Archive for the ‘plants’ Category

Green Homes at Lualualei go native

November 6th, 2013
By



Planting native Hawaiian plants at the Green Homes at Lualualei. Courtesy image.

Planting native Hawaiian plants at the Green Homes at Lualualei. Courtesy image.

The Green Homes at Lualualei just got a little greener, with the addition of native plants in late October.

Volunteers planted several native Hawaiian plants at the affordable housing project's landscape, including ‘akulikuli, naio and ‘ohai, following a special briefing by Rick Barboza of Hui Ku Maoli Ola. The plants were specifically selected because they are native to the leeward Oahu area and do well in its environment.

The Green Homes at Lualualei, by developer R.J. Martin, are equipped with solar photovoltaic systems, a water purification system and insulation to keep the heat out. The community offers 25 affordable homes in all, priced below the median average. The three- and four-bedroom homes range from about $250,000 to $350.000.

Last summer, two families moved into the community.

To learn more, visit www.greenhomeshi.com.

Beach, invasive species cleanups

July 5th, 2012
By



ocean2

The weather was beautiful for the 4th of July and we enjoyed picnics, barbecues and the beach — but let's remember that what we leave behind can have harmful consequences. I'm talking about plastic bottle caps, plastic toys and litter left behind — let's make sure that plastic litter doesn't end up in our ocean.

Two events are coming up next Saturday that you can help participate in to help our aina.

* Sandy Beach Cleanup: From 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, July 14, RevoluSun and the Surfrider Foundation invite the public to participate in a beach clean-up at Sandy Beach. Enjoy a free lunch afterwards hosted by solar company RevoluSun. Look for the tents in the park between the lifeguard stand and shower. Call Fabian Toribo at 721-0012 on the day of the cleanup with questions.

* Invasive species cleanup: From 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, help the Oahu Invasive Species Club with their monthly removal of harmful invasive plants at the Lyon Arboretum. Volunteers will be removing two invasive shrub species, Ardisia virens and Ardisia sieboldii, from the grounds of the arboretum to prevent them from spreading into the native forests at higher elevations. The Lyon Arboretum is at 3860 Manoa Rd. Contact OISC to RSVP or to get more information at 286-4616 or oisc@hawaii.edu.

Thanks to the Lorax, but native plants, thanks

March 9th, 2012
By



Dr. Seuss' The Lorax is in theaters now. Photo courtesy The Lorax Facebook page.

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax is in theaters now. Photo courtesy The Lorax Facebook page.

Native plants, not spruce seeds, will be planted in Honolulu —and The Lorax would be pleased.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources stepped in to stop bookmarks embedded with Engelmann spruce seeds from being given away at IHOP restaurants here.

IHOP in Hawaii is voluntarily discontinuing the giveaway of the bookmarks, originally offered as a promotion for "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" movie, which hit theaters on March 2. The bookmarks were being given away to children ages 3 to 12, along with a movie-inspired menu featuring The Lorax's Breakfast, Pipsqueak's Breakfast or Mac ' N' Cheese & Truffula Trees.

Spruce trees are not native to Hawaii and while they may not pose a high risk to native plants here, other species of spruce trees have been observed to be invasive in parts of the Pacific, replacing native plants and the animals that depend on them.

This kokio is native Hawaiian.

This kokio is native Hawaiian.

DLNR and the Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species partnered with native plant nurseries (including Hui Ku Maoli Ola) to create an exchange program for IHOP customers who may have already received one of the seed bookmarks. Customers can exchange their bookmark for a free native Hawaiian plant.

“Thanks to the quick action of DLNR and others involved, we have turned a potentially negative situation into a positive one by expanding on the movie’s underlying message of being better stewards of our natural environment,” said Governor Neil Abercrombie. “The collaborative effort to discontinue the distribution of spruce seeds engages those who may not be aware of the importance of the ‘right plant in the right place.’ Our forests will thrive with more native flora and that benefits all of us.”

Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax," first published in 1971, is a fictional story of a pristine environment where truffula trees provide food, clean air and habitat for a community of unique animals. But they are overharvested to the point of extinction, and the Lorax tries to point out the environmental importance of the trees.

"Updating the message of 'The Lorax' to include the value of native species is key for the next generation of conservationists to understand the problems facing our environment," said Joshua Atwood, coordinator for the Hawaii Invasive Species Council. "An important part of 'The Lorax' story is that the truffula trees grow nowhere else, and the Lorax is there to protect that limited resource."

On Oahu, Hui Ku Maoli Ola is offering native plants in exchange for the Lorax seeded bookmarks. See the full list below for Maui and Hawaii Island. The exchange is free until the end of April.

O‘ahu:
Hui Ku Maoli Ola Native Plant Nursery

46-403 Haiku Rd, Kane‘ohe, HI, 96744
Hours:  Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday 7:30 a.m. – noon, closed Sunday

Contact: (808) 235-6165

Maui:

Native Nursery and Ho‘olawa Farms, exchange facilitated by the Maui Invasive Species Committee (MISC)
Contact MISC at (808) 573-6472

Hawai‘i Island:
Big Island Plants or Ku ‘Oh‘ia Laka, exchange facilitated by the Big Island Invasive Species Committee (BIISC)
Contact: BIISC at (808) 933-3345

Ewa Makai 7th grade students sharing their garden

March 5th, 2012
By



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.

