Aloha Food Foresters and Ecovillage Enthusiasts,
Thank you all for your interest and ‘showing up’. Because of you, we have some momentum and it feels like we are riding an idea whose time has come. So much has happened and we have seeds sprouting!
This letter includes:
The Good News- La’akea Food Forest READY TO GO!
Review of our last meeting and follow up tour at Sacred Earth Assembly.
An Introduction to the Website!
Our next meeting!
First, the exceptionally good news!
We have been gifted at least an acre, maybe more, at La’akea which is on Baldwin Avenue right outside of Paia. They will lease us the land and work out a partnership agreement with us so that we can each be supporting each other. ( It has irrigation!)
Check them out : http://www.laakea.org/about_us.html
This is the group that has many elements of design that push the current zoning restrictions towards a more favorable concept of “Farming Communities” .(which is perhaps a less threatening beginning term for Ecovillages.)
Everything we wanted is part of their plan. They would love to host a lush forest as an educational walking tour for locals and tourists to see first hand, the benefits of organic farming and wholesome living. Nurturing a live seed bank fits with their plan.
I had a 3 hour meeting and we discussed so many aspects of this joint venture that we have a bare bones understanding of how we could proceed in partnership, and in autonomy.
We are READY TO GO! ….and now all the details!
1)The lease agreement will be the first piece of chunky collaboration.
2)THE DESIGN: Do we want to empower a few knowledgeable folks to create the design and folks learn while planting it?…or Do we want to create a design workshop and learn in that process?
3) Land Prep: we could actually begin some land prep even before completing the above 2 steps. (assuming we agree on the methods) We could cover crop it while waiting or start cardboarding and acquiring mulch.
I will not go into any more detail and save that for those who feel called to work on this particular project.
The last meeting was on Monday July 1 and we had an amazing turnout of about 45-50 people (anyone photograph the crowd?)
Since then a good number of folks have had the opportunity to do an amazing, fully packed educational tour with the most passionate Eddie and gracious Blue Mountain at the Sacred Earth Sanctuary on Independence Day …..which seemed totally appropriate.
I want to include here the un-official notes of our last meeting for all to see, for the purpose of beginning documentation, for encouragement and to let anyone who could not make the meeting follow along with us. In the future, we can remember to ask for an official note taker, especially as we have more data to share. If you were at the meeting and do not care to review it skip to the line beak.
We began with a Hawaiian song offered by Windcloud and that set the connection to care for the earth beneath our feet
Jerry has uploaded the small presentation on facebook and google docs I started with including the links to the short videos.
We started with The Food is Free Project, then when The Urban Farming Guys would not play we jumped to see a bit of Auroville ( a large long term project in India), then an introduction to the Findhorn Community. Auroville was chosen because it covers a large land area and has many “mini-villages” which are quite distinct and unique, exemplifying what it could be like to have a network of smaller eco-villages all over the island that are linked together under a common umbrella of “Regenerating the Garden of Eden”
Findhorn was chosen for the many messages about change coming from with in and being guided by the flow of life as we make the journey from our heads to our hearts. The path being revealed one step at a time, as we trust in life and cultivate courage to walk together into the unknown.
We then looked at Why Food Forests make a good path to Ecovillages. In short, we need live seed banks all over the island, we want to ensure diversity and access to food, as well as create at least 800 jobs for the Monsanto workers.
The process of establishing them all over the island will give us a chance to work together and create community partnerships. We can coordinate the simultaneous establishment of a number of forests by mobilizing planting crews, organizing supplies, etc. Essentially we build a network of food educational centers and demonstrate high yield, diverse density, organic thriving centers of community food celebration!
Meanwhile, we are identifying all the known forests and ‘live’ seed banks and collecting a data base of Best Practices for both the Food Forest Movement and the Ecovillage initiative. The process will allow ourselves to get to know each other, our unique styles of working and gifts that we offer. Certain personