Posts filed under ‘Hui Gardens’

PERMABLITZ- Restoring Hawaii’s Food Security

7:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
January 9, 2012
Pukalani Community Center’s Poolroom.

Matthew Lynch will introduce PERMABLITZ– a grassroots movement restoring Hawaii’s food security, one backyard at a time – to Maui residents.

Matt is a local boy who has spent the last two years wandering the planet in search of people, places, and projects making a positive contribution to our world. His work in Sustainability, Regenerative Agriculture, and Regenerative Enterprise has taken him (so far) to Australia, New Zealand, Mongolia, Germany, and now to Maui.

Permablitz was recently featured on Hawaii News Now, and Matt recently shared the stage at TEDxHonolulu with some of Hawaii’s leading innovators.

Come and learn more about how the simple act of helping each other grow our own food can help build resilience, enrich lives, and move us beyond sustainability towards building communities which restore and enhance the world around us.

The event will be held at the Pukalani Community Center’s Poolroom (across from Foodland, connected to the swimming pool complex). It is free and open to the public. Questions, call Melanie at 573-9260

January 5, 2012 at 11:50 pm Leave a comment

A Way to Control Nut Grass

 This information on getting rid of nut grass (Purple nutsedge or Cyperus rotundus) comes from a C/T/H/A/R (College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources—University of Hawai’i Manoa) publication.

This is from removing from ornamental areas but seems appropriate for organic veggie gardens too—if you have 2-4 months.

 Weed cloth, or woven black polypropylene weed mat, can be effective in suppressing purple nutsedge when used properly. It is porous to air and water and can be an effective tool for reducing underground tubers without the use of chemicals or tedious hand-weeding. It is a very durable material that can be re-used many times if handled carefully to avoid making holes by tearing. Using weed cloth against purple nutsedge requires that the garden area be fallow (not planted or tilled) for a period of 2–4 months. After the last crop is harvested, remove all plant residues by mowing or rototilling, and cover the planting area with the weed cloth. The method of securing the cloth to the soil is crucial in preventing purple nutsedge penetration through the weed cloth. The preferred securing method is to use long (10–12 inch) spikes fitted with a large flat washer. These spikes secure the weed mat to the ground but should not be used to pull the weed mat too tight. There should be enough slack to allow some air space between the soil and the weed mat. The worst way to secure the weed mat is to use rocks, soil, or other heavy objects. When the weed mat is held tightly to the ground, purple nutsedge shoots can push through the fabric.

With the weed mat properly in place, purple nutsedge is induced to sprout by generous and frequent watering. A new weed mat tends to repel water, but after a 2–3-week exposure to full sunlight, shrinkage occurs and water can pass through the material. As the purple nutsedge germinates, it pushes the weed mat upward, as if it was inflating it. The purple nutsedge grows so fast that when the pointed tip of the leaf blade gets caught in the weave of fabric, the rapidly elongating leaf blade starts to crinkle up behind it, and penetration of the cloth is thus prevented.

The weed mat must remain in place long enough for weeds to germinate below it and die from lack of sunlight. After several cycles of weed growth and die-back during the 2–4-month period, the weed mat can be removed and the garden replanted. Most of the weed propagules (including purple nutsedge tubers) will have tried to emerge and died.

When the plastic is removed, it is important not to disturb the soil unnecessarily. Cultivation brings up lower layers of soil that will likely contain viable weed seeds and purple nutsedge tubers. Mulching the soil surface after removing the weed cloth will help to suppress any weed seeds remaining in the soil and slow nutsedge germination by preventing increases in soil temperature.

Download the CTHAR document.

May 8, 2009 at 11:50 am Leave a comment

Victory Gardens

What is a Victory Garden?
During World War I and World War II, the United States government asked its citizens to plant gardens in order to support the war effort. Millions of people planted gardens. Emphasis was placed on making gardening a family or community effort — not a drudgery, but a pastime, and a national duty.

Why plant a victory garden?
Today our food travels an average of 1500 miles from farm to table. The process of planting, fertilizing, processing, packaging, and transporting our food uses a great deal of energy and contributes to the cause of global warming.
Planting a Victory Garden to fight global warming would reduce the amount of pollution your food contibutes to global warming. Instead of traveling many miles from farm to table, your food would travel from your own garden to your table.

How can my actions make a difference? I’m only one person.
Each one of us may only be one person. However, we each have an impact on the environment and can make changes to reduce our impact.

I have no backyard, what can I do?
You can combine vegetable plants with flowers in your frontyard. You can plant in containers on your porch, patio, or balcony and can grow sprouts indoors. You can also choose to purchase foods which are grown close to home by visiting your local farmer’s market. If local foods are not available to you, choose foods which use fewer chemical pesticides – such as organics, are in season, or have minimal packaging.

Do I need to use a lot of pesticides to increase yield?
Organic soil building with compost pays for itself with increased plant productivity.
What do I do with the food that I grow?
Eat what you can and then share or preserve the rest.

Wondering how to get started?
Contact your local County Extension office for information on gardening in your area.

