The redevelopment of the central valley lands impacts the social, environmental and economic fabric of our community and what we choose to do about it today will determine the future of our lives on Maui. Fortunately, there are individuals and organizations on Maui working to create proactive solutions for our community in light of the agricultural changes we face at this time. The #mālamalama project was created to identify proactive solutions being developed in our community and recognize the people providing them.
We call these people
We support solutionaries by getting to know them, tracking their progress over time and promoting their work in the community in an effort to expand and measure their reach and impact. We look for community members making progress in the fields of Youth Education, Civic Engagement and Cultural Regeneration as they relate to Agriculture & Food on Maui. Beyond the support we give to distinct local efforts, we strive to nurture collaborations amongst local solutionaries and to illuminate the ways that solutionaries can combine their efforts to make more effective progress towards their collective interests.
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HAWAII FARMERS UNION UNITED
Hawaii Farmers Union United (HFUU) supports family farmers across the state of Hawai'i. Maui farmer Vincent Mina is the president and founding member of HFUU and there are three chapters on Maui: Haleakalā, Mauna Kahalawai and Hana. By supporting smallholder diversified family farms that implement regenerative ecological techniques, HFUU creates a more resilient, vital and productive agricultural system to better feed the people of Hawai'i. One of the goals of HFUU is to invite more farmers and farming advocates to join their membership program.
In January of 2017, several leaders of the Haleakalā chapter came together with a plan to harness their membership's love of regenerative farming and the local food movement and to answer Governer Ige's call to double local food production within the next three years. They created a project called Maui Farm Laulima (many hands working together) where volunteers are invited to a permablitz at a fellow member's farm and share in a community meal. To watch a video of the second Maui Farm Laulima event, take a look HFUU's youtube channel. The Haleakalā chapter is looking forward to hosting more events in September.
In July of 2017, HFUU celebrated the graduation of 14 students in their Farm Apprentice Mentoring (FAM) Program. The FAM program is an essential solution to fulfilling the need for a new generation of farmers on Maui as more agricultural land becomes available. HFUU allowed youth filmmakers from the Maui Huliau Foundation to produce a short film about the FAM Program called "Growing Farmers." The next FAM cohort application process will begin on October 2nd, 2017. Send an email of interest to Phyllis Robinson email@example.com to receive more information.
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MAUI SCHOOL GARDEN NETWORK
Maui School Garden Network (MSGN) helps to facilitate school gardens in Maui County. Long-time Maui resident Lehn Huff founded MSGN in 2008, seeing that more information, funding and volunteer support was needed in order to grow school gardens in local schools. MSGN collects information about the development of every school garden on Maui and partners with 17 community agencies to improve the school garden system within each school. MSGN is dedicated to providing students with integrated outdoor garden learning labs as a way to improve the nutritional habits of our youth and deepen their connection to locally-grown food.
In April of 2017, news of Rat Lungworm disease on Maui sparked great concern across the island, posing a threat to local food safety and garden-based learning in schools. Determined to support our community with information and preventative practices, MSGN organized a workshop on Rat Lungworm disease for school garden coordinators at the UH Maui College Food Innovation Center. The training video featuring Kay Howe from UH Hilo College of Pharmacy can be found online.
In July of 2017, Lehn attended Kū 'Āina Pā Summer Intensive: Teacher Training for School Learning Gardens in Hawai'i hosted by The Kohala Center along with Pomaika'i Elementary School arts integration coordinator Rae Takemoto, garden coordinator Mahie Atay and Mālamalama youth education coordinator Melinda Caroll. The four-day training strengthened bonds between these garden advocates and prepared them for collaborative garden-growing efforts over the 2017-2018 school year. Check out Melinda's blog about her experience or sign up for the next training.
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HUKILIKE NO MAUI: TOGETHER FOR MAUI
Hukilike No Maui: Together for Maui, initiated by Sierra Club's Maui Group, is a coalition comprised of organizations and individuals who recognize that our goals for agriculture, affordable housing, and conservation on Maui are intricately connected, and to achieve them all we must work together.
In February of 2017, Sierra Club launched the Hukilike No Maui coalition at their annual meeting by bringing together a panel of experts in the fields of agriculture, affordable housing and conservation. Following the panel and community potluck, community members engaged in breakout sessions to identify the challenges they face in agriculture, affordable housing and conservation on Maui and to draw connections across sectors.
In July of 2017, the Hukilike No Maui executive committee commissioned a visual artist to create a rendering of central valley lands repurposed into a livable community complete with diversified farming, affordable housing and preserved public spaces. This vision for equitable development allows them to spark the conversation of working together for Maui and inspire residents to collaborate on effective cross-sector solutions during the land transition.