Ethnobotany is the study of the human relationship with plants. One of the most fascinating bodies of work being conducted by an ethnobotanist are the research and teaching efforts of Kathleen Harrison. Kat is the founder and director of Botanical Dimensions and when not visiting her legendary garden and farm in Hawaii, is busy working on indigenous culture folklore research and botanical herbarium projects in Mexico and Peru.
We were honored to have her present an ethnobotany overivew and share a little about her life work at a Same Canoe workshop.
Growing our own food is not always as easy as picking up a packet of seeds. To get mushrooms started, you need a source of innoculated mycellium and One Island hosted an Intro to Mushroom cultivation workshop that brought shiitake kits to each participant. We had 19 people show up! And the mushrooms are sprouting up all over Kona already. Our second Mushroom workshop will help us create our own local substrate and innoculate from local stock. Watch the newsletter for updates!
The Amy B Greenwell Ethnobotanic Garden is an exceptional ethnobotany resource in Wet Hawaii. The Same Canoe project hosted a tour fo the Ancient Hawaiian Agriculture features on the farm, led by Noa Lincoln. He focused on the food and medicinal crops of taro, sugar cane, banana, kukui, and kava and walked us through one of the few remaining intact stone wall pre-contact Hawaiian agricultural field systems. We even learned how to water with rocks! (think condensation)
Medicine at Your Feet is a workshop program hosted by David Bruce Leonard – and a book he has authored – that help us identify and understand the medicinal uses for common plants, some often considered ‘useless weeds’. David took us on a walk around One Island’s farm and up to our Medicine Wheel – and shared stories about his life discoveries – in this wonderful workshop.
Cultivating earthworms for castings and compost tea is an excellent way to produce your own nutrient rich inputs for your garden. The Same Canoes project linked up with Recycle Hawaii and offered a vermiculture class where Earth Machine composters and worm bins were made available. See One Island’s Buying Club link for information on ordering a worm compost bin system in Hawaii.
Beyond Organics is a soil analysis program developed and operated by Dr. Jana Bogs. She came to One Island for a Same Canoe presentation and shared with us startling facts about the direct relationship between the decline in our soil quality and the corresponding decline in nutrients in our current food. An apple a day that had beneficial vitmans and minerals before 1920 would now require TWENTY apples a day to get that same level of nutrition. Her solution? Think beyond just organic growing – improve the quality of our soil.
Jana won the BEST in AGRICULTURE award during the Sustainability Innovation Challenge in 2012.
Permaculture princples look at natural patterns and help us deisgn smarter working systems – landscapes, gardens, farms – even human systems. One Isld is hosting a PErmaculture series adapted for the needs of local Hawaii gardens, backyards and farms. We also recommend this book’s helpful backyard and small farm look at permaculture practices. thanks to Honaunau Farm for hosting part of our class series.
One Island offers aquaponics trainings and tours. This is a promising new techology using ancient Hawaiian principles of having fish ponds that provide fertilizer for water based crops. Great for living on lava rock or coral sand where soil is hard to find.
Living Aquaponics, Coastview Aquaponics and Friendly Aquaponics have generously shared their time and resources with One Island and The Same Canoe project. A big thanks to Zach, Tim and Chris!
Gardening UP! was one of the most well attended workshops we’ve offered and preseted options for easy do-it-yourself solutions for growing food above ground – rased beds, ceramic containers, galvanized water troughs, bamboo trellis, recycled rain gutter, barrell and pallet gardens. Thanks to instructor Raven Bolas and the One Island Interns – Laura, Theo and Mandy – for helping us step up to the challenge!