Archive for June, 2010

Introduction to Aquaponics – June 21, 2010

On June 21, 2010, Upcountry Sustainability hosts a free Introduction to Aquaponics in Haiku from 4:45 – 6:30. Lloyd Fischel, of Lanikai Farm, at 20 N. Lanikai Place, in Haiku, welcomes attendees for a tour of his aquaponics system where he raises fish to eat and gains nutrient-rich by-products to enhance his gardens.

Lloyd runs Lanakai Farm in Haiku, a fish farm, as well as Fragrant Orchids of Maui, an orchid retail business. Lanikai Farms is a unique fish breeding facility that uses biological filtration and rainwater runoff channeled from adjoining nursery structures to create a healthy and financially efficient environment for raising fish. Designed by Lloyd Fischel, this commercial operation is the first of its kind on the island of Maui.

for more information about the operation and about Lloyd.

4:45 PM to 6:30 PM in Haiku

Space is limited; to attend, please sign up here. You must close the spreadsheet to complete registration and you will not receive any confirmation email, but if your name is on the list, you are registered.

Register for this event at
Call Melanie at 573-9260 with questions.

June 18, 2010 at 6:49 pm Leave a comment

Living History of the South Maui Region (2)

DATE CHANGE to Friday, June 25  6:30-8:00 PM
Kalama Heights Retirement Center, Garden Room

Due to several conflicts with the Maui Film Festival activities we are rescheduling the Living History study group to meet the following Friday on June 25th.

This is the  second meeting in our cultural studies series on “Journey of Knowing the Lands of Kula and Honua’ula” (the traditional districts now known as South Maui). We continue to talk story with Lucienne DeNaie, co-author of Project Ka’eo. Please contact Teri Leonard at teri at southmauisustainability dot org for more information.

Feel free to join us even if you missed the opening and join us for future discussions and walks. We invite local residents and kupuna with knowledge of the area to share their mana’o. We anticipate that this will be about a year-long journey that includes monthly discussions and field trips such as walks in the makai and mauka areas of South Maui.

You can download the book or an Executive Summary at The book is a large, lengthy download – so give it time. CD’s will be available for free at the meeting.

Please use the makai driveway (lower parking lot) for easy access to the garden room.

June 4, 2010 at 8:08 am Leave a comment

Kihei School Garden Work and Learn Day

Saturday, June 12
8:00 – 10:00 A.M.
Kihei Elementary School

Please join us at the garden for a morning of spring garden tasks and ‘summerizing’ the garden for the summer school break. Enjoy tending vegetables, pulling out spent crops, weeding, mulching, and helping us build two compost bins if you’re so inclined! Your Kokua helps us keep the garden maintained through the summer school break. Please dress in comfortable gardening clothes and closed-toed shoes, a hat and apply plenty of sunscreen! We’ll provide some snacks and water. Please bring your own cup or bottle.

We ask that you let us know if you can make it so we know how many to plan for. To RSVP or if you’d like to sign up to be a team leader for one of the maintenance areas or for building the compost bins, call Nio at (808)280.5308 or email Nio at SouthMauiSustainability dot org.

Regular Garden Event:
Our monthly workdays are usually held on the 2nd Saturday of every month from 8 to 11 am (unless otherwise noted.) These work and learn days allow South Maui Sustainability to keep our school gardens in good shape and provide opportunities for larger scale projects to be accomplished. We also love how much learning goes on as we share with each other in the garden. New volunteers from the community are always encourage to come join us!

June 4, 2010 at 8:06 am Leave a comment

Maui Growing Local: Ideas and Action Steps

Group 1 Regional Composting

  1. Develop legislation requiring that all green waste go to composing sites (This has been in process for the past 10 years)
    1. Meet with county council members
    2. Educate the public
  2. Multiple Transfer Sites, rather than multiple composting sites
    1. Feasibility study
    2. Meet with county council members
    3. Locate sites and purchase large containers to hold the green waste
  3. Education
    1. Experts in composting to speak at schools
    2. PSAs and educational materials for the public
    3. Composting website

