Archive for the ‘Gardens’ Category

Keiki Garden Adventure

October 7th, 2014
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Keiki planted herbs and vegetables into a patch of rich soil at The Green House. Photo by Nina Wu.

Keiki planted herbs and vegetables directly into a patch of rich soil at The Green House. Photos by Nina Wu.

Gardening seems like a natural hit for keiki — get your hands dirty, hold earthworms and learn how plants grow. I spend more time writing about gardens than actually gardening myself (I need more time - that's my excuse). My four-year-old likes to tag along, help water the few native plants and pots of herbs in our yard and pick lemons from our tree.

So when The Green House  held it's hands-on Keiki Garden Adventure workshop on a recent Saturday in Pauoa Valley, I decided to sign up. It made for a fun Saturday morning. My son was shy, at first, but when I asked if he had fun later that afternoon, he said: "Yah!"

Here are a few tips I learned:

>> When planning an edible garden, think about what will grow based on sunlight, soil composition and moisture. Observe what's growing well in your neighborhood to get an idea — bananas, papayas, citrus, avocados, sweet potatoes all do well in a tropical climate.

>> You can create healthy soil through composting and sheet mulching. No matter what type of soil you have, adding compost and vermicast to poor soil will improve overall soil quality.

>> When taking a plant out of a pot, using  your fingers to fluff out the end roots is helpful before planting in the ground. You want to plant it just right, not too low, not too high, to make it happy

>> Ecoscraps, an all-organic compost mix, is available at Home Depot. This mix is made from a variety of composted fruits and veggies, with no chemicals. It was started by two college students, Daniel Blake and Craig Martineau, who noticed how much food was being wasted at an all-you-can buffet –what began as a dorm room project grew into a business venture.

Betty shows the keiki some examples of seeds, explaining how they grow into plants.

Betty shows the keiki some examples of seeds, explaining how they grow into plants.

Betty Gearen, the teacher, started the morning by having the kids shape "wormies" out of a chocolate-cinnamon dough that she later baked up as a yummy treat.

She brought out a few examples of seeds and explained how they grew. Then the kids got to get their hands dirty making "seed balls" — a mix of soil, compost, and a little clay — sprinkled with various flower seeds. Add water and shape into small balls. A reused paper egg carton makes the perfect container.

Drill three holes into a plastic gallon container and you've got a watering can.

The Green House is now offering the new EcoExplorer Learning Center for two to five-year-olds from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

"With the Aina as our playground and Mother Nature as our guide we have created an innovative place where keiki will blossom in a fun, safe, nurturing eco-environment that has been created just for them to imagine, wonder and explore.

Keiki will learn creative arts, literature, math, cooking, gardening and yoga through the center, which embraces Montessori and Waldorf philosophies. To learn more, contact program director Karla Meek, karla@thegreenhousehawaii.com.

Keiki examining peeled beans under magnifiying glasses.

Keiki take a close look at peeled beans to see how seeds grow and examine the soil with magnifying glasses to find useful bugs.

Mauka to Makai Environmental Expo

April 18th, 2014
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The seventh annual Mauka to Makai Environmental Expo takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow at Waikiki Aquarium.

The free family event offers a live rain garden demonstration by Hui o Ko‘olaupoko, surgeonfish feeding, educational booths and native Hawaiian plants giveaway by the Hawaiian Electric Co. Hui O Ko‘olaupoko will be unveiling a 150-square-foot rain garden designed to capture roof runoff from the Diamond Head side of the main building and infiltrate water into an area vegetated with natural plants.

This year's expo focuses on our impact on water sources — from mauka to makai.

Enjoy keiki arts and crafts, along with educational exhibits. Free parking and shuttles available at Waikiki Elementary School beginning at 8:45 a.m. Admission is free.

The unveiling of the Waikiki Aquarium's rain garden happens tomorrow (Saturday, April 19) at the Mauka to Makai Environmental Expo. Photo courtesy Hui o Ko‘olaupoko.

