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Posts Tagged ‘taro’

On Tuesday night, at Church of the Crossroads, organizers held a first organizational meeting towards forming a islands-wide Food Policy Council.

What is a Food Policy Council?
Food Policy Councils (FPCs) bring together individuals and community members from diverse food-related sectors to examine how the food system is operating and to develop recommendations on how to improve it. FPCs may take many forms, but are typically either commissioned by state or local government, or predominately a grassroots effort. Food policy councils have been successful at educating officials and the public, shaping public policy, improving coordination between existing programs, and starting new programs. Examples include mapping and publicizing local food resources; creating new transit routes to connect underserved areas with full-service grocery stores; persuading government agencies to purchase from local farmers; and organizing community gardens and farmers’ markets.

While FPC’s are not a new concept, their structures, practices, and policies are still evolving. Although the first Food Policy Council started 30 years ago in the city of Tennessee, only in the last decade have Food Policy Councils really gained momentum, and today there are over 100 councils in the United States (see a full list).

From Denise on O`ahu:
If you are concerned about Hawai’i food security, local decision-making and control, school lunches, farming, farm land, nutrition, or land use get involved with  FPC.

The first meeting was very well attended.  George Kent and Stuart Novick are the main organizers.  Very inclusive, consensus style, this is just the beginning.

The suggested purpose is to ‘ensure good nutrition for all, under all conditions.’  Important to include everyone that wants to participate and publicize what is already going on and co-ordinate everyone’s efforts.  Local/area FPCs in Hawai’i will/are already being developed.

If you want to stay informed and/or participate in a Working Group contact:  fpchawaii@yahoo.com. There are several opportunities (you can join more than one group):

POSSIBLE FOOD POLICY COUNCIL WORKING GROUPS:

ORGANIZATION WORKING GROUP. The OWG will develop an FPC charter and rules, including membership procedures, decision making, organizational structure, financial structure, and leadership.

COMMUNICATIONS WORKING GROUP.  The CWG is responsible for internal FPC communications and also external communications to and from others. It will establish an Internet-based communications system to support the work of the FPC, and provide technical assistance to those who need it.

HEALTH AND NUTRITION WORKING GROUP. The HNWG will focus on ways in which Hawaii’s food system affects the health of its people, including those who are most vulnerable to malnutrition.  Special attention will be given to infants, preschoolers, school children, prisoners, the homeless, people with disabilities, people with low income, and the elderly.  It would also give attention to specific nutrition related concerns such as overweight and obesity and non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

FOOD SYSTEM WORKING GROUP.  The FSWG will describe, assess, and propose improvement in the food system in Hawaii, including the potential for strengthening local farming and gardening. They will promote contingency planning to ensure Hawaii’s resilience in the face of uncertainties regarding rapid onset crises such as tsunamis, electrical power failures, and failure of the water supply system, and slower-onset crises such as failures in the global, national, and local economy; climate change; and energy shortfalls.

COMMUNITY FPC WORKING GROUP.  The CFPC-WG will assist and support community FPCs in all islands with research, data, communications and planning.

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS WORKING GROUP The GRWG will determine what agencies are involved with FPC related concerns, what they are doing and plan to do, what legislation is being proposed, and whether new legislation is necessary to achieve the FPC’s aims.

The Communications Working Group is your link for support.  If you have questions, ideas, or problems to discuss, email :  fpchawaii@yahoo.com

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From our friends at the Hawai’i Farmer’s Union:

All FARMERS and FRIENDS of farmers are invited to the next meeting of the Kauai Chapter of HFU, on Monday, May 24, 2010, from 7-9 pm, at the Lihue Neighborhood Center, on Eono Street. We will have a featured speaker on the water issues on Kauai, plus additional topics to be presented:

  • A brief history of NFU/HFU
  • What HFU can do for you
  • What you can do for HFU=Join! Farmers & Friends are welcome!
  • An invitation for agricultural leaders to join the core group of the Kauai Chapter
  • An invitation for one of our farmers to fill the vacant seat on the Board of Directors

For more info call Patti Valentine at 652-0433, or email us: HFUKauai@gmail.com. Additional meetings are planned around the island this summer and winter.

