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january in hawaii

 
steward
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I like pineapple - way too much. And I've been told that if you eat it in hawaii that is even better. I've never been to hawaii.

At this point, I cannot fathom the idea of going to hawaii as a tourist. It just seems like too much time away from getting my stuff done.

But I did take ten days to go to sandy eggo, how is that different? Well, I was getting stuff done. Important stuff. Huge stuff! Plus, while I didn't get paid anything, my expenses were covered. And I really liked the 20 people under one roof thing. And meeting Willie and Geoff and all.

As much as I like pineapple, I understand that since pineapple does not readily take up pesticides, many pineapple growers use a LOT more pesticides. So I wonder if there are organic or even permaculture places to visit that have lots of pineapple?

And in the middle of the montana winter, it could be nice to slip out and get a little sun.

I get people wanting me to go to all sorts of places to speak and I've been turning them down because I just have way too much to do. But I think if somebody had a speaking gig for me in hawaii in january, I would go for that. Or maybe there would be a few dozen other permies that all wanna go to hawaii at the same time - plus some other permies already in hawaii that want to show us around. That could be fun.


 
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I think you'd find most permaculture done in Hawaii to be on the Big Island. It also happens to be one of the most amazing places on the planet. But.... there isn't much (if any) pineapple grown there, at least commercially. There is, however, COFFEE. We buy a lot from these folks and love it, love it, love it.

http://organiccoffeehawaii.com/


Oh, and they have a guest house. And they're off the grid.

Our favorite area is Waimea/Kamuela. It's where the farm meets the table, really. Even the burger joint (Village Burger) manages to procure the majority of their ingredients from the island (they'll be proud to show you the list of where everything comes from).

I don't know, Paul.. if you go, you might end up with the desire to spread the empire to the middle of the Pacific!

And now I yield to the actual permaculturists doing permaculture in Hawaii. And maybe someone can fill you in on Maui, where there's a LOT more pineapple (even some organic).

 
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Funny, I was just discussing this article yesterday

http://benstarr.com/my-dream/


He's on the right track, at least.

I was contemplating how there are definitely worse places on Earth a large population of Permies could migrate to influence change on a large scale. I mean, where better to live a life of paradise and abundance than, well, an island paradise?

 
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The white pineapples are the best, by far. A lot of locals here on Big Island grow them for their own use and turn down the gold ones. Whites are sweet and not as acidic,so they don't burn your lips like some golds can.

Big island is the "country" of Hawaii. You'll see quite a bit of ranching here, plus small farms. Ka'u and Puna district has the most permaculture although Hamakua is rapidly adopting small ag due to the efforts of the Kohala Center. Most small farms here are quite privately situated so you won't see them driving the main highway. So if you wish to see farms you'll need to announce your visit in advance and arrange dates. Many people here would love to show off their permaculture, natural farming, organic places. There's a natural farming piggery set up in Kurtistown that's worth seeing. A small organic veggie farm in Ka'u that is set up in a dry area and uses an impressive drip irrigation system. They're right now setting up a CSA that the community hopes will be successful. In South Kona there is an aquaculture set up that invites the public by appointment. Other interesting ag solutions include the mushroom growing set up in Hamakua. As for ranching, most ranching operations are simple, straight forward, grass fed beef, lamb, and goat. There are some community gardens of varying size.

The winter is when most mainlanders appreciate Hawaii. So making arrangements in advance might be advisable. Lots of fancy and standard hotels here. House rentals are common, as are B&Bs. Check out vbro.com for local rentals. If you like the Smithsonian Museum, I know of a B&B in Ka'u run by a Smithsonian retiree who's a bit wacky and fun. His house is a mini Smithsonian. Speaking of wacky, Big Island is a wacky person magnet. Leave the tourist areas and you'll meet some unique characters.
 
