invasive weeds that threaten the delicate balance of our native plant communities and watershed health and make sure not to spread them. hear.org is an excellent resource for specific information about invasive plants and animals in Hawai`i. It’s all of our kuleana (responsibility) to keep these invaders to a minimum. GMO seeds are produced commercially on Kaua`i, so it is possible that the seeds we save here have been ‘accidentally’ contaminated with genetically-modified crops. If you live near the biotech fields, the following crops could be contaminated so best not to bring them to the exchange: corn, soybean, and sunflower. Papaya is also genetically modified in Hawai`i; however papaya tends to self-pollinate and is such an important food security plant for us that we are once again allowing papaya seed at the exchange. for more information on GMO crops in Hawai`i and what’s being done to address the problem go to hawaiiseed.org

 

Donations

 

The Kaua`i Community Seed & Plant Exchange is a free event, yet actually represents a tremendous amount of coordination and teamwork to pull off. We also have costs to cover like assorted materials, equipment and venue rental, printing, and seed packing, just to name a few. Your financial contributions keep this event happening. Donation jars are located on the seed tables and at the Regenerations booth, where you can also get a tax-deductible receipt if you wish. Thanks in advance for your generosity!

VOICES FROM THE TREES

Seed Exchange Celebrates the Growth of a Community Food Forest

The 12th Biannual Kaua`i Community Seed & Plant Exchange will be celebrated on Sunday, September 22nd from noon ‘til 5pm at the Kalihiwai Food Forest & Community Garden, one half mile up Kahiliholo Road at Wai Koa Plantation, on Kalihiwai Ridge, Halele`a. Aloha `āina, music, food, and a wealth of seeds and plants will be enjoyed by all.

Kaua`i is leading the way toward food self-sufficiency by establishing a community food forest near Kilauea. This 2 acre project is only 9 months old, but has already developed an overhead canopy and is producing an inspiring variety of fruits, veggies, and root crops. Dozens of volunteers have contributed their ideas and hard work to create this food ecosystem. The project is a creative experiment in community solution-making and the inherent balance and resilience of natural ecosystems. The experiences that people have had developing and caring for the forest have already been life-changing, and the exchange will feature several food foresters speaking about their personal journeys into a new relationship with the land and each other. Tours of the forest, explaining the various methods and plants used, will be offered by members of the Food Forest Stewardship Circle.

Regenerations Botanical Garden, which organizes the event, is also proud to introduce the public to the new site of its permanent headquarters, located adjacent to the food forest and community garden. The 2 acre Regenerations Seed Center will be a simple yet comprehensive facility for growing, processing, storing, and distributing island adapted crops and other essential biodiversity for remediating and enhancing natural agricultural ecosystems. The Center will be designed and built with permaculture principles and methodology, providing many opportunities for creative hands-on learning. Once complete, the Center will be a regional training destination for seed production and stewardship of plant and soil resources by local communities.

Early check-in of plant material begins at 12 noon. Those bringing seeds and plants are requested to bring only GMO-free, pest-free, non-invasive material. Participants will fill out a label that identifies the type of seed or plant they are donating, its qualities, and location where it was grown. All seeds and plants will be given freely or traded. The exchange will take place after the 2pm blessing. Speakers will begin at approximately 3 pm, followed by music by Malama Pono Allstars. Everyone is encouraged to attend; even if you have no plants or seeds to give away, there will be plenty to receive and share. Please leave your doggy friends at home. To find out more or for volunteer opportunities visit ribg.org or call 652-4118. This event is the result of a remarkable collaboration by many Kaua`i individuals and organizations, including Regenerations Botanical Garden and Kaua`i Community Seed Bank, GMO-Free Kaua`i, Malama Kaua`i, The Sanctuary of LUBOF, Food Forest Stewardship Circle, Kalihiwai Community Gardeners, KKCR Kaua`i Community Radio, Akamai Backyard, Heaven on Earth Starts, Kaua`i Beekeepers Association, and `Ohana o Kaua`i.

The following was published by Nicolai Barca on May 29, 2013. Thanks to Nicolai for creating this great video. Mahalo

This video was filmed on site at our Kalihiwai Permaculture Food Forest, established in December of 2012 with the great support of our local community and are partners in this project, Malama Kauai and Sanctuary of LUBOF.

Join us at our next work party to experience the incredible progress of this inspiring collaborative local initiative. Work parties are held the 3rd Saturday of each month, or you can stop by any weekend to participate in weekend projects with our regular volunteers.

The Sustainable Living Institute of Maui, the Maui Farmer’s Union United and Upcountry Sustainability will host Paul Massey, co-founder and director of Regenerations Botanical Garden based on Kauai, at 6 p.m. Monday at the University of Hawaii Maui College.

Massey will tell how nonprofits and neighbors came together on Kauai to create a permaculture food forest system. He will describe the five-year journey from first concept through design and installation with photographs and stories, from his perspective as one of the forests’ primary architects.

Water harvesting, plant diversity selection, successional planting strategies and forest maintenance will be explored.

Resources and assistance will be offered to community groups on Maui that want to begin their own food forest initiatives.

Massey is a team leader of the Kauai Community Seed Bank, the Kalihiwai Permaculture Food Forest, and Regenerations Seed Garden. He also co-hosts the weekly radio program “Back to the Garden” on Kauai Community Radio.

This event will be held at 6:00 pm, at the Multi-Purpose Room in Pilina, on the UH Maui College campus.  It is free and open to the public.  For questions, call 573-9260.

Press release was featured in The Mauai News on June 9, 2013.Read Full Article…