Our mission: Hawaii Farmers Union advances the rights of farmers to create vibrant and prosperous agricultural communities for the benefit of all through cooperation, legislation, and education.

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From our friends at NHLC:

The State Water Commission meets on May 19, 2010 May 26th (UPDATE: Date change!) to act on the latest round of petitions by East Maui residents seeking to restore stream flow to 19 East Maui streams, when HC&S is WASTING water being diverted.  Na Moku Aupuni O Ko`olau Hui is seeking restoration so the fish, o`opu, hihiwai, and o`opu can return to those streams and support the constitutionally-protected cultural practices of Hawaiians.

Without doubt, A&B/HC&S is wasting water.  The Water Commission has already concluded that it uses 70% more water than it should in the wet season and 40% more water than it should during the dry season.  Moreover, unless this Water Commission demands that they do more, A&B/HC&S’ leaky irrigation system and poor maintenance practices will continue wasting this valuable resource, because the State only charges this sugar plantation less than ¼ of a penny per thousand gallons, discouraging any conservation while depleting the State of fair market value for the use of this invaluable resource (collected from 33,000 acres of ceded lands, or about $4.84 per acre per year).

Learn more, see the flyer

Click to see more detailed information at CWRM website on Na Moku Aupuni O Ko`olau’s petitions to restore 27 East Maui Streams now dewatered by Alexander and Baldwin, Inc. and its Maui subsidiaries,  Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company and East Maui Irrigation Company.

What you can do:

Please keep those letters to the editor going, leading to this Water Commission action meeting on whether to restore 19 East Maui streams.  We are starting to see some really intelligent responses to the A&B/HC&S propaganda.

You can write to the editors of your daily papers:

Maui News: Use form at: http://vnr.oweb.net/vnr/add_submission.asp?categoryID=769&publicationID=110

Honolulu Advertiser:
E-mail: letters@honoluluadvertiser.com
Fax: (808) 535-2415
Online: Use online form: http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/form/op/letters

Honolulu Star Bulletin:
Email to: letters@starbulletin.com
Fax: (808) 529-4750

Click to see latest CWRM agenda information for most recent information on where the May 19 meeting will be held and at what time.

Questions?  Contact either Camille Kalama (cakalam@nhlchi.org) or Alan Murakami (almurak@nhlchi.org) or at 808-521-2302.

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Ho’omaika’i! Maui GMO Ban wins passage, 9-0 at final reading today!

Thanks to the persistent and reasoned call from the public — people like you — in support of protecting Hawaii’s beloved taro Maui’s county council members found it easy to make the right decision. Mahalo nunui for standing up to be heard.

From our friends on Maui:

By now I know many of you have heard the good news, but for those who haven’t – Maui County is now gmo taro free! The ban passed 9-0 in its Second and Final Reading today, repeating its First Reading vote but this time without hesitation from any council members. The Mayor has said she will sign the bill into law. Unprecedented support from all!

Mahalo to the all the people who came to town today to testify and all those who wrote, emailed or called in, in support of Bill 82 (2009). Mahalo to Hawaii-Seed for being willing to take on the monitoring, Hector and Caren for coming from Oahu and Kauai to testify on HS’s expertise and the protocols for monitoring the kalo; and Walter for coming from Molokai!

Imua!!

Here is an excerpt of the article published in the Maui News:

Council approves ban on GMO taro
By MELISSA TANJI, Staff Writer
Maui News October 3, 2009

WAILUKU – A bill prohibiting genetically modified taro in Maui County received final approval Friday by the Maui County Council.

The taro bill prohibits anyone from testing, propagating, growing or introducing genetically engineered or modified taro, or kalo, within Maui County. Council members voted 9-0 to approve the ban, saying they believed taro’s cultural and spiritual significance to Native Hawaiians was more important than any other factor.

Mayor Charmaine Tavares said after the vote that she would support the ban.

“I will be signing the bill into law and recognize that the passage of this new law will send a message of support for state Representative Mele Carroll’s efforts to introduce and pass a bill at the state Legislature,” she said in an e-mailed statement.

“The input from various stakeholders that I’ve received has been valuable,” Tavares said. “I am told that this important law will bring us closer to protection of kalo on a statewide level. I support the intent of the bill and the protection of Hawaiian kalo, which deserves our respect and acknowledgment for its ancestral ties to Native Hawaiians, our host culture.”

Tavares previously had expressed doubts about the bill, saying it might be difficult to enforce.

Council Member Sol Kaho’ohalahala said after the vote that he appreciated everyone’s support on the bill and asked that council members continue to improve the language of the bill.

Council Member Bill Medeiros thanked people who had testified or sent e-mails in support of the bill he introduced.

Around 15 people Friday morning made it clear they were testifying in support of the ban on genetically modified taro. Supporters of the ban have argued passionately that taro is a sacred plant and staple food for Native Hawaiians and should be kept in its natural form. They feared that even if limited use or research were allowed, genetically modified forms of taro could mingle with other strains being cultivated.

Caren Diamond of Hawaii Seed – a nonprofit coalition of grass-roots groups composed of farmers, doctors, scientists, lawyers, concerned citizens and Native Hawaiians opposing the use of genetic modification – said taro was vital to Hawaiian culture.

“You have an opportunity to protect this living culture,” she said.

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On September 18, the bill to ban genetically modified taro unanimously passed First Reading in Maui County. Congratulations, Maui!!  Second and Final reading on this extremely important bill will be coming up this Friday, October 2nd.

From friends on Maui:

Ban on GMO Taro for Maui County–we’re almost there! Take part in this historic action and express your support!

If you have a chance, take a few minutes to call and talk to Council members Baisa (270-7939), Pontanilla (270-5501) and Molina (270-5507) before Friday.  Thank them for their yes vote and urge them to do so again.

Also let Victorino (270-7760), Mateo (270-7678), Kaho’ohalahala (270-7768), Johnson (270-5504), Nishiki (270-7108, and Medeiros (270-7246) know we are behind them and to keep the bill strong — no compromises.

The enforcement issue is one that can be resolved.  There are no excuses for this not to pass.  No changes between the last reading and this one will mean it is straight up, easy vote.  Keep it simple and sweet.  Let’s see a 9-0 vote again!

Testimony can be sent in by email (county.clerk@mauicounty.us) or come and join us in person.  If you can’t make it to the hearing, keep support for the kalo in your sights this week.  If you don’t want to speak – bring a kalo plant to show support.  Stay focused on what is important – protecting Hāloa.

Keep envisioning this bill passed without changes – for all kalo and effective immediately!

From us guys at KAHEA: Mahalo pumehana to the Maui community for all their good, hard work and their passion and care for Hāloa. There is no question that you are making a tremendous difference. We urge all who are about Hawai’i and who love their poi (!) to show their support by sending in testimony to the hearing on Friday! Please take a second also to forward this alert to friends and ‘ohana!

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From Alana:

A bill to prohibit genetically engineered taro is still being debated on Maui. Counselors are unable to decide whether to let the bill pass or not and say they want more information. The bill would prohibit “any person to test, propagate, cultivate, raise, plant, grow, introduce, transport or release genetically engineered or recombinant DNA kalo, or taro.” Citing it as “biological pollution”, Council Member Bill Medeiros also says:

I think we need to be brave. This is not something popular to do. This is something right to do.

The bill was met with some opposition, though, by the Department of Environmental Management Director Cheryl Okuma, who basically says that it’s too much effort to enforce the ban.

Laziness from the Dept. of Environmental Management should not deter kalo from having a secure future in Hawai’i.

Click here for the full article.