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Any Hawaiians on the forum but me? i ko'u mana'o, e hana 'oe i kou ha'awina. Do your homework. I am a Native Hawaiian, practicing my culture passed down to me from generation to generation. Understand that when Geoff Lawton talks about Hawai'i having one of 5/6 completely sustainable agricultural practices he is referring to our native Hawaiian culture (Clip with Geoff Lawton in Hawaiʻi. The 'ahapua'a system is not "permaculture" as you see it practiced here, when others use methods from somewhere else, that s NOT the legacy of my ancestors. Lo'i , mala 'ai, loko 'ia, kuahiwi, wao akua, konohiki systems are all a part of Native HAWAIIAN sustainability, not just taking techniques from a book and applying it in our landscape. Three sisters, swales, hugelkultur, Korean Natural Farming etc., are all good and I wouldn't see anything wrong with integrating them as well, but we have a system already that works and very well I might add. For some reason, people decide to move here and try to teach methods of agriculture that just take people further from true sustainability. If you want to learn, I can show you. If you coming to tell us how we aren't doing it right, I have nothing to share.

Something else from on the ground that you should review before making your arrangements. You should watch the first video it in it's entirety, but if it becomes too much at one time, take it step by step:
1) Keanu Sai - Keauhou
2) Noho Hewa Trailer

Paul, I love what you do and the message you share, I just advise you to be aware of things that may be unseen, and as we have seen in the last few years, someone may be able to do it better. If you'd like to get together at some point or if you would like to see this ancient system still working, let me know. I also grow white pineapple, but don't know if I share the same enthusiasm for a fruit that devastated native peoples and the soil on Maui and North Shore, 'O'ahu =P.

Mahalo nui ia kakou,
Keahi.
 
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A previous job took me to Hawaii yearly and I usually took my family (the one perk of it taking me away from home the rest of the year).

We always went the first week of December. Evidently there is a lull in vacationers between Thanksgiving and Christmas so the hotels offered CHEAP rates for conferences and corporate getaways. Airfare was cheaper those weeks, too. Evidently there was another window in late January as well. Changing your plan one week to another could double or cut in half the cost of the trip. So research your timing carefully.

I have had the best time talking with people in the markets. We met one older couple on Kauai that made a very good income off 3 acres of perennial fruit in the market (they bought the land when it was cheap, though, and already paid off). There was another lady that lived offgrid on the road to Hana, she made her income selling honey, ginger, candied coconut and other value-added products from her perennials.

So hook up many tours/visits ahead of time, but also include time to explore the farmers markets and roadside stands--many are just resellers like markets here, but some are the real deal and gems worth the time to find.

And it really sucks coming back to winter afterwards...
 
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Reaching out to local permies, local food, Humpback whales and sea turtles, AND fresh pineapple? Thats a no brainer in my book, but then I'm a diver too and have been to lots of islands and love island life. I have a special place in my heart for Hawaii. The Big Island is on my list of places to visit this winter already Do it! Also, I hear the local markets on the Big Island are amazing.
 
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Hey Paul and all,
Just got back from Hawaii last week. Was on Oahu. Went there on work, anti-GMO lawsuits. But I took time to snorkel, be a tourist and still went to farmers markets, edible schoolyard program, aquaponics farm and a permaculture farm. Very cool, very interesting. Next week, when I am back home I will post photos and info. I also made some great connections on the big island and kuai (sp?). So yea there is stuff to see, and it is great, beautiful fun.
Seth Peterson
 
B.E. Ward
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Hmm.. maybe Hawaii could have its own regional forum (apart from Pacifica)?

Seems like there are some interesting things to discuss, particularly in relation to Keahi's post!
 
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Well, January in Hawaii is wonderful - you would not be disappointed. I came to the Big Island 4 years ago, and after picking lettuce, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes from my garden on Thanksgiving Day - that was it - I was hooked! I concur with other posters, that Big Island would be a good fit for you. Plenty of permie stuff going on, as well as some fine examples of permaculture in action. I would be happy to help you make the most of your visit here, as well as organizing some sort of permie forum. I bet you would enjoy seeing some Korean Natural Farming in action as well.

When you have a moment, check out my website: FrontYardFood.org - Since 2011, we have given away over 5,000 vegetable, herb, and fruit tree seedlings at the Hilo Farmer's Market. I like to think of a seedling as a "gateway drug" to Permaculture! ;o)

Let me know if I can be of any assistance. I am not sure what sort of accommodations you require, but you are welcome to make use of the guest tent on my farm.

Aloha Ea,

Jason Riessland )
 
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A few links I've gathered you may like.
Ken Love is THE SOURCE!


Big Island:
http://www.oneisland.org/hawaii/

Oahu:
http://www.kohalacenter.org/

Ken Love
Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, Director
https://www.facebook.com/groups/127197321932/
 
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Well next August is our 30th wedding anniversary. My wife has always wanted to check out the islands, I am not sure about flying over the ocean .

But if we can put together a few permies things I might be convinced to gather my courage and tag along!
 
B.E. Ward
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Miles Flansburg wrote:My wife has always wanted to check out the islands, I am not sure about flying over the ocean.



If it makes you feel any better, August is probably one of the most placid months to fly over the Pacific. And if it'd help, I'd be happy to tell you about some of the additional safety measures that are taken for such a flight. Feel free to send me a moosage if you're interested.

I know it's easy to say, but the rewards of being in such an amazing place will make the flight feel worth it!

 
paul wheaton
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Well, it sounds like it could be gobs of fun.

And, at the same time, I am wired in a twisted way. If there is an event there for which I am a speaker or something, then I feel like I can justify the trip. But to just go and be a tourist .... my innards are saying "you can't do that - you have too much work to do. And if you have the dollars to fly, you should spend those dollars on projects instead."

I guess I'm hoping that somebody will set up a speaking gig or maybe there is already an event out there. Or maybe there are a few dozen permies that wanna do a big, collective permie vacation.

 
paul wheaton
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Click the thumbs up on this post if you live in hawaii and wanna see me come there to speak.
 
paul wheaton
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Click the thumbs up on this post if you don't live in hawaii, but would do a hawaii trip at the same time as a bunch of other permies.
 
R Scott
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You can write off the trip as long as you post a couple videos or write up a blog post or do a podcast, or prove you talked to another permie or education center.

Sometimes your batteries need to be disconnected from the system and do a deep recharge.
 
Maya DeSalvo
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The produce buyer for Whole Foods in Hawaii / Oahu has given me the ok to give you his contact email if you are interested at all. He and his boss know many of the organic farmers in the islands of Hawaii, of course . I think it would be very good to get the Permaculture info into their talks (if timing lines up)... they have events going on with local farmers and in the couple of talks we attended, it seems Hawaii farmers need a Permaculture push really, really bad. If you contact Steve, you would be able to find out if there are any events for speaking in January.
 
Su Ba
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Paul, I don't know how to use the thumbs up function. But I'd be interested in having you visit Big Island and speak. I run a community garden & food growing classes, besides having my own homestead, and there are a couple dozen volunteers that would surely be interested too. If you spoke in Ka'u district, there are many, many people who would be interested. The people of Ka'u get short changed when it comes to home ag education. Close to 100% of ag edu offerings are in the other districts, so many Ka'u residents have difficulty attending.

If you opt to speak in Hilo, you would get a good turn out there. I'd be willing to make the 2 hour drive over.

You may wish to consider contacting CTAHR (www.ctahr.hawaii.edu). They have a facility in Hilo that they use for ag education purposes for the public. They helped arrange and host the Korean Natural Farming seminar/workshop.
 
Jason Riessland
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Paul,

Whether or not you speak formally or not, in my view is not the main consideration. Come and enjoy the Big Island - you will be learning and teaching along the way anyway - maybe a warm, sunny break is in order.

Aloha,

Jason Riessland )
 
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Hey Paul, i don,t mind coming along for some video ! Need some tan ! AHAHAH
 
Sara Russell
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Paul Wheaton wrote
If there is an event there for which I am a speaker or something, then I feel like I can justify the trip. But to just go and be a tourist .... my innards are saying "you can't do that - you have too much work to do. And if you have the dollars to fly, you should spend those dollars on projects instead."



Think of going to Hawaii (even if you don't give a talk) as returning the surplus to the "system". All of your handwork and "surplus" has been returning to your system, but you are also part of the system and you must also be sure that some surplus gets returned to you, especially if it revitalizes you. IMHO of course.

(Still getting the hang of the Forum format)

 
paul wheaton
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Click the thumbs up on this post if you want to go for five days.
 
paul wheaton
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Click the thumbs up on this post if you want to go for seven days.
 
paul wheaton
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Anybody wanna start researching vrbo?
 
