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Haleʻiwa Update

August 04, 2020

Some of our first crops have started coming to harvest!  Many mahalos to all of those who helped to plant a cover crop back in March, these actions have protected our soil and brought pollinators back to this previously bare patch of earth!  An additional note of gratitude is due to our three Kōkua Learning Farm Summer Interns from Mililani High School and Waialua High School who regularly assisted on the farm this summer.  As the biodiversity of our plot continues to grow we are very excited to observe our ʻāina and learn the lessons it is teaching us.  So far, the kalo, carrots, corn, and sunflowers have flourished despite the summer heat.  We still have a little bit to learn in order to successfully grow a few other crops like radishes, kale, and collards. Are you interested in socially-distanced volunteer opportunities on the farm? Email [email protected].

We are also incredibly excited to announce a partnership with Derek Esibill from the Pacific American Foundation’s Watershed Investigations Research Education and Design (WIRED) Program.  Derek received an NAAEE grant to do soil and water quality testing on the Kōkua Learning Farm and will assess bacterial species and quantities found in water samples from a small wetland on the farm. We look forward to seeing how the data changes as we continue our work to restore the area with native plantings and kalo cultivation. Derek, Parker Sawyer, and a group of students from Kailua Intermediate School collected some preliminary samples for further study at Windward Community College. At Windward Community College, the students will process the samples to extract DNA for genome testing to identify specific bacterial populations. We are excited to share the results of this study once completed!

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