Posts filed under ‘Newsletters’

Going Green – Gwenyth Paltrow’s GOOP website

Among the interesting suggestions on Gwenyth Paltrow’s Goop Website is this section called Going Green.

March 14, 2011 at 5:01 pm Leave a comment

New Video Update on the Kihei Elementary School Garden

Check out our most recent planting days in this new 4 minute video produced by volunteer Elizabeth Crow. Mahalo Elizabeth for capturing these moments…and mahalo to all for helping us plant true seeds of change on Maui’s South Side. We’ve shared the video with Maui Tomorrow and they’ve incorporated into their TV show on AKAKU and asked us to provide them an update for their upcoming show.

December 1, 2010 at 10:26 am Leave a comment

Do You Have Fruit Flies?

Have you noticed lots of small flies around your garden? They look harmless to you but they can ruin your crops without you knowing it. Female flies lay eggs on your fruits and vegetables and the tiny larvae tunnel inside leaving just a pin prick on the surface.

Last month in the school garden, we installed a few fruit fly traps. In just a few weeks, we have captured hundreds of Oriental fruit flies. Many people don’t realize they have a fruit fly issue but it is predominate throughout Hawaii.
In South Maui we observe the Oriental Fruit fly and the Melon Fly. The Oriental Fruit fly thrives on hosts of starfruit, breadfruit, citrus, papaya, guava and mango but also impacts many other fruits! The Melon Fly hosts include cucumber, eggplant, guava, tomatoes and squashes. It is easy to make traps from reused 2-liter water bottles and a "lure" that can be purchased from CTAHR or some landscape supply stores.

We’ll be making some more Oriental Fruit Fly traps (and Melon if we can find lures) at our next Work and Learn day on Dec 11 at Kihei Elementary. Bring a couple 2-liter bottles down and we’ll get you started with a trap or two.

Traps are just part of a complete fruit fly program. Sanitation to remove infested fruit is critical; if your compost pile is hot that will work but otherwise put fruit in thick plastic bags. Fruit fly life cycles are very short (1-5 weeks) so don’t let fruit lie on the ground for long. Protein Baits can be sprayed that attract and poison flies; organic options are available. To get complete training on fruit fly suppression, contact the CTAHR office at 808-244-3242 ext 232. They offer training about once a month. We are working to schedule training with one of our "Work and Learn Days" next year so keep your eyes posted.

December 1, 2010 at 9:51 am Leave a comment

Down Time…

Maybe you noticed we’ve taken a break from some of our activities. Call it the SMS version of the Hawaiian makahiki celebration. We all need time to recharged our batteries.

We’ve been far from idle but just doing things behind the scenes. We created our first set of Bylaws which includes a new structure for SMS. We’re now prepared to grow and take on new projects in a more organized fashion. So much has happened in the Kihei Elementary School Garden that we have several articles to highlight!

South Maui Sustainability is now set to get more accomplished and we’re only limited by finding the people and passion to get things done! If you believe in what we are doing or have a new sustainability idea, please contact us.
You can get involved as Core Member, a Committee Member, or just bring us an idea for a special project and we can work together to make a difference in South Maui.

One of our upcoming projects is to develop a model for true ‘membership’ in our group. Of course we’ll always want to have the largest number of people possible on our mailing list and invited to our events, but we’re looking for ways to have membership with added value. If you have ideas that can help us grow members, now is a great time to get involved.

Some new ideas we are talking about include a renewable energy ‘demonstration garden’ with examples of different types of energy being modeled. This could be in conjunction with Kihei Charter School or another local school. We are still looking for the ‘perfect’ conservation project to present to the community. One of our Kihei neighbors has approached us with a ‘time banking’ or barter of services model for obtaining goods and services. What ideas would you like South Maui Sustainability to get involved with?

We’re having regular events again with "Dinner and Movie" in December and the Pre-conference Body and Soil Event in January. Although we may not be having events every month, we believe that regular events are an important part of fulfilling our vision.

Thank you for your support of South Maui Sustainability. We’ve done so much since we began 2-1/2 years ago. It’ll be interesting to look back 2 years from now and see how far we’ve come. We hope you will be part of our growth.

December 1, 2010 at 9:46 am Leave a comment

Kihei School Garden Work and Learn Day

Saturday, July 24
8:00 – 10:00 A.M.
Kihei Elementary School

Last month we had about 10 people join us for our first “Work and Learn” day to build compost bins and clean up the garden. We had some great questions from gardeners and teachers alike. See the Garden Tips article on composting to see the bins that were built.

We’ll be continuing our garden cleanup. We are working with the school to address irrigation issues but until they get fixed we have weeds! Bring your gardening questions and we’ll try to help. 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. New volunteers from the community are always encouraged to come join us so even if you can’t make this event, let us know you are interested. Call Nio at (808)280.5308 or email nio at southmauisustainability dot org.

July 7, 2010 at 9:34 pm Leave a comment

weFarm@Kapalua: Friends of the Farm Work Party

Saturday, July 17
8:30 A.M. to noon-ish
4900 Honoapiilani Hwy

Grab your farm curious friends and family and join us for the first community work morning at weFarm@kapalua . Help us move the farm forward while meeting your neighbors and local farmers. learn our vision for a more food secure Maui, and find out ways to be engaged.