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Kani ka uwalo, mele ‘ai pohaku!
Hosted by KAHEA, Na Kahu o Haloa and the Hawaiian Caucus

photo by ian lind

photo by ian lind

The Ku‘i Kalo record was set this past Tuesday at the Haloa Jam Taro Festival on O‘ahu:

– 350 lbs. of Hawaiian Kalo- no panic, all organic!
– 300 People to Ku
i i ke Kalo!
– 100 Pohaku Ku
i ‘ai!
– 50 Papa Ku
i ‘ai!

and about 600+ folks came to enjoy good healthy food, good roots music and plenny good kine talk story. New friendships were brought face-to-face over shared papa ku‘i ‘ai, pounding and mixing varieties and colors of kalo together into thick pa‘i ‘ai.  While old friendships and family connections were renewed in recognizing ancient pohaku ku‘i ‘ai- remembering unique shapes, textures and the coolness and weight of a particular stone last held in childhood.  These very stones now gathered in action in the middle of the modern city, by the very greatgrandchildren of  the farmers who fed Hawai‘i for thousands of years.  Together relishing the first finger-fulls of thick homemade poi, so ‘ono, so natural. Hand pounding alone releases the depth of the root’s rich flavors.  The call to gather and ku‘i was heard in the na‘au of many brothers and sisters of Haloa, all excited and honored to share in this historic moment, to share this ancient and sacred food, to share gifts of huli, to share the nourishing traditions of aloha aina.

Got good moments? Please add your photos to this group photo album: http://photobucket.com/oahutarofest2009

– Just click on “Add photos & videos to this group” at the top of the page to upload your photos.
– Use the bulk uploader if you have a lot of photos to upload. It makes it really simple.
– If you have trouble using the group album contact NaKahuoHaloa[at]gmail.com

The Haloa Jam was ‘ono, so they say…

ku mana

photo by ian lind

– Check out these beauties, from Ian Lind. He really captured the feeling of the festival, was soo lovely! http://ilind.net/gallery_2009/poi032409/index_6.html

– Sweet article from the House blog: http://hawaiihouseblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/poi-pounders.html
Their photos. or slide show, nice shots!

– A friend in the Slow Food Movement, http://blog.shareyourtable.com/2009/03/taro-festival-at-state-capitol.html

– Our hosts, the Hawaiian Caucus: http://melecarroll.wordpress.com/2009/03/26/third-annual-legislative-hawaiian-caucus-day-at-the-state-capitol-showcases-hawaiian-culture-practices-and-values/

PLEASE ADD ANY OTHER PHOTO ALBUM OR ARTICLE LINKS
in the comments section below.

Taro Festival Participants and Activities Included:

– Na Kahu o Haloa – Hawaiian Taro Varieties
– Hui Ku Maoli Ola –
Native Hawaiian Plant Nursery
Hawaiian Kalos – provided by farms in Waiahole, Waihee, Waipao, Waianae, Kanewai, Waimanalo-Oahu; Wailuanui, Keanae-Maui; Halawa-Molokai; Waipio, Pahoa-Hawaii; Waioli, Olokele-Kauai.
Papahana Kuaola – Hands-on Ku‘i Kalo Demonstrations
Historic Record-Setting of Most Ku‘i Kalo in Modern Times!
Kalo Farming & Native Stream Ecosystems
Organic Kalo Farming Techniques
– Ka Papa Loi Kanewai, UH-Manoa – Imu Kalo, Kalo Pa‘a Tasting and huli to kanu!
– KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance-
Legislative Advocacy for Taro Farming
– Na Pua No
eau – Konane Board Making and Kalo Identification & Art
– Halau Ku Mana Charter School – Halau Hula
– Ka Pa Ola & Alana Natural Therapies – Lomilomi
– Green House
– Urban Gardening
– HawaiiSeed –
Local Farming & GMO Awareness Education
Invasive Species Awareness Booth
– Papa Ola Lokahi – Hawaiian Health Education
– MANA –
Movement for Aloha No ka Aina
Kanikapila roots music jam session, with members of Guidance, Mauna Lua, JamaHang, Natural Vibes, Kupaaina and Miss Paisley of Tempo Valley.
Kalo Potluck hosted by Onipaa Na Hui Kalo – varieties of poi, pa‘i ‘ai, kalo pa‘a taste testing and… kalo poke, kalo curry stew, kalo greek salad, kalo & limu ho‘io salad, kalo matzo ball soup, kalo fritters, three lu‘au stews, sweet fried kalo koina! and…can’t forget the fish and limu from the many seas of Hawai‘i nei!

Mahalo nui loa to the many ‘ohana who came together to kui i ke kalo,
E OLA HALOANAKALAUKAPALILI!

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