Group 2: Replenishing Soils

  1. Increase organic matter
    1. Education – Community gardenwork, UH, Farmbureau and Union, Consumers to pay more for local and organic, educate farmers about grants for change (Using cover crops) HRCS, WSARE
    2. Help with grant writing
    3. Build biochar plant
  2. Government planning and tax breaks
    1. Tax incentive for replenishing soil get farm bureau to make presentation to council
    2. Ag rate for water
    3. % of dedicated remediated land
  3. Prevent erosion
    1. NRSC program
    2. Education
  4. Amendments (rock powder and lime)
    1. Collaborate with local suppliers
    2. Growing/buying co-op

Group 3 Edible Landscapes

  1. Create a Planting Guide Resource (virtual and physical)
    1. create a committee
    2. have work-shops/tours
    3. identify resources
    4. create local edible landscape guide book
    5. connect with Maui Food Web online network
    6. create regional resource centers/meet-ups for education, model and seed swap
  2. Plant Share/Neighbor Swap
    1. Contact school/ churches to identify and organize grower swaps (e.g.~PTA meeting)
    2. Coordinate with farmerʼs markets and other events to schedule swaps.
    3. HOA’s coordinate neighborhood swaps
  3. Garden Kits -Suggest to plant oʼo~native hawaiian plant that is useful as a planting tool
    1. Coordinate bulk group purchases
    2. Acquire funding via grants (Tamara/Susan)
    3. Research current kits


  1. Upgrade harbor / inspection facilities
  2. U.H. to develop high-tech controls
  3. Community involvement to identify the species and help to implement controls
  4. School education / community awareness
  5. “Got Local” type initiatives, support local nurseries
  6. More stringent inspection / enforcement / penalties
  7. Restore funding which has been recently cut; possibly restructure G.E. or food tax to fund
  8. Re frame: use public relations to promote protection, as in “it’s a health issue”
  9. Use weed-risk assessments for new plants / crops / biofuels
  10. Mitigate/ change liability issues as in deer eradication: allow hunting
  11. Form collaboratives: schools, council, state government, etc.

Group 5: Native Hardwood Restoration

  1. Large and small scale propagation by comunities and individuals.
    1. Sustainability groups propagate native hardwoods-refer to LHWRP techniques
    2. Encourage schools to plant one tree, per child, per year
    3. Add to South West Maui Watershed Project agenda
  2. Locate funding for current and future projects created by LHWRP, DLNR, schools.
    1. Research stimulus money opportunities
    2. Research the Clean Water Act regarding the health of the reef
    3. Contact Earth Foundation
  3. Cultural Involvement
    1. Engage cultural practitioners
    2. Research historical references

Group 6 Fair Allocation of Water Resources

  1. Provide public educational forums to educate about water issues
    1. Create a group or a partnership of groups to organize the forums
    2. Create a system to make the public aware of dates, times and locations when decision-making will be happening
    3. Use water bills and/or yearly water report to send out notices and/or information about water issues
  2. Support water self-reliance for citizens by promoting various forms of home/business water catchment
    1. Identify present or proposed water policies that support catchment, greywater use, home reservoirs and other water self-sufficiency techniques
    2. Educate public about present or proposed water policies concerning ‘catchment’ through public forums
    3. Educate public about techniques to be water self-reliant
  3. Create infrastructure in Maui County to use R1 water
    1. Have a public forum with experts who could describe what it would take to make R1 water usable and available
    2. Support the DIRE Coalition which has detailed ideas on how to use R1 water and end the use of injection wells
  4. Support the restoration of stream flow
    1. Attend the hearing on May 26 of the State Water Use Council
    2. Highlight and support proposed policies that support restoration of stream flow
    3. Form a group to apply for a grant to study the cost/benefit analysis of stream flow restoration vs other options

Group 7 Construction Grade Bamboo

  1. Certify bamboo by the ICC-rated structural
    1. Must pass degree of testing to comply
    2. Takes time
    3. several years
    4. Need money
  2. University accredited testing lab
    1. Professor Carson is a good contact person
    2. Getting the lab approved by IAS ($100k)
    3. Getting the head of the lab to support construction grade bamboo
    4. Use alternative/already accredited University labs
    5. Test 5 species
  3. Needs a UL listing for safety and performance for commercial construction
    1. Needs to pass rigorous amount of testing , numerous times
  4. Write grants to pay for research, testing, etc.
    1. Find any and all grant opportunities