Backyard conservation

August 17th, 2011
By



What you put in your backyard affects what goes into the water.

Hui o Ko‘olaupoko, a non-profit, is hosting a Clean Watershed Workshop for Homeowners from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 20) at the site of the He‘eia Stream Restoration Project.

Workshop topics include: simple fertilizer and pesticide use do's and don'ts, erosion control measures, useful native plants for your yard, sources of pollution and ways to reduce their environmental impacts and the benefits of installing rain barrels.

Volunteers will be working on the He‘eia Stream Restoration project earlier in the morning.

Hui o Ko‘olaupoko's mission is to "protect ocean health by restoring the aina: mauka to makai." The group works to prevent polluted runoff, control erosion, remove invasive species, restore habitats and monitor water quality.

Even though volunteers have dedicated more than 4,000 hours (since Dec. 2009) to the He‘eia Stream Restoration Project, planting native vegetation along the stream,  the stream's health depends on the support of area residents.

Space for the workshop is limited. Reserve your place by contacting Kristen Nalani Mailheau at 381-7202 or nalani@huihawaii.org.

Organic gardening, beach cleanup

July 8th, 2011
By



Looking for green ways to spend the weekend?

akiohalacloseup

Organic Gardening

The University of Hawaii Urban Garden Center in Pearl City is offering a free organic gardening demonstration from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday (July 9). Volunteers and UH master gardeners will talk about organic gardening methods. Visit www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/ougc for details and directions or call 453-6050 or 453-6055.

Beach Cleanup

Love the ocean? Here's your opportunity to give back by participating in the next beach cleanup, from 9:30 a.m. to noon Sunday, July 10, at Kailua Beach Park. The cleanup is organized by Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. Afterwards, enjoy a potluck BBQ, some fun games, and races. The whole family is welcome.

The mission of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii is to inspire local communities to care for their coastlines through hands-on beach cleanups of the Hawaiian Islands. Last month, at the Makapuu Beach Cleanup, 123 volunteers picked up nearly 1,600 pounds of trash, with the tally including: 2,964 cigarette butts, 1,047 bottle caps and lids, 1,610 pieces of plastic, 713 bottles and can, 592 food wrappers and containers, 280 polystyrene foam items, 271 fishing related items, and 229 cigarette box wrappers.

What's fun about this beach cleanup is that there's a game included — if you find hidden glass bottles during the cleanup, you may win some prizes, including hand boards, clothes, art, and surfing lessons (There's a Grand Prize, too, but it's a surprise).

More than 100 volunteers helped clean Makapuu beach in June, clearing it of nearly 1,600 pounds of trash . Photo courtesy Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.

More than 100 volunteers helped clean Makapuu beach in June, clearing it of nearly 1,600 pounds of trash . Photo courtesy Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.

Herbs for your kitchen

June 27th, 2011
By



Thai basil flowers can also be brewed as a tea. Photo by Nina Wu.

Thai basil flowers can also be brewed as a tea. Photo by Nina Wu.

It was inspiring to take "Eat, Grow, Love," a culinary herbs workshop by Laura Shiels at The Green House, which is in today's features section.

Fresh herbs at the store can be expensive, so being able to grow your own helps save money and gives you more flexibility (when you just need one sprig of mint, for example).

I learned a few things I didn't know and have yet to try – that the small, purple flowers in Thai basil can be brewed into a tea, for instance.

The Thai basil in my yard originally grew from cuttings from a friend's yard — and her mother brought the herb home from a Thai restaurant. It's wonderful how you can share herbs this way. You do just stick the basil cuttings into a container of water (a glass), let it root in 1-2 weeks, and then plant.

Thai basil adds a new twist to pesto, with a half-cup of sesame oil, along with apple cider vinegar, nuts, and sea salt (and a little bit of other herbs, which is optional), according to Shiels, who whipped up a batch during the workshop. You get an idea of what "fresh" really means when you get a taste.

Fresh pesto made from Thai basil and a drop of sesame. Photo by Bruce Asato.

Fresh pesto made from Thai basil and a half-cup of sesame oil. Photo by Bruce Asato.

I've had heads of garlic grow old and start sprouting, but never tried planting them in a pot. The sprouts come up as green shoots, according to Shiels. Olena, or turmeric, would also be neat to have in the garden.

olenaplant&rhizome

Olena (turmeric) is a rhizome, which you plant in the ground. The plant is leafy and green. Photo courtesy Laura Shiels.

While I've got rosemary and sage growing in pots, I never thought of trying to grow lemongrass, which can help with insomnia. I also thought my mint had completely dried up and that it was history, but on a day of big rain, it came back to life and turned green again!

Mint is pretty resilient. There are many kinds of mints, according to Shiels — peppermint, spearmint — all with different degrees of mintiness.

