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Maui Growing Local

Explore Maui’s agricultural future.

May 6, 2010
Melanie Stephens

On May 15, three such groups—South Maui Sustainability (SMS), Upcountry Sustainability (US), and the new kid on the block, West Maui Sustainability (WSM)—will hold a joint event at Kīhei Charter School called “Maui Growing Local.”

The Sustainable Living Institute of Maui (SLIM) is a partner in bringing this event to an island-wide audience. SLIM Interim Director Lehn Huff is enthusiastic about the three regional groups joining with SLIM to look at the island as a whole.

“Each area has its own specific local issues to work out,” said Huff. “But our island and county need that big-picture perspective and the energetic people to help move us along.”

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Rob Parsons, who has researched and written frequently on the challenges Maui faces, will introduce his ideas about fixing agriculture on the island at “Maui Growing Local” on Saturday, May 15, at Kīhei Charter School.

From noon to 1 p.m., a Locavore’s Potluck lunch will be held. Bring a dish made from local produce and ingredients. Maury King of SMS said these are very popular food events for his organization.

It is requested that attendees bring their own plates, cups and utensils so that this can be a trash-free event.

Maui Growing Local will focus on the island’s agricultural future. Rob Parsons, who has researched and written frequently on the challenges Maui faces, will introduce his “Eleven Ideas for Fixing Agriculture on Maui.” Parsons’ ideas are Regional Composting, Rebuilding Depleted Soils, Edible Landscapes, Protection from Alien Species, Native Hardwoods Reforestation, Construction Grade Bamboo, Hemp, Government Incentives for Farming and Subsistence Agriculture, Restoration of Hawaiian Coastal Fish Ponds, Aquaponics and Fair Allocation of Water Resources. He has also added a 12th idea—Community & School Gardens.

From 1 to 1:30 p.m., Parsons will present his ideas, then from 1:30 to 4 p.m., there will be group discussions of the 12 concepts to identify potential solutions and action steps, and a group discussion to prioritize actions.

Steve Phillips of WMS looks forward to bringing the island-wide ideas back to his group, which meets on the first and third Monday of each month at the WeFarm in Nāpili.

Maui Growing Local is an opportunity for people to join the discussion and create action steps to address Maui’s agricultural future, as well as network with others who share this island concern. Anyone with expertise on any of the 12 topics is especially encouraged to join in.

King hopes that everyone involved will share ideas and take action toward solutions that are inspired by Maui Growing Local.

All three organizations invite new members to join the groups and take part in these efforts. The groups also encourage dedicated people to pursue the outcome of the event in new ways. They know that great things come when concerned citizens get involved and take action.



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