Group 8 Hemp

  1. First Step
    1. Research Hemp Farming: political solutions, industrial uses, financial impacts
    2. Gather existing research and data from U.S, Canada, Europe
    3. Get studies done by high-profile institutions like the University of Hawai’i
    4. Identify all existing hemp products
    5. Setup website or facebook page for exploring how to make hemp farming legal on Maui and in Hawai’i.
  2. Second Step
    1. Identify local opposition and local support – invite all stakeholders to the table for discussion and finding solutions.
    2. Conduct an Island specific study of impacts, problems, financial costs and savings, and benefits.
  3. Third Step
    1. Polling and Marketing: Maui news poll shows 70% pro industrial hem farming and industry, 80% pro medical marijuana.
    2. Partner with existing agricultural companies to promote and learn hemp farming and manufacturing
  4. Fourth Step
    1. Make the State and federal legislation to legalize hemp farming and manufacturing.

Group 9 Government Incentives

  1. Find incentives to acquire land and preserve it for ag/farming
    1. Form small group to gather information from stakeholders
    2. Take info/proposal to committee of stakeholders
    3. Identify “land candidates” and incentives necessary to make it work (i.e. zoning changes, water rights)

Group 10 Restoring Coastal Fishponds

  1. Utilize freshwater ponds and Reservoirs
    1. Inventory existing ponds, reservoirs and their water sources.
    2. Prioritize most likely ponds to use.
    3. Stock ‘em pono.
  2. Encourage menehune action
    1. Just do it!
  3. Localize fisheries management
    1. Amend laws
    2. Community will (responsibility)
    3. Community makes action plan
  4. Educational component
    1. Support and attend Statewide Fishpond Association (meeting on Molokai this summer?)
    2. Include in community plans
    3. Public awareness
    4. Begins at home

Group 11 Aquaponics

  1. Workshops – Breakdown the workshops into different sections :
    1. 101 Overview of Aquaponics: Informational -include safety of fish-address issue of creating our own local food source for fish
    2. 102 How to build a system: actually do it in a chosen site -Find place to have workshop #2 potential site, Temple of peace 5755 Haiku road
    3. 103 Commercial Aquaponics: create a way for creative work fund
    4. *Tours can be included at all levels of these workshops
    5. Workshops promoted through SMS, WMS, US and SLIM
    6. Get Bob, Mike, & Nick as trainers
    7. Pay them with a workshop fee
    8. Develop Web page on Sustainability Group web sites to promote workshops as well as inform the public about Aquaponics
    1. Certified Organic build system and get it certified organic
    2. Accredited professionals – create guild or association that furthers the mission of Aquaponics as a viable method of farming. The Guild would share common values, ethics, resources, etc.,
    3. Could be done within Maui College/UH system with Bob’s help, part of extension services
  3. TOURS
    1. Nick’s Aquaponics farm
    2. Mike to provide Slideshow of Aquaponics happening on Big Island
    3. Use Sustainability Groups to coordinate efforts.

Group #12 School and Community Gardens

  1. Education
    1. Sustainability Fair
    2. Keiki Garden Festival
    3. Classes at Temple of Peace
    4. Garden Tools
    5. Farm to School Symposium
  2. Collaboration
    1. Continue “Today”
    2. Form non-profit group
    3. Create Website
  3. Incentives
    1. Ag water for community gardens
    2. Change HOA rules
    3. Tax incentives

June 3, 2010 at 10:50 pm 1 comment

Dealing w/Powdery Mildew and Other Fungal Diseases

Not many gardeners have gone a season without some powdery mildew. Even in dry areas, a sprinkler gone awry can cause this fungus to seemingly creep over a garden and destroy it in days. We got this tip for keeping powdery mildew under control from the keynote speaker Tane Datta at CTAHR’s recent Organic Gardening Workshop.

Remember that powdery mildew is a fungus that usually appears as a white or gray powder on tops of leaves. The first sign is usually twisting and curling of young leaves on the lower part of the plant. You usually see it on beans, cucumbers, melons, mangos and squash but we’ve seen it on tomatoes and many ornamentals too. Although it rarely kills a plant, it causes poor growth and lower yields.