The unveiling of the Waikiki Aquarium's rain garden happens tomorrow (Saturday, April 19) at the Mauka to Makai Environmental Expo. Photo courtesy Hui o Ko‘olaupoko.

Also, there will be plenty of opportunities to get involved hands-on with the ‘aina Saturday at Sustainable Coastline Hawaii's Earth Day Cleanup*Mauka*Makai.

Meet at Kualoa Ranch at 8:30 a.m. to participate in beach cleanups from Kahuku Beach and golf course to Laie Beach. Community service projects include invasive species removal, fishpond restoration and native plantings with partners Papahana Kualoa, Kako‘o Oiwi, Hui o Ko‘olaupoko and Paepae o He‘eia.

Afterwards, enjoy a free festival from noon to 3 p.m. with food vendors, educational booths, keiki activities and prize giveaways. Enjoy live music from the Late Ones and Dread Ashanti. Free T-shirts for the first 1,000 volunteers provided by sponsors Hurley and Hawaiian Electric. All are welcome.

On Earth Day, April 22, join the Surfrider Foundation 9 a.m. at Maui County Council chambers to show your support for Bill 24, which would ban smoking products on Maui County beaches and parks. An Earth Day event will follow. Visit maui.surfrider.org to learn more. Or join the Blue Planet Foundation and Hawaii's youth at the state Capitol on Oahu from 10 a.m. to noon for a clean energy rally.

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For a schedule of Earth Month events, click on this former blog post.

 

Rain garden workshop

March 26th, 2014
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Rain gardens help filter rainwater runoff. Learn how to build one at a free Waikiki Aquarium workshop March 25. Photo courtesy Hui O Ko‘olaupoko Facebook page.  www.fb.com/huiokoolaupoko

Rain gardens help filter rainwater runoff. Photo courtesy Hui O Ko‘olaupoko Facebook page. www.fb.com/huiokoolaupoko

The Waikiki Aquarium hosted a free rain garden workshop from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25.

Rain gardens help stop water runoff, the greatest source of pollution of Hawaii's streams and coastal waters, by allowing storm water from impervious surfaces to collect, briefly settle, then infiltrate into the ground.

They mimic natural processes by treating and infiltrating storm water into the ground and evaporating it back into the air.

Todd Cullison, executive director of Hui O Ko‘olaupoko, provided instruction on how to create a do-it-yourself rain garden. A free manual is also available at www.huihawaii.org/rain-gardens.html.

The workshop, supported by the state Department of Health's Clean Water Branch and Hardware Hawaii, brought awareness to the importance of natural vegetation designed to absorb and filter rainwater from heavy tropical storms.

Visitors to the aquarium during the month of April also receive 100 tote bags with rain garden information and instructions for teachers to give their students.

The Waikiki Aquarium itself will also be home to a rain garden to be revealed at its annual Mauka to Makai Event on April 19.

To learn more, visit www.waikikiaquarium.org.

Handmade Wreaths at Lyon Arboretum

November 22nd, 2013
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Beautiful handcrafted evergreen wreath by a member of Hui Hana Hawai‘i will be on sale at Lyon Arboretum this coming Saturday (Nov. 23).

Beautiful handcrafted evergreen wreath by a member of Hui Hana Hawai‘i will be on sale at Lyon Arboretum this coming Saturday (Nov. 23).

There is a flurry of activity going on at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Lyon Arboretum.

More than a dozen, talented crafters make up Hui Hana Hawai‘i, a group of volunteers that meets weekly to create lei and other works of art from natural materials, to benefit the Lyon Arboretum at 3860 Manoa Rd. For the past few weeks, they have been busy weaving beautiful holiday wreaths which will be for sale at the annual Holiday Plant and Craft Sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the arboretum this coming Saturday (Nov. 23).

It's the perfect opportunity to find a locally-made, handcrafted gift for the holidays.

Evergreen wreaths are made from a combination of trees and plants, including Norfolk pine, Thuja pine and Hollywood cypress, decorated with holly, Eucalyptus pods, pine cones, lipstick tree buds and Christmas berries.