Growing food with family, friends, and neighbors can be a community building experience. Trade produce and share tools with neighbors. Visiting the farmer’s market can bring you into direct contact with the people who are growing food.

Look for more information at:
Revive the Victory Garden website

Future FarmersVictory Gardens 2007+ website

May 7, 2009 at 12:20 pm Leave a comment

White House Vegetable Garden – A Reality

 Clck here to read New York Times Article: Obamas Prepare to Plant White House Vegetable Garden.

Click here to see detail of White House garden layout.

March 22, 2009 at 8:08 pm Leave a comment

Hui Gardens – “Yardsharing”

victory-garden In our first SMS meetings, we realized that some folks would like a garden in their yard and would like to share it with neighbors. We called this kind of shared neighborhood gardens Hui Gardens. As often happens, we found that more people are working on the same idea, that they’ve labeled Yardsharing, which was inspired by the Landsharing movement in the U.K.

There are now many yardsharing resources on the web:
Portland Yardsharing.
• Very interesting Homegrown podcast interview with Joshua Patterson, one of the founders of Portland Yardsharing.

Sharing Backyards. Based in Vancouver and Victoria B.C. Site has interesting video presentation about their project.

Related books
    • Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn: illustrated book by Fritz Haeg.
   • Food Not Lawns: How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden And Your Neighborhood
     into a Community
by Heather Coburn Flore
   • Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway
   • Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainabilityby David Holmgren
   • Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture by Rosemary Marrow
   • PERMACULTURE: A Designers’ Manual by Bill Mollison
   • Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison
   • How to Make a Forest Garden by Patrick Whitefield
   • Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers, and Ponds by Art Ludwig

Edbile Estates website has many photos of excellent home gardens.

Garden Rants: Uprooting the Gardening World
They are:
– Convinced that gardening MATTERS.
– Bored with perfect magazine gardens.
– In love with real, rambling, chaotic, dirty, bug-ridden gardens.
– Suspicious of the “horticultural industry.”
– Delighted by people with a passion for plants.
– Appalled by chemical warfare in the garden.
– Turned off by any activities that involve “landscaping” with “plant materials.”
– Flabbergasted at the idea of a “no maintenance garden.”
– Gardening our asses off.
– Having a hell of a lot of fun.

Active blog with many things organic.

March 22, 2009 at 4:52 pm 3 comments

First Family To Plant White House Veggie Garden

March 18, 2009 11:57 AM

ABC News’ Brian Hartman Reports: President Obama’s latest shovel-ready project is close to home — in fact, right in his own yard. In an effort to promote healthy eating, the first family will be planting a vegetable garden right on the White House grounds.

ABC News’ Ann Compton and Sunlen Miller report that the new White House vegetable garden will be dug up and planted on the South grounds of the White House — near the fountain but out of view of the main house.

Though the 16-acre complex is maintained by the National Park Service, one worker who preferred to remain anonymous assured ABC News that National Park Service staff won’t do the sowing and planting. The White House residence staff will handle that.

As first reported online by food writer Eddie Gehman Kohan, who reports on food issues related to the Obamas, First Lady Michelle Obama told Oprah Winfrey’s “O” magazine, “We’re … working on a wonderful new garden project.”

In the April issue of the magazine, Mrs. Obama tells Winfrey, “We want to use it as a point of education, to talk about health and how delicious it is to eat fresh food, and how you can take that food and make it part of a healthy diet.”

A variety of organic food and sustainable agriculture advocates have been pressing the Obamas to plant such a garden.

Click to see ABC web post..

March 18, 2009 at 9:37 pm 2 comments

Dollars from dirt: Economy spurs home garden boom

Mar 15, 9:28 PM EDT (Associated Press)

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — With the recession in full swing, many Americans are returning to their roots – literally – cultivating vegetables in their backyards to squeeze every penny out of their food budget.

Industry surveys show double-digit growth in the number of home gardeners this year and mail-order companies report such a tremendous demand that some have run out of seeds for basic vegetables such as onions, tomatoes and peppers.

“People’s home grocery budget got absolutely shredded and now we’ve seen just this dramatic increase in the demand for our vegetable seeds. We’re selling out,” said George Ball, CEO of Burpee Seeds, the largest mail-order seed company in the U.S. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Gardening advocates, who have long struggled to get America grubby, have dubbed the newly planted tracts “recession gardens” and hope to shape the interest into a movement similar to the victory gardens of World War II.

Those gardens, modeled after a White House patch planted by Eleanor Roosevelt in 1943, were intended to inspire self-sufficiency, and at their peak supplied 40 percent of the nation’s fresh produce, said Roger Doiron, founding director of Kitchen Gardeners International.

Doiron and several colleagues are petitioning President Obama to plant a similar garden at the White House as part of his call for a responsible, eco-friendly economic turnaround. Proponents have collected 75,000 signatures on an online petition.

“It’s really part of our history and it’s part of the White House’s history,” Doiron said. “When I found out why it had been done over the course of history and I looked at where we are now, it makes sense again.”

But for many Americans, the appeal of backyard gardening isn’t in its history – it’s in the savings.