Prevention is the easiest way to manage any fungi by ensuring plants are healthy, get enough sunlight and have good air circulation. If you have had problems before, choose mildew resistant varieties. Make sure not to overfeed your plants as this severely stresses them.

Fungi spreads from the spores being flown around by wind or from just growing from one plant to another. Spores can live in the soil for a long time.

Always make sure to sanitize (remove) really bad areas. Be careful to not shake the foliage as that will spread the spores. It is ok to put plants with powdery mildew in your compost pile as long as the pile gets hot. Otherwise, discard in a sealed plastic bag.

So here’s the big tip — don’t try to treat Powdery Mildew the same way each time. Mix up different types of treatments and you’ll have a lot more success! Here are a few of the organic methods people report having success with.

  • Spray liquid seaweed onto your plant’s leaves. Research has shown that this has a powerful “booster” effect to your plant’s health and it helps fight off the powdery mildew.
  • Sulphur sprays are quite effective at stopping the spread of powdery mildew. They also destroy beneficial soil fungi as well so don’t spray too much.
  • Mix 1 heaping tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of dormant oil, and ½ teaspoon of insecticidal or dish soap in one gallon of water.
  • Mix cow’s milk at a ratio of one part of milk to nine parts of water and spray weekly.
  • Pour one part of standard 3 percent-strength hydrogen peroxide with three parts water. Spray on plants daily until mildew subsides.
  • Kaligreen® is an organic solution with potassium Bicarbonate. Mix according to instructions.
  • SERENADE® is another organic product that comes in both a powder and liquid.
  • There are also fungicidal products on the garden center shelves featuring jojoba oil and neem oil.
  • Here a new one… one of the most effective measures in preventing and treating powdery mildew is to spray the foliage of your plants daily with plain water from the hose. Powdery mildew hates water! The only caveat with this method is to be sure you do it early in the day so that the foliage completely dries before cooler evening temperatures arrive, otherwise you may invite other fungal diseases, such as black spot, into your garden.

Happy Gardening

June 3, 2010 at 10:02 am 3 comments


It’s hard to imagine someone today not being familiar with the green triangular arrow recycle symbol. And most everyone knows what the term “recycle” means. You see it just about everywhere you go. But what happens when you take a process like recycling and rewind the “cycle” a few steps? You get precycling. Thinking through how much waste a product has or will generate BEFORE you buy it.

While no one could argue that recycling isn’t a good thing for our communities and our planet, large amounts of energy are required to transport, process and then re-manufacture new stuff. Every step of the way more and more pollution is generated and energy consumed. While recycling helps to reduce the amount of landfill waste, it’s not a sustainable answer to dealing with the stuff we bring into our lives each day, and too often, quickly discard.

Precycling is actually a significant part of the original trash reduction mantra of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”, with “Reduce and Reuse” being the operative words. Adding “Restore and Rethink” to this mantra effectively reflects the precycling mentally. A little thought means less to toss.

When we begin think in terms of how to “Reduce, Reuse, Restore, and Rethink” (and Recycle!) what we bring into our lives – what we use, consume and discard so freely – by comparison the only energy we expend on the precycling process is completely renewable thought energy. No petroleum required.

Simply stated, precycling means making buying decisions that support responsible products and packaging, make recycling easier and reduce the amount of actual “trash” we send to our land”fulls”. When you precycle, you prevent waste in the first place. Recycle, good. Precycle, great!

For tips and more info on Precycling visit:

This column highlights little changes toward a more sustainable life. Each month we feature one small thing that you can do each day in just minutes. You may already be doing it so find ways to adapt and improve. Studies show that it takes about 20 days to establish a habit. By having a habit of the month, we are constantly establishing more sustainable lives.

June 3, 2010 at 9:46 am 1 comment

Event Re-cap: Maui Growing Local

Over 130 people turned out on Saturday, May 15 to celebrate, dissect, chew and digest the subject of growing food on Maui. At  Maui Growing Local, locavore potluck dishes were piled on tables and attendees loaded their plates with the delicious variety of edibles Maui makes possible. Hosted by the current sustainability groups on Maui, South Maui Sustainability (SMS), Upcountry Sustainability (US), West Maui Sustainability (WMS) and the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui (SLIM), Maui Growing Local was dedicated to supporting and strengthening Maui agriculture.