Beautiful handcrafted bromeliad wreath will be part of Lyon Arboretum's annual sale on Saturday.

Beautiful handcrafted bromeliad wreath will be part of Lyon Arboretum's annual sale on Saturday.

Dried wreaths, made of a combination of natural materials, including pine cones, autograph pods and various leaves, are also available at the sale.

The price range is between $20 to $50 each, with proceeds benefiting Lyon Arboretum.

Handcrafted, dried wreath will be available for sale at the Lyon Arboretum on Saturday.

This one-of-a-kind, handcrafted, dried wreath will be available for sale at the Lyon Arboretum on Saturday.

Several participating nurseries will also be on hand, selling colorful ti varieties, cacti and succulents, orchids, anthuriums, heliconias, gingers, native Hawaiian plants, vegetable and herb plants, as well as University of Hawaii variety vegetable seeds. Ceramic pots and planters, as well as tasty jams, jellies and Hawaiian honey will also be sale.

A free shuttle service to the arboretum will also be available Saturday, with pick-up and drop-off points at the intersections of Manoa Road and Po‘elua Street, and at Manoa Road, and Nipo Street. For more information, call 988-0456 or visit www.hawaii.edu/lyonarboretum.

Landscape Sustainability Awards call for entries

July 25th, 2013
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landscapeHere's another first for Hawaii — the first Landscape Sustainability Awards.

The Landscape Industry Council of Hawaii's 2013 Lanscape Sustainability Awards recognize advocates of sustainability and landscape projects that are in harmony with the natural environment and improve public health outcomes.

It's a recognition of sustainability as everyone's business and the need to share sustainable innovations and techniques within the industry.

And the LICH is also issuing a call for entries.

Here are the award categories:

>> Sustainability Award

>> Native Plant Design Award — Residential, Government, Commercial

>>  Native Plant Advocacy & Research

>> Sustainable Company Award

>> Plant Pono Invasive Species Advocacy Award

>> Water Conservation Award

>> Edible Landscape Award

>> Student Poster

Awards named after moon phases will be given at two levels – the La‘au Ku Kahi Award for Excellence (with one award in each category) and the Mohalu Honor Award (numerous awards may be given in each category). The submission deadline is Aug. 30, followed by notification of winners Sept. 22 and an awards ceremony at the LICH Conference Oct. 10.

Visit www.hawaiiscape.com/awards to learn more. Online entries will be accepted until Aug. 30.

Rain Garden Manual is out

April 17th, 2013
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Hot off the press: Hui O Koolaupoko's "Hawai‘i Residential Rain Garden Manual" is out.

It's available for download at this link or also from Hui O Koolaupoko for $20.

The manual offers homeowners the information they need to build a rain garden to capture and infiltrate storm water from their property. Rain gardens — flat-bottomed depressions in the ground that capture excess water and pollutants from rooftops, driveways, sidewalks, parking lots and streets — are low-cost, effective ways to participate in ocean protection.

Students recently built a rain garden on the slopes of Hawaii Pacific University's windward campus next to the Nursing Annex.

Cities like Seattle actually offer a rebate for installing cisterns and rain gardens.

Ko‘olaupoko residents are also eligible to participate in Hui O Koolaupoko's Rain Garden Co-op program, which covers the costs for rain garden materials and recruits volunteers to build one at your home. Visit their website for more information.

Eat your greens for a good cause

September 5th, 2012
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Seafood team leader Chris Pearson getting ready to kiss a fish at Whole Foods Market Kailua as part of a fundraising event from 4 to 6 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, Sepet. 7) at Whole Foods Market Kailua. Courtesy photo.

Seafood team leader Chris Pearson getting ready to kiss a fish at Whole Foods Market Kailua as part of a fundraising event from 4 to 6 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 7) at Whole Foods Market Kailua. Courtesy photo.