The National Gardening Association estimates that a well-maintained vegetable garden yields a $500 average return per year. A study by Burpee Seeds claims that $50 spent on gardening supplies can multiply into $1,250 worth of produce annually.

Doiron spent nine months weighing and recording each vegetable he pulled from his 1,600-square-foot garden outside Portland, Maine. After counting the final winter leaves of Belgian endive, he found he had saved about $2,150 by growing produce for his family of five instead of buying it.

Adriana Martinez, an accountant who reduced her grocery bill to $40 a week by gardening, said there’s peace of mind in knowing where her food comes from. And she said the effort has fostered a sense of community through a neighborhood veggie co-op.

“We’re helping to feed each other and what better time than now?” Martinez said.

A new report by the National Gardening Association predicts a 19 percent increase in home gardening in 2009, based on spring seed sales data and a telephone survey. One-fifth of respondents said they planned to start a food garden this year and more than half said they already were gardening to save on groceries.

Community gardens nationwide are also seeing a surge of interest. The waiting list at the 312-plot Long Beach Community Garden has nearly quadrupled – and no one is leaving, said Lonnie Brundage, who runs the garden’s membership list.

“They’re growing for themselves, but you figure if they can use our community garden year-round they can save $2,000 or $3,000 or $4,000 a year,” she said. “It doesn’t take a lot for it to add up.”

Seed companies say this renaissance has rescued their vegetable business after years of drooping sales. Orders for vegetable seeds have skyrocketed, while orders for ornamental flowers are flat or down, said Richard Chamberlin, president of Harris Seeds in Rochester, N.Y.

Business there has increased 40 percent in the last year, with the most growth among vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes and kitchen herbs that can thrive in small urban plots or patio containers, he said. Harris Seeds recently had to reorder pepper and tomato seeds.

“I think if things were fine, you wouldn’t see people doing this. They’re just too busy,” Chamberlin said. “Gardening for most Americans was a dirty word because it meant work and nobody wanted more work – but that’s changed.”

Harris Seed’s Web site now gets 40,000 hits a day.

Among larger companies, Burpee saw a 20 percent spike in sales in the last year and started marketing a kit for first-time gardeners called “The Money Garden.” It has sold 15,000 in about two months, said Ball.

A Web-based retailer called is selling similar packages, and Park Seed of Greenwood, S.C., is marketing a “Garden for Victory Seed Collection.” Slogan: “Win the war in your own backyard against high supermarket prices and nonlocal produce!”

Cultivators with years of experience worry that home gardeners lured by promises of big savings will burn out when they see the amount of labor required to get dollars from their dirt. The average gardener spends nearly five hours a week grubbing in the dirt and often contends with failure early on, said Bruce Butterfield, a spokesman for The National Gardening Association.

“The one thing you don’t factor into it is the cost of your time and your labor,” he said.

“But even if it’s just a couple of tomato plants in a pot, that’s worth the price of admission.”

March 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm 2 comments

No-dig Gardening

 A productive vegetable garden that only needs watering every 10 days!

The technique has been used since the 1977 paperback, “Esther Deans’ Gardening Book: Growing Without Digging,” promoted it as a solution to poor soil, rampant weeds, water shortages and costly food

No-dig is more efficient, water wise, because once a plant has a 10- to 12-inch root system, the layers of compost and straw keep moisture around the roots. And you can keep layering it over and over again as the organic matter breaks down.

Click here to read the Los Angeles Times article, How Do His Veggies Grow? The No-dig Way.

Click here to see photos of the no-dig gardening process.

Here’s an interesting blog post on no-dig gardening.

January 23, 2009 at 5:52 pm 1 comment

Thai Composting Method Speeds Cycle

 This is a composting process for large piles of compost where air is added into the piles using a blower to ensure sufficient level of oxygen for the digestive activities of microorganisms, making it unnecessary to turn over the piles manually.

Click here for details

January 9, 2009 at 4:28 am Leave a comment

Biodynamic Farming and Gardening

Biodynamic Gardening is a unified approach to agriculture that relates the ecology of the earth-organism to that of the entire cosmos. Essentially, biodynamic farming and gardening looks upon the soil and the farm as living organisms. It regards maintenance and furtherance of soil life as a basic necessity if the soil is to be preserved for generations, and it regards the farm as being true to its essential nature if it can be conceived of as a kind of individual entity in itself — a self-contained individuality. It begins with the ideal concept of the necessary self-containedness of the farm and works with furthering the life of the soil as a primary means by which a farm can become a kind of individuality that progresses and evolves.

Soil improvement is obtained by proper humus management — e.g., by the application of sufficient organic manure and compost in the best possible state of fermentation; by proper crop rotation; by proper working of the soil; by protective measures such as wind protection; cover crops, green manure, and diversified crops rather than monocultures; and by mixed cropping so that plants can aid and support each other.

Biodynamic Farming Association
Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association was founded in 1938.

Hawai’i Biodynamic Organization: Patrick Moser, 845 Pe’ahi Road, Ha’iku, HI 96708; (808) 572-1766; Email.

Google search for biodynamic gardening.

January 3, 2009 at 4:22 pm Leave a comment

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