We will meet at the office at 8:30 A.M. and vanpool to the farm. The office is located at the corner of the highway and Napili Hau St. across highway from Napili Plaza. Together we will work through farm tasks assigned by farmer Dan. Around 11:30 A.M. we will wrap-up in the field and head back to the office for a potluck lunch.

Bring: long pants, a protective top, gloves (if you have them), sturdy shoes, sun protection, a water bottle, a dish to share for lunch and lots of energy. RSVP toinfo at uluponosustainable dot com. Reply early as space is limited.

July 7, 2010 at 9:29 pm 1 comment

Habit of the Month: Composting

This month, our habit of the month is Composting. Composting is easy for almost everyone but if you don’t have a garden (or a friend with a garden) you won’t realize the return. Compost is gold for any garden (even containers) and you don’t have to do much at all to create great compost. Composting prevents tons of material from going to the landfill that is specially designed to NOT decompose.

The first thing you need is a covered container to keep your food scraps in before you take them out to the bin. The size depends on how much food scraps you create and how often you want to take them out. Don’t use any meat, oil or dairy products to avoid getting pests. Dead and dying remains of fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds, egg shells any paper products that are biodegradable can be added.

The second thing you need is a compost bin, pile or vermiculture setup. Bins can be purchased at almost all garden stores or made with just simple material. See the Garden Tips section for information on building a outdoor bin like we built at the school garden. There are literally hundreds of websites and videos on composting. Some make it sound like rocket science but don’t worry … compost happens! Getting better at it just means you can create compost faster. Essential ingredients are green stuff (food stuff from your covered container, grass clippings, green leaves), brown stuff (dried leaves, small stems, cardboard), air, water and compost or soil starter. As you build your bin, layer these. There are tons of different “compost recipes” but unless you are measuring dry weight (I’m not drying out my garbage!) most are overwhelming. Keep a relative mix and check out how things are going by turning. If you turn your bin every week or so, that introduces more air and the process goes faster. Add a little water if it seems dry. Just remember that anything you do will speed up the processing … if you don’t do anything, compost still happens!

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.

July 7, 2010 at 9:13 pm 1 comment

Hot or Cold Composting

We’re all about composting this month. In this article we’ll discuss the different types of composting (hot, cold, vermi-composting) and how to build your own compost bin(s) for very little money. We spent about $35 to create 3 bins.

At our last work and learn day, we had several people asking about whether their compost is “hot” or “cold”. Well that depends on how well you treat it. Ideally, we would all have “hot” bins. The material in a hot bin gets hot enough to destroy weed seeds, insects and most pathogens. It can also get “hot” enough to spontaneously combust if you have too much dry browns so be careful! In a hot bin, the temperature can exceed 160 degrees Fahrenheit but above that, you’ll start killing the great organisms. If you find your bin getting super hot, just turn it more often. To have a true hot bin, you need to have a large cubic foot area at least 3′ x 3′ x 3′. A hot bin will create compost in just weeks.

Most home compost piles are built gradually where you add things from the garden and garbage. You fill it up and then it starts breaking down. The center will always be hotter than the outside so it is important to keep turning. Either put weeds in the center where they’ll get hot or toss them in the garbage. If you are a lazy gardener and rarely turn your pile, the outsides will continue to be unbroken down and filled with bugs. If your bin is smaller or never really fills it will tend to be cooler. A “cold” or “warm” bin still brings much biological activity that builds great compost but may need more filtering. You don’t want to put any weeds or pest infected debris in a cold pile because you’ll just be creating more problems.

Vermicomposting is usually smaller scale and uses worms to create wonderful compost. You could keep your worms inside or in a cool shady spot outdoors. This could be a whole article on it’s own!

To make the great and super easy compost bins like we did, just buy a roll of galvanized 36″ sturdy wire. Buy sturdy landscaping fabric that is at least 36″ long. Cut both the wire and the fabric into at least 10′ lengths to make a 3′ diameter bin. Make sure that there are no sharp or pointed wires sticking out. You can either use wire, twine or zip-ties to fasten the ends together. Just remember that you want it secure but easy to cut when you are ready to process your compost; just cut the ties and unwrap the pile.

For those who like to build, try building a square top for the compost bin that doubles as a compost sieve using 2x4s and 1″ wire mesh. Share your composting tips below!

Happy Gardening

July 7, 2010 at 9:08 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

Harvest Day Party

You may have caught a similar clip on the KGMB9 Evening News! Here is an excerpt from blog written by Peter Liu that features the kids and the SMS volunteers!

Earlier this week, South Maui Sustainability held a Harvest Day Party at their Kihei Elementary School Garden. Volunteers Chef Nio Kindla, Kathy Becklin, Susan Wyche and Stuart Karlan led Ms. Manglicmot’s 19 eager kindergarten students around the garden and showed them how to harvest their own vegetables.

See full article and videos at:

April 30, 2010 at 9:15 am Leave a comment

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