Steve Phillips, of WMS reflected, “What inspired me most from this event was the realization that, not only can our diverse and opinionated people on Maui work together in the spirit of aloha, but that it is absolutely essential that we work in coordinated cooperation in order to reach our sustainability goals.”

Rob Parsons’ parting words were, “It’s a great start. Now we need to go out and take action.”

For those interested in getting involved, and to view the results of the 12 groups, visit,, and

Keep an eye out for the full article submitted to the Maui Weekly to be published the week of June 10.

UPDATE: Here is a list of the Top Ideas and Associated Actions that came out of the working groups.

June 3, 2010 at 9:41 am Leave a comment

Reef Sustainability Events for June 2010

The Reef Sustainability Committee invites everyone to participate in any or all of the upcoming projects.

The Turbidity Task Force project is ready to start training water quality monitoring volunteers. We have 1,000 testing kits now created. For those interested in learning more about the program as well as how to enter data online we are meeting at the Whale Sanctuary in Kihei Thursday June 3rd 6:00-8:00 P.M.

The Maui Nui Marine Resources Council meeting on June 9th 5:00 -7:00 P.M. focuses on clean water issues. Jonathan Starr and Robin Knox are giving presentations.

South Maui Sustainability is part of the  South West Maui Watershed Project Advisory Group. The public has an opportunity to affect the choices we make for water usage in the future, and is encouraged to participate. The next meeting is June 10th 3:00-5:00 P.M. at the Whale Sanctuary.

Our next Beach Clean-up at Kealia National Refuge is June 26th 8:00-10:00 A.M. Contact Teri at teri at southmauisustainability dot org for cleanup details.

On July 15th at 9:00 A.M. Maui Dreams and the Reef Committee is sponsoring another Fish ID class at Maui Dreams in Kihei followed by a fish survey snorkel at Ulua Beach. Space is limited so please RSVP at teri at southmauisustainability dot org.

June 3, 2010 at 9:37 am Leave a comment

2nd Anniversary Locavore Potluck at the Beach

Thursday, June 10
5:30 P.M. until dusk
Kamaole Beach Park III (South End)

Join South Maui Sustainability ohana for a locavore potluck picnic and great opportunity to share mana’o on all things local. Among our best attended (and requested) events, these informal gatherings are a wonderful opportunity to connect to local sustainability efforts and the people like you who make it happen. Come share your interests, ideas, and visions for a more sustainable South Maui. Or just come enjoy the good company, great local grinds and world famous sunset that make our south shore living so unique.

Bring some local grinds to share and your brew of choice, if you’re so inclined. As always we try to make our events as trash free as possible so please provide your own plates, utensils and beverage cup. Don’t forget a beach chair or picnic blanket too! We’ll provide some fresh squeezed local lemonade and sweet treats for dessert.

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend this seriously laid back, local kine gathering. Look for the white canopy and SMS Banners at Kamaole III Beachpark. Contact Nio at 808-280-5308 for more info on the picnic or visit our website at for more information on current projects and local sustainability efforts.

June 3, 2010 at 9:22 am Leave a comment

Got Eggs? Raising Poultry Workshop

Tuesday, July 20
5:00-7:00 P.M.
Kihei Community Center
Click on image to see full brochure
Fresh Eggs and Meat from the Homestead – FREE Workshop from University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service

Layers and broilers require little yard space, provide high quality fresh food, can cut your import food miles, and are a fun educational tool for children. This free workshop aims to help beginners interested in raising a flock. Participants
will learn about:

  • animal nutrition
  • grazing management
  • flock health
  • poultry breeds
  • what sets pastured eggs and meat apart, and more.

Includes constructing an example PVC poultry grazing cage. Space is limited to 20, and pre-registration is required on a first come first serve basis. Call Matt Stevenson (Kauai County CTAHR) at 808-274-3472 to register.

June 3, 2010 at 9:03 am Leave a comment

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June 2010