Posts Tagged ‘Taro’


November 14, 2008

Today, Thursday November 13, the Hawaii County Council voted 7 to 0 to override Mayor Harry Kim’s veto of bill# 361.

Bill# 361, introduced by Council Member Angel Pilago, will now become an Ordinance and protect Hawaii Island’s Taro and Coffee from Genetic Engineering, in the field or in the lab.

This has been a long struggle.  However, I can proudly say that we were able to win this one because we did it right.  We got to know our Council members and we worked with them.   Over the course of more than a year we worked to educate our County Council.   At the same time we have been educating the public.  Doing events, showing films, hosting forums, tabling, and most importantly building our base.

Our efforts to raise awareness, and to organize is what gave us the strength to win.  During this special session of the County Council, to consider overriding Mayor Harry Kim’s veto, over 100 + people showed up to give testimony in support of bill# 361 and to encourage the County Council to overturn Mayor Kim’s veto.  I would estimate that over 1/2 of the individuals who showed up today, were new faces.  People who had never testified before on this issue.  This is very good.  It means that the County Council is hearing new voices and that our base is growing and becoming more engaged.  It was just a few weeks ago, in mid October, that there was another Co. Council Meeting and we had a strong showing of 100+ people.  Individuals who were willing to rearrange their lives so they could come spend the day at a County Council meeting.

The vote to override Mayor Kim’s veto was not assured.  Our opponents were monied and politically connected.  They pulled out all of the stops, including taking out a full page newspaper ad., and lobbied our council members heavily.  However, the did not have the public on their side. 

We had public support. We had people power.  In the end, this force, and some good strategy, allowed us to win this fight.  There are still many more battles in the struggle to secure safe and sustainable food, but for the moment we can celebrate.

Peace, Paul

Around the Farm

April 23, 2008

We are into the full on growing season here in Hawaii.  The rain has moderated a bit and the days are longer and we are striving to stay ahead of the weeds and various vines that thrive in this weather.  Are farm is organic, low tech, and off the grid.  That means that we do most of the work by hand using sickles, shovels, and hoes.   (Though there is a 50 year old tractor for some of the heavier work.)  It is a good life filled with long days and hard work.

Here are some photos from around the farm, enjoy.

Our first crop of corn this year.   We just put in a second planting and are looking forward to having sweet corn for several months.

Our first planting of corn this year.

Lettuce growing in our “screen house.”  We get a lot of rain here in Hawaii and the lettuce just can’t stand up to the showers:

Lettuce growing in our \

Here is some young taro that has recently been weeded.  For those of you who do not know, Taro is the staple crop of Hawaii.  It is a very strong plant, a good producer, and easy to grow.  You can eat the whole plant and it is quite tasty.

Here is some taro that is about ready to be cut for leaf.  The corm (root) will not yet be ready for some time:

Some sweet potatoes that were weeded today.  This is another good staple crop.  Unfortunately the pigs really like sweet potatoes as well.  So I may be sleeping in the field with the dogs when harvest time rolls around.

Here are some beans that will be ready to pick in a few weeks. (They look weedy, but really it’s not that bad!)  This is one of the crops that we sell at market.  Taro is the other main cash crop.

Everyone should grow a little of their own food.

Peace, Paul

Farm Day

April 2, 2008

While Judy was taking her Scuba course I remained on the Farm, for our monthly volunteer day.


There were 5 of us total, and I was the youngest by about 20 years.  (I am 42!)  Nevertheless, “many hands make light work”, and in a few short hours we had planted 8 rows of Taro and 3 rows of sweet potatoes.  (The same task, if done by myself alone,  would have taken several long days of hard slow work.)  I was very thankful for help with the work!  


After working in the fields, we shared a delightful pot-luck meal.  Fresh steamed taro, chickpeas, salad, and bread mixed with joyful stories and fond remembrances to bring a warm end to the day.


Peace, Paul

A Day on the Farm

September 18, 2007

Saturday, a group of us participated in Malu Aina’s volunteer day, half day really. The morning consisted of weeding the taro.jpgTaro Patch and planting several rows of beans. The work passed quickly and enjoyably with the assistance of many hands.

We were done by 11:30 am and returned to the main buildings just ahead of the rain. We finished the morning with a shared meal, delightful discussion, and some wonderful stories from Jim about past peace actions and demonstrations.

Peace, Paul