Eating your greens means giving some green at Whole Foods Market locations at Kahala, Kailua and Kahului on Sunday, Sept. 9.

Bringing gardens and greens to schools. Courtesy photo.

Bringing gardens and greens to schools. Courtesy photo.

For every pound of salad purchased on Sunday, Whole Foods Market will be donating $1 to the Whole Kids Foundation and its annual Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools fundraiser in September. Money raised from the one-day event helps put salad bars in local schools, including four on Oahu (Kainalu Elementary, Ke Kula ‘O Samuel M. Kamakau, Makaha Elementary and Waikiki Elementary.

The project's goal is to provide 6,000 school salad bars across the nation by 2013.

Other events to raise funds for the Whole Kids Foundation will be taking place until Sept. 23, including a fundraiser from 5 to 7 pm. tonight (Thursday, Sept. 6) at Fighting Eel in Kailua. For a $5 fee, enjoy wine, pupus and a 10-percent discount.

Then tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 7), Whole Foods Kailua is holding its Kiss-A-Fish fundraising event from 4 to 6 p.m.. Seafood team leader Chris Pearson will kiss a whole fish (the bigger, the better) for every donation of $1 or more to the Whole Kids Foundation.

Shoppers can also make donations at checkout (add a donation to your total bill), put change in a cute little kettle, or simply give the 10-cents credit for each bag you bring in to shop with. Or make a donation online at www.wholekidsfoundation.org.

Proceeds from the salad bar and hot foods bar on Sunday, Sept. 9 will go towards the Whole Kids Foundation.

Proceeds from the salad bar and hot foods bar on Sunday, Sept. 9 will go towards the Whole Kids Foundation.

A new garden for Keone‘ula Elementary

August 7th, 2012
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HECO volunteers and students prep the soil for native Hawaiian plants at Keone‘ula Elementary School. Photo courtesy HECO.

HECO and IBEW Local 260 volunteers prep the soil for native Hawaiian plants for the new garden at Keone‘ula Elementary School. Photo courtesy HECO.

There's a new garden at Keone‘ula Elementary School in Ewa Beach.

Every new school garden should  be celebrated.

This one features native Hawaiian plants and vegetables, comes with its own irrigation and sprinkler system, along with a walkway and  bench. School officials envision the garden as a place to foster learning about native Hawaiian plants, agricultural practices, environmental resources and sustainability.

It even has a name — Ka Uluwehi o Ka Na‘auao — which means "place where beautiful plants thrive."

Volunteers from the Hawaiian Electric Co. and members of IBEW Local 1260  last weekend helped students and teachers and members of the community create the garden. HECO provided the native Hawaiian plants from Hui Ku Maoli Ola, while the Haseko Corp. donated soil. Leeward Community College also donated native plants from its campus garden.

Hopefully, the garden will continue to flourish and grow.

Ewa Makai 7th grade students sharing their garden

March 5th, 2012
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Seventh grade students from Ewa Makai Middle School have started a community garden at school and are hosting "Community Gardening Night" on Wednesday (March 7). Courtesy photo.

Seventh grade students from Ewa Makai Middle School have started a community garden at school and are hosting "Community Gardening Night" on Wednesday (March 7). Courtesy photo.

The seventh grade students at Ewa Makai Middle School have not only planted their own vegetable garden out of recyclable materials, but are excited to share the joys of gardening with the community.

They've grown lettuce, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, parsley, corn, basil, mint, kalo, lavender, swiss chard, dill, carrots, broccolis, even watermelon. The students have shared the fruits of their labor by making salads, soups and Kale chips to give away to students and teachers.

Now the students want to share their love for gardening with "Community Gardening Night."

From 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday (March 7), the students want to help the Ewa community grow vegetables in their yard, too.

The students have planted four types of seedings — lettuce, onion, radish and tomato — to give away to the first 200 families, along with soil to get you started. Please drive into the campus and follow signs to receive your free seedlings and soil to plant a garden in your backyard.

What a great idea! These students are not only the next generation of gardeners, but future community leaders.