It’s easy being green!

October 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

Being “green” has never been easier.  When once it was rare to find a national magazine article or a book beyond the favorite few on the topic, now the shelves are lined with materials on sustainability and the benefits of eating local foods.  Remember trying to find a cleaner for your home or clothes that was “good for the earth?”  It required a mail order to California at best and was often cost prohibitive.  Now, we have products even in the largest of super stores and books filled with recipes to make our own cleaners.  We have fabulous natural food stores that stock their shelves with local products because the community is willing to support its neighbors.  It just makes sense that farmers’ markets, too, would take the next step beyond offering local fruits and veggies.  To be a Green Market is to continue to provide farm-fresh food that is either certified organic or grown with natural practices.  But it is also about sharing with others the skills and tools to do the same in their own gardens and homes.  Education on sustainable living practices means a Green Market can help to make a big difference in our community even in small ways.   Being “green” is about thinking about the impact of disposable items such as cups and forks and looking for compostable alternatives.  It’s as simple as asking customers to bring their own bags each week and discussing how a grassroots’ effort might convince local businesses to carry a compostable bag even without a legislative requirement.  And being “green” means that together, we look for ways to build our local economy and decrease our dependence on high footprint imports.  It’s easy to be green today . . . just start the conversation and make one small change for you and your family.

If you’re on the Big Island of Hawai’i, join us at the South Kona Green Market every Sunday from 9-2 in Captain Cook – just above Choice Mart and Ace Hardware.  Visit us online at http://www.skgm.org

A hui hou!

Karen"From the land and by our hand"

The Last of the Small Family Farms

October 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

The slopes of Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii are dotted with small, family farms. Most are growing the world’s best coffee, as well as food for their family and community. It is a lot of work to create an artisan product. It is picked – pulped – dried – hulled – roasted – bagged by hand. And even before that process takes place, the trees are lovingly tended to throughout the year – all by hand. There is pruning, hauling coffee limbs, chipping, fertilizing, mulching, suckering, and weeding. On average, each bean that ends up in one’s cup has been handled over 40 times – again, all by hand. That is a lot of labor. But farmers do what we do because we love working with the soil – or maybe it is a farm handed down through the generations – or we understand that we own our labor and our days. Yet, after picking all day and only making a dent in one of 5 orchards, I told Tim the price of our coffee has gone up for market this weekend! We are proud of what we create and so are a lot of wonderful farmers around South Kona. So the next time you head to “FourBucks” – maybe decide to go online and order a bag of 100% Kona coffee from a farm in Hawaii. It doesn’t have to be Luana Farm’s (although we have really good coffee – insert big smile).  Just use your wallet and support U.S. farmers. You’ll get a great cup of coffee and more importantly, you’ll make a family’s day.

A hui hou!

Karen

Away to Market We Go

October 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

Another beautiful day in the field on Sunday at the South Kona Green Market.  For those on the Big Island of Hawaii, join us for a “greenFest” every week – delicious food – great music – good company.  For those on the mainland, time to swing by your local farmers market – meet the growers of your food – support your neighborhood economy – and take a position on the current food system by buying something grown without chemicals – harvested only miles from your home – and is good food for your family’s table.  And if your market includes local artists, what a wonderful time to start your holiday shopping.  It’s fun – you find something original – and again, the money stays at home in your community.  Small actions can make a big difference.

A hui hou,

Karen

The Happiest Days Are When Baby Goats Arrive

October 7, 2010 § Leave a comment

We had no idea that Chevre, a goat we purchased in April of last year, had visited the billy before heading to our farm.  Much to our surprise on October 30th, Chevre gave birth to twins under the house.  She did everything right – thank goodness.  The rest of us had no clue.  No new goats are planned for this year.  Keeping four goats out of the coffee is enough.  I’ve got to get the fencing going . . .

A hui hou,

Karen

 

Little Feta Goat

The truck climbing goats of Luana Farm

October 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

We have four goats:  Chevre and Brie came to us a year and a half ago.  The one thing the good book, “Barnyard in Your Backyard,” stated quite clearly was to be sure all fencing was in place before acquiring livestock – especially goats.  I’m not sure exactly how it happened but that day in April we were standing there with two goats – who were quickly staking out the white pineapple patch – and not a stitch of fence.  Indeed, that project is still in process.  More later.  In October of last year, Chevre made several new sounds – my son, Oliver, went to check it out – and reported that “Chevre was licking a small poodle under the house.”  My daughter, Mia, went to see why her little brother couldn’t get this right and yelled back, “Get the book . . . Chevre is having another baby!”  So we doubled our herd to 4.  P.J (for pepper jack) is now an “it” and works well as a weed whip and Feta is a beautiful doe who is by far the favorite around here.  I’ll share lots of goat stories.  Plenty to tell . . . and the pictures – well, they are worth a thousand words.

A hui hou,

Karen

Aloha!

October 4, 2010 § 2 Comments

Family on a Hawaii Farm

Karen and Family on Luana Farm

Welcome to our farm on the Big Island of Hawaii.  We are new farmers having been on the island for only 3 years.  Ours is a story of adventure fraught with danger.  There are the pantry-raiding goats, large, wild pigs with a penchant for freshly-planted fruit trees, and chickens who think they are – and well they are – this side of house pets.  Share our tales of triumph and woe as we strive to make a go of this sustainable, family-oriented lifestyle.

A hui hou (until we meet again)!

Karen

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