Laura has a magic touch with plants - her chili peppers are healthy and tall. She nurtures plants and grows them everywhere she goes between here and the Big Island. But she used to harvest mostly from the wild, she told me, until she got to Puerto Rico and began growing plants to study.

Try growing your own herbs — start small, with a cutting of Thai basil from a friend's yard, for instance, and see where it takes you. After Thai basil, you can try rosemary (good for enhancing memory).

To learn more about herbs, or to get the recipe of the day, visit Laura Shiels' website at herbalmagik.com.

One lone na‘u on Oahu now protected

June 13th, 2011
By



The na‘u is a native Hawaiian gardenia. Photo by Hank Oppenheimer.

The na‘u is a native Hawaiian gardenia. Photo by Hank Oppenheimer.

The lone na‘u existing in the wild on Oahu now has a protective enclosure around it, thanks to funding from Hawaiian Springs for the state Plant Extinction Prevention (PEP) program.

Volunteers from the state Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), Ka‘ala Farms,  U.S. Army, and Board of Water Supply, along with staff from the Oahu Plant Extinction Prevention program, put up the fence in May.

For those of you who are curious what a na‘u is (also known as nanu, Gardenia brighamii in Latin), it's an endangered native Hawaiian gardenia that grows in lower-elevation dryland slopes. The na‘u has glossy green leaves and solitary white flowers with 6 or 7 lobes (not to be mistaken with tiare).

Some of you may be lucky enough to have one growing in your yard — and you can actually plant one in your garden, if you'd like. Thanks to all of the readers who responded with so much enthusiasm to the column on the na‘u.

However, when it comes to the wild, only one known na‘u tree remains in the Nanakuli Forest Reserve, according to staff from PEP. Another 12 na‘u trees dwell on Lanai.

The wire enclosure around the last remaining na‘u on Oahu will help prevent feral animals, including cows and pigs, from damaging the endangered plant.

Among volunteers that helped put up the protective fence around the na‘u were: Kawika Shizuma of the State of Hawaii's Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW); Susan Ching, Oahu Plant Extinction Prevention (PEP) Program Coordinator; Bruce Koebele, Ka‘ala Farms native plants specialist; Matthew Burt of the U.S. Army; Stefanie Jefts of Oahu PEP; Ryan Peralta, DOFAW Forest Management Supervisor; and Amy Tsuneyoshi of the Board of Water Supply. Courtesy photo.

Among volunteers that helped put up the protective fence around the na‘u were: Kawika Shizuma of the State of Hawaii's Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW); Susan Ching, Oahu Plant Extinction Prevention (PEP) Program Coordinator; Bruce Koebele, Ka‘ala Farms native plants specialist; Matthew Burt of the U.S. Army; Stefanie Jefts of Oahu PEP; Ryan Peralta, DOFAW Forest Management Supervisor; and Amy Tsuneyoshi of the Board of Water Supply. Courtesy photo.

Interesting in helping to preserve the fragrant na‘u? PEP is in the process of gaining 501(c)(3) status. If you are interested in making a donation, contact Joan Yoshioka, statewide PEP representative, at (808) 974-4388 or jyoshioka@dofawha.org. More about the Hawaii PEP can be found at http://pepphi.org.

Posted in plants | 2 Comments »

Seven days to Earth Day

April 15th, 2011
By



Countdown: Seven days to Earth Day.

If you want to get a jump start, there are a couple ways to celebrate early this weekend.

Saturday, Kewalo Beach Cleanup

Tomorrow (April 16), Scott Hawaii (makers of Scott slippers) is sponsoring Surfrider Foundation Oahu's beach cleanup at Kewalo Basin from 10 a.m. to noon (Saturday, April 16). Volunteers will be picking up trash from Ala Moana to Kewalo.

And guess what? Scott Hawaii will be donating slippers to volunteers, plus offering a free lunch.

Meet at the Ewa end of Ala Moana Beach Park (closer to Kewalo Basin).

pohinahina

Pohinahina is an easy-to-grow native Hawaiian plant. Photo by Nina Wu.

Sunday, Native  Plant Workshop, Kaha Garden, Kailua

When most people think of plants in Hawaii, they think of ginger, heleconia, and birds of paradise. While these plants are tropical, they're not actually native to Hawaii.

Think kupukupu ferns, pohinahina, and ‘akia — these are all native Hawaiian plants.

Learn all about native plants at a workshop on Sunday (April 17) sponsored by hui o ko‘olaupoko. From 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., the workshop at Kaha Garden (750 Kaha St.) teaches you various propagation techniques, transplanting methods, and the ecological benefits of native plants, along with natural pest management. You need to email Kristen Nalani Mailheau at nalani@huihawaii.org or call 381-7202 to reserve your spot.

From 10 a.m. to noon, volunteers are needed to put more than 200 native plants in Kaha Garden. Get a guided tour of the garden, and learn how to select the right plants for your yard, along with the cultural significance of the plants. Visit www.huihawaii.org for more information.