Permablitz Hi

Hawaii's Edible Revolution

PermablitzHI#12: Kaimuki backyard transformed

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In what has become a running theme over the last couple blitzes, Lucie Lynch gifted her qualified blitz to dear friends Mark & Eva (as a birthday present for Eva!). 


Almost 30 people showed up Saturday morning to transform this dusty backyard in Kaimuki into an edible oasis… projects included a bamboo trellis / community art sculpture, compost trench garden bed, no-dig garden beds, paved clothesline catchment, banana greywater circle, and sheeltmulching of all bare soils to protect against possible contamination from the lead-based paint used on the original old house.

Here Mark reflects a little on the experience, and shares what it has meant for him & his family (more pics here):

It’s been over a week since our yard was completely transformed by the Permablitz devoted army of volunteers and my wife and I already see how we have been transformed. 

I never really was interested in raising my own edible garden growing up here on Oahu but my father when he retired wanted to build a greenhouse with his children and grandchildren.   My father truly had a green thumb and although this past Thanksgiving he has been gone for 21 years, this transformed backyard is a rebirth of his dream, serving as an opportunity for myself, my siblings and their children to connect with him.

Not only can this garden ultimately feed us, she is symbolic of how to take care of the ‘aina especially since our neighborhood once belonged to Prince Alexander Liholiho – Kamehameha IV.  So it is a privilege to live on this land, this ‘aina and to care for it through gardening is the ultimate statement that we who choose to live here in Hawaii must make. I hope I can live up to this obligation – to malama ka aina.

I’ve already taken a few walks in our new garden each morning and she already speaks to us: the avocado tree looks so much happier with some new oyster plants, aloe and a full circle of mulch and soil – the hibiscus blooms when the sun shines on her – the lilikoi, papaya and banana trees begin to hold firmer root in the new soil. 

My wife and I are forever grateful for this gift from the Permablitz community on exposing us to what is truly possible with a simple act of gardening and connecting us to the land and the those who came before us.


Photo: The tasty Hibiscus acetosella (aka Red-leaf hibiscus or False roselle) being transplanted into its new home.  Image credit: Forest & Kim Starr


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