The 3rd Annual Community Seed & Plant Exchange event at the Kahumana Farm Festival featured a free concert by popular musician Mike Love engaged almost 2,000 people with the opportunity to exchange seeds and plants saved from their own backyards, with over 700 plants and seeds given away. Special thanks to the Hawaii Center for Food Safety for their financial support in making this community event possible.
Thanks to the National Breadfruit Institute we distributed over 100 breadfruit trees to the community. Beginning and advanced workshops on seed-saving were held throughout the day, as well educational talks about the importance of saving seeds and plants.
Additional activities included at the Kahumana Farm Festival were informational booths from local community organizations, including a interactive workshops, seed & plant giveaways, free local music and local food, arts & crafts vendors.
The community of Waianae is a peri-urban community with one of the highest populations of Native Hawaiians in the world and one of the most economically challenged communities in the state of Hawaii. This community is most among the most vulnerable to food insecurity as a result of an increasingly industrialized global food supply chain, but is also home to a blossoming renaissance of food justice organizations such as MA`O Farms, Kahumana Organic Farm, Hoa`aina, Ka`ala Farm, and others.
Conservation of our agricultural diversity is not possible without the participation of the communities who have evolved and protected the plants and animals that form the basis of sustainable agriculture. Creating community spaces to exchange plants & seeds also creates a space to exchange and cultivate localized knowledge of plant varieties, growing techniques, cultural knowledge, and much more.
Highlights of the day:
- Almost 2000 people were in attendance at the Farm Festival, including 58 vendors and 9 bands.
- Over 700 plants and seeds from people’s backyards or homesteads were given away or shared.
- Over 100 Breadfruit trees were given away along with detailed instructions on how to plant and care for a tree that has significant potential to provide for a significant amount of a family’s nutritive needs (special thanks to the National Breadfruit Institute).
- Master Farmer Charlie Reppun gave a keynote speech on the importance of agriculture
- Musicians Andrew ‘Tubby’ Love and Amber Lily conducted a musical workshop for children that taught the importance of seed-saving.
- The Oahu Resource Conservation & Development (ORCD) council hosted a Soils Health booth which hosted educational keiki activities and gave away free Sunn-Hemp seeds for cover-cropping
- Permaculture Instructor Tia Silvasy taught a 90-minute beginner’s workshop attended by 14 people on the basics of seed-saving.
- Organic heirloom squash grower Anna Peach taught a 90-minute advanced workshop attended by 12 people on the techniques of cultivating heirloom squash and developing your own backyard varieties using traditional breeding techniques.
View the full album of pics from the day’s festivities here.