Hawaii's Edible Garden Revolution
Permablitz is not any one person – it is a diverse network of people helping people, one backyard at a time.
There are however, a core group of volunteers who collaborate on creating the designs, organizing blitzers, and managing all the variables that go into pulling off a successful and engaging permablitz:
Justin Franzmeier, Island Foodscaping.
Helping Hawai`i grow local since 2010, Justin Franzmeier co-founded Island Foodscaping, focusing on the design and installation of edible landscapes. Justin found the connection between his Family Resources degree and his passion for farming. while living & working on a small family organic farm on the North Shore of Kaua’i. Justin linked the unique permacultural techniques learned here to his formal schooling & life experiences to incorporate the simplest of things: growing local food for local families. Justin has taken sustainable agriculture and landscape design courses along with training in traditional Hawaiian herbs from UH-Manoa, and is also a graduate of the O`ahu Master Gardener Program.
When Justin’s not out getting his hands dirty he is playing in the ocean or in the shaping room making specially designed alaia (wooden surfboards). A man of many trades, he humbly joins the rest of Hawai‘i in the movement towards a self-sufficient Hawai’i.
Paul Izak, Yogarden.
Kailua born and raised, Paul Izak put in time at a local landscaping company called Pua Lani after graduating from Kalaheo High School. His passion for living in harmony with the land is perhaps best expressed in the Kaneohe family home, whose suburban landscape he has transformed into an edible wonderland overflowing with fruits and vegetables of all kine. Paul is also the founder of Yogarden, a monthly musical event that brings the community together to celebrate art of all forms and support local artists and artisans.
Hunter Heavilin, Pono Permaculture.
Raised in the Hawaiian Islands, Hunter Heaivilin is an island hopper. He has spent the past few years bouncing between the Hawaiian Islands and Haiti teaching and consulting on projects running the gamut from disaster response ecological sanitation to homeless shelter garden design. He holds degrees in Agroforestry and Sustainable Community Development, and has a focus on small island developing states and the application of Permaculture to disaster risk reduction and response.
He is the lead designer of Pono Permaculture, a Hawaii-based Permaculture consultancy and planning team, and is currently consulting with the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools’ Grow Hawaii school sustainability program.
Allen Fanning, Transition Oahu.
Raised on the Island of Oahu, is a Licensed massage therapist in Hawaii since 2000. In 2004 he shifted his path of service and got his Permaculture Design Certificate at Laakea Gardens on the Big Island, and has been growing his awareness of permaculture design, and green building/ living practices since.
A jack-of-all-trades, his diverse experience include: an Organic tree nursery in the Back of Palolo, a permaculture pilot project in Waimanalo, a Kalo, tropical flower, and fruit farms in Kahaluu and Waiahole, and has also been an occasional independent contractor for Pono Permaculture. He has built a log home in Washington state for his parents retirement, from clearing, to grading, to the foundation, to log peeling to stacking, to milling lumber on site, to roofing, to wiring, to plumbing, to milling/ installing flooring, to interior framing, and finish work. He has also helped friends in green endeavors locally, from building utilizing re-used materials to solar electric installation.
Allen’s desire to be of service to humanity is most fully expressed in his work with the PermablitzHI, and in his role as one of the organizers for Transition Oahu – a grassroots community organization working on building increasingly sustainable and resilient community’s. Catalyzed by the awareness of peak oil, climate change, and global financial crises, Transition Oahu is part of the larger global transition town movement: transitionnetwork.org
Michael Broady Jr., Activist.
Born and raised in Mililani, “Mikey” Michael Broady Jr. had a strong desire to question the current way of life. Skilled and interested in film making, yet disappointed by the big corporate film production scene, he decided to quit accepting work in the film industry. Then, in August 2011, things started falling into place.
He found his way into an introductory permaculture course taught by Hunter Heaivilin, and the next week a hands on training taught by Matthew Lynch. The next week was the very first permablitz. He also became involved in Transition Oahu events, and joined the team of organizers. When the Occupy movement came to Oahu in October, he helped to start the Sustainability Working Group, which helps the DeOccupy Honolulu activists practice zero waste, composting, and support of local agriculture. He completed his Permaculture Design Certificate course at La’akea Community Garden in March 2012.
Drew Wilkinson, Growing Together.
Drew Wilkinson grew up in Florida immersed in nature doing activies like surfing, canoeing, and fishing. He graduated Florida State University with a Biological/Earth Science Education degree and then went on to teach high school Environmental Science for 2 years.
He’s more of an outdoor education type of guy and has worked for several summer camps teaching environmental education and volunteer programs throughout the South East. He currently lives on the North Shore of Oahu where he leads Eco-Kayak tours and follows his passion for a healthy lifestyle through gardening, yoga, and surfing.
During the summer of 2012, he put together a 9 week gardening workshop with the mission of teaching basic gardening skills, building community relationships over local food, and promoting a healthy lifestyle. He created the group “Growing Together,” which is still active today.
Drew has continued to organize and plan volunteer backyard garden workdays and share/trade gatherings. He completed his Permaculture Design course in August 2012 and now has a fiery passion to apply his teaching skills wholeheartedly into spreading Permaculture to the world.
Jason Leue, Ailani Gardens.
Ailani Gardens started back in 2005 when Jason and his wife bought a 1 acre parcel Waianae Valley. Ailani Gardens has one of Oahu’s oldest running CSA programs on the island and is a permaculture education site for classes and workshops. Jason is born and raised in Ontario Canada moved to Oahu in 2002. In March 2012 Jason took Oahu’s first ever PDC with Matt and Hunter. Jason has now started teaching introductory to permaculture workshops and started the WestsidePermaBlitz network along with Kelii Garnet.
Jason spent his youth as a singer-songwriter for a rock band and teaching tennis. Now working as an animator, international massage instructor, and permaculture educator.
Matthew Lynch, The Asia-Pacific Center for Regenerative Design.
Matthew Lynch is a Kaneohe boy who spent his high school years growing up in Melbourne, Australia. At age 19, he moved back to the islands determined to travel the world; he wound up working for the bank in order to learn about money. By age 29, he made a small fortune in Hawaii real estate; by age 31, he managed to lose it all. Matt spent the next two years wandering the planet, in search of people, places, and projects working to make our world a better place. His work in Regenerative Agriculture, Regenerative Business, and Sustainable Economic Development has taken him (so far) to Australia, New Zealand, Mongolia, Germany, and now back to Hawaii. In January 2011, Matt founded The Asia-Pacific Center for Regenerative Design.