Archive for January, 2010

SMS Newsletter, January 2010

South Maui Sustainability Forum:
Charting Our Course to a Sustainable Community
Wordle: SMS
Thursday, February 11, 6:30-8:00 PM
Kihei Charter School
Click on graphic to see full-sized view.

Join South Maui Sustainability for an opportunity to collaborate and set direction for future projects and events. This forum is an excellent opportunity to connect with others who are eager to learn, plan, and take action on key organizational, community and personal sustainability efforts. Come share your ideas and insights and connect with neighbors to really make a difference in South Maui. Help us continue to be the model for other communities to follow.

The South Maui Sustainability Forum is a community event sponsored by the all-volunteer South Maui Sustainability group. All are warmly invited and encouraged to attend and share their mana’o. We welcome potluck pupus to share; local is mo betta’.

Mark your Calendars

March SMS Community Event:
Making Magic in Small Spaces:
Permaculture Applications for South Maui Gardeners

Thursday, March 11, 6:30-8:00 PM
Kihei Charter School

SMS Community Empowerment Series with Neil Abercrombie
Thursday, March 18, 6:30-8:00 PM
Kihei Charter School

Other Events of Interest
Hawaii-wide “Complete Streets” Task Force Meeting
Tuesday, February 2, 8:30 – 11:30 AM
HDOT Maui District Office, 650 Palapala Drive, Kahului

Bike Coalition
Thursday, February 18, 6:00-7:30 PM PM
Kihei Charter School, Lipoa Campus at Lipoa Center

How Many Food Miles did You Consume Today?

alt="Food Miles"
style="padding:4px; border:1px solid #ddd" width="180" align="left"

We make choices about what we eat every day. Whether you make those choices in your garden, the grocery store line, a fancy restaurant or fast-food place the choice belongs to the consumer.

Making a conscious effort to educate ourselves and think about where our food comes from is a first simple step. With each item you pick up, think about what went in to it’s production. Food Miles is defined as the distance food is transported from the time of its production until it reaches the consumer. Highly processed foods with 15 ingredients that your grandmother wouldn’t recognize are sure to have very high food miles. Items that require refrigeration as they fly to Maui have very high food miles. Locally grown produce generally has very low food miles. Your backyard garden essentially has zero food miles. By committing to buying and eating more locally grown organic and natural foods you are making choices that reach beyond your own health, beyond our island economy and impact our global environment.

It may cost a little more initially but the benefits are huge! When we choose to Eat Local, we support local farmers and growers. We honor sustainable food systems that will endure through physical and economic crisis. We get better tasting and more nutritious food on our dinner tables. We spend less money on health related issues. We make our world a better place for future generations.

Each small good choice is a big step. Make your choice to cut your food miles today.

SMS Published on HuffPo

Huffington Post

The Huffington Post is a popular internet newspaper has 22 million unique users each month and is the most linked-to blog on the Internet. SMS and the Kihei School Garden project made the HuffPo news!

Core members of SMS, Susan Wyche and Kathy Becklin, met Huffington Post contributor Lorna Sass at the Body & Soil Conference. We invited her to see the school garden and here is the resulting article “Maui’s Edible Garden for Children” complete with several video clips.

The garden continues to grow and thrive. Teachers and kids are using it daily. We released our first newsletter to the teachers. Here is an excerpt from the newsletter on what’s happening in the garden:

Beans are climbing nearly a foot a day (check them out with your classes). Some of the tomatoes are beginning to take off, too, but some are struggling. Herbs, sweet potatoes, and taro are all doing well. We expect the first lettuces to be ready to sample in about a month.

SMS just received another mini-grant from the county to help support finishing up the garden with additional mulch and a few more beds. Soon, we’ll be scheduling another weekend where we hope volunteers will come out and help. We are also looking for donations of:

  • Dwarf Apple Banana keiki
  • Green Ti plants (edible)
  • Seeds and starts of edible plants

Please call Kathy Becklin at 344-0469 or email to make your donations

Help Others and Save Our Landfills: Use Freecycle

Freecycle Network
changing the world one gift at a time

Our island is experiencing the effects of the sluggish economy. One of these effects is that people are leaving the island. Unfortunately, this is placing more items in our landfills. One great alternative that everyone should be aware of is Freecycle Maui.

When you join Freecycle, you start receiving daily digests of items people have to give and things people need. If you have a working appliance, 1/2 gallon of paint or a stack of cardboard boxes you can often find someone who would love to have them. Post it, people will contact you via email and you set up a time for them to pick it up.

Commit today to sign up or get one person/family signed up this month. You don’t need to have something to give away or something you need to sign up. Connect Today!

January Community Event in Review
Better Soil, Better Gardens, Better Health
Ma'a Body and Soil Conference

Our January 14, Better Soil, Better Gardens, Better Health community event was wonderfully stimulating and educational. Vincent Mina of Maui Aloha `Aina introduced our four guest speakers who were on Maui as featured presenters at Aloha `Aina’s annual Body and Soil Conference. They spoke to the SMS audience on this year’s conference theme, Culturing the Micro-Flora of the Body and the Soil.

Dr. Paul Hepperly, a Fulbright Scholar, Rachel Carson Scientist, world-renowned expert on greenhouse gases and our food system, and Director and Senior Scientist of Rodale Research until 2009, spoke about using soil to manage global climate change by positively influencing greenhouse gas concentrations. He emphasized the value of grasslands for carbon sequestration and the importance of cattle for producing protein.

Theresa Vernon, a licensed acupuncturist, told us about the prevalence of metal toxicity and its effects–chronic fatigue syndrome and other illnesses. She explained how she uses hair analysis to determine the amount of excess metal in the cells, and how to increase the ability of the body to absorb nutrients properly.

Jerry Brunetti, a soil consultant working with Sandia Labs, described how, using mycorrhizae and other soil conditioning, he converted 10,000 completely dry, salty and barren New Mexico acres into a hospitable, lush, thriving forest.

Michael Martin Melendrez, owner of Soil Secrets, spoke about the “soil food web” (a term he coined in the seventies), the importance of humus building and microbial inoculation (how we can prepare our soils for growing plants).

In the short time allotted, panelists were able to respond to only a few of the many questions from our audience. Vincent Mina extended the early conference registration rate to everyone attending and a number of us attended his fascinating conference over the following weekend. A big mahalo to Vincent and all the speakers for the very educational and inspiring evening.

Garden Tip: Treating Slugs with Coffee

For an all natural, good for your soil and plants slug treatment, use your leftover morning coffee and coffee grounds around your vegetable garden plants. While different studies have shown varying degrees of success using coffee sprays and coffee grounds to treat for slugs, we’ve had great success using coffee in the Kihei Elementary School Garden project. It really works. Read more about the University of Hawaii study on treating slugs with caffeine.

Volunteer Corner

We’re seeking help in the areas of video editing, private donor fundraising, project management, public advocacy and sustainable business practices. If you, or someone you know, might be interested in finding out how to share strengths in these areas, please contact SMS and tell us how you’d like to help.

January 31, 2010 at 11:25 pm 1 comment

Latest Articles


  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS The Abrams Clean Tech Report

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Styrophobia

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS EcoGeek

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Friends of the Earth

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Blogroll from Abrams Clean Tech Report


January 2010