Su Ba
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Paul, I'd suggest you go for the maximum days that you can....seven rather than five. Otherwise you'll regret it, believe me!
 
Keahi Maumauma
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Aloha nō kekahi,

Just wanted to do a follow up on if you were coming this way or not. I would support Su Ba in saying that Kāʻū usually gets the short end of the stick, mostly because of their location in relation to "major businesses", which has become the model for modern society. Su Ba, where are you from originally? I would ask the same of those that also spoke of Hawaiʻi. Where are you originally from?

Oh, and if you're coming this way, stay at somebodyʻs house, if you go to a hotel or hostel, you'll miss most of what Hawaiʻi is about. And you save those precious dollar bills =P

Mahalo,
Keahi.
 
paul wheaton
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It sounds like there are a dozen people willing to be involved so far.

I guess I was kinda hoping somebody would say "We're with the flibberty group and we're gonna set up an event in january and so if you come speak for a day, we're gonna cover your expenses." And then somebody else would start putting together an itinerary and house and stuff.

As is, it sounds like I would need to stop working on my projects, pick a house, pick a date, pay for everything and then hope enough people come through that i wouldn't go broke. And then stop working on my projects some more to process all the questions that people will have for stuff and then talk to lots and lots of people about what all we might go and do.

 
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paul wheaton wrote:It sounds like there are a dozen people willing to be involved so far.

I guess I was kinda hoping somebody would say "We're with the flibberty group and we're gonna set up an event in january and so if you come speak for a day, we're gonna cover your expenses." And then somebody else would start putting together an itinerary and house and stuff.

As is, it sounds like I would need to stop working on my projects, pick a house, pick a date, pay for everything and then hope enough people come through that i wouldn't go broke. And then stop working on my projects some more to process all the questions that people will have for stuff and then talk to lots and lots of people about what all we might go and do.



But then when it all works and you go back to -20F Montana after being in Hawaii for a week or more you'll think, "That was totally worth it!"
 
paul wheaton
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Apparently, if this happens Willie Smits and Geoff Lawton would be up for joining us. And Chef Seth seems to have found a bit of a venue and some sponsorship and the like.

So I wanna try a poor man's poll again. In the next few posts I will list some thoughts and click on the thumbs up for stuff that you agree with.

I'm thinking it could be turned into something kinda cool where maybe there could be some presentations about stuff, and there could be some local tours. I am mostly thinking that it would be awesome to see hawaii from a permaculture perspective rather than a strictly commercial hawaii thing.
 
paul wheaton
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Click on the thumbs up for this post if you live outside of hawaii, but you would be willing to travel to hawaii and spend, say, $300 to attend an event for a few days.
 
paul wheaton
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Click on the thumbs up for this post if you live in hawaii and would be willing to spend, say, $300 to attend an event for a few days.
 
paul wheaton
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Click on the thumbs up for this post if you like pineapple.
 
paul wheaton
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Geoff says that since he is a surfer he is mighty keen on going to hawaii to catch some waves. Maybe people can get a little video of geoff surfing!
 
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Is this for sure happening on the big island, or is the choice of island still in flux?
 
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Roberta Wilkinson wrote:Is this for sure happening on the big island, or is the choice of island still in flux?



Nothing is for sure. I know that Seth is plotting and scheming. He has somebody he is talking to about being the primary host.

I would like to say that I would like all expenses paid for jocelyn and i. And that jocelyn doesn't have to do anything. And it would be nice if cassie could get covered too (although I will make cassie work!

I think if the even covered five days and we were there for ten days, that would be about right.

Maybe the even could be two days of presentations and three days of permaculture tours.

Jocelyn puts so much stuff into the empire and the labs for zero pay: I just feel like it would be great if she could get the red carpet treatment.
 
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paul wheaton wrote:

Roberta Wilkinson wrote:Is this for sure happening on the big island, or is the choice of island still in flux?



Nothing is for sure. I know that Seth is plotting and scheming. He has somebody he is talking to about being the primary host.

I would like to say that I would like all expenses paid for jocelyn and i. And that jocelyn doesn't have to do anything. And it would be nice if cassie could get covered too (although I will make cassie work!

I think if the even covered five days and we were there for ten days, that would be about right.

Maybe the even could be two days of presentations and three days of permaculture tours.

Jocelyn puts so much stuff into the empire and the labs for zero pay: I just feel like it would be great if she could get the red carpet treatment.




I hope you could at least hit all the MAJOR islands: Big Island, Maui, O'ahu and Kaua'i.

While Big Island does have a lot to work with, most of the farming that takes place in Hawaii is done on O'ahu, which is the central island for the State, offering the most venues for presentations.

You can't make everyone happy, but I can only hope that you could possibly do something on every major island instead of everything on one, thus limiting your exposure.



P.S. I've been attempting to get Willie to come to O'ahu for a potentially huge project that requires large scale reforestation on the Ka'iwi coast. They are currently in a bid war to win the mountainous land for sale, and if they do win, it would be the first time that a stretch of land from the mountain to the sea would be protected from development. I think this could be a huge opportunity for the leading experts in permaculture to show what can they can do by transforming this essentially desolate (yet beautiful) area and maximizing it's potential using permaculture techniques.

To learn more about the project, go to http://www.kaiwicoast.com
 
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Q Kealoha wrote: P.S. I've been attempting to get Willie to come to O'ahu for a potentially huge project that requires large scale reforestation on the Ka'iwi coast. They are currently in a bid war to win the mountainous land for sale, and if they do win, it would be the first time that a stretch of land from the mountain to the sea would be protected from development. I think this could be a huge opportunity for the leading experts in permaculture to show what can they can do by transforming this essentially desolate (yet beautiful) area and maximizing it's potential using permaculture techniques.

To learn more about the project, go to http://www.kaiwicoast.com



Thank you for sharing the Ka'iwi Coast project. I truly hope the project is funded so that beautiful land can be protected rather than developed. Donation sent! Warmest blessings from our little corner of Maine <3
 
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Very excited to see this thread as I travel to Hawaii every winter for at least a month to visit my family. I am an O'ahu native now residing in Upstate NY, which is why it is crucial I bypass at least some of the winter each year. I try to make my home visits a productive ones and regret to say I have not tapped into the local permaculture networks as much as I'd like to, but I know there are lots of them. I would love to help make this voyage a reality, and be involved.

I would suggest getting in touch with Waihuena Farm: http://waihuenafarm.com/ - They host a great deal of permaculture events and may be able to help with accommodations, although January would be peak season on the North Shore of Oahu (where I grew up). I know them through my father who has ties to the family through a solar business they run. Best to get in touch with Meleana. I could also share contact info if you guys are really serious.

Transition Oahu could be helpful as well: http://www.transitionoahu.org/oahu-permaculture-design-course---winter-2014.html

I would also like to echo Keahi Maumauma's comments and agree that all who plan to visit should definitely "Do [their] homework." It is helpful to have an understanding of Hawaiian history before visiting as most peoples' knowledge of it is very (tactfully) limited. I avoid pineapple for what it represents. Not saying you should too, but educate yourself before indulging. Also, it is definitely in your best interest to stay with locals. I know if I'm in Hawaii during January, I can at least promise a huge Hawaiian feast with my family, who love hosting guests (Kaneohe, HI).

I am surprised that no one has suggested visiting Moloka'i. For me, it is a very powerful place that I respect greatly. There is a lot to learn from it and its people; important activists and teachers reside there. Not to mention, the community is most welcoming. Geoff Lawton has showcased quite a bit of what is being done there, including restoration of fish ponds and other tours of pockets of permaculture. I visited Moloka'i High School last year and they have a nice permaculture landscape in the works, with the help of students (my uncle is a teacher there and introduced me). I enjoy this interview with Hawaiian activist and educator, Walter Ritte, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n61pLhJjXdc. You can fly from Honolulu to Moloka'i for ~$100 RT. http://www.mokuleleairlines.com/

One thing I want to point out is -- I know there are a lot of transplants who practice permaculture that you will easily connect with, but I hope you all will make it a priority to connect with natives who have carried on these systems for generations. There is a lot to learn. Take the time to work in a lo'i (taro patch), help restore a fish pond (http://paepaeoheeia.org/getinvolved/)... then reward yourself with pineapple.

Looking forward to hearing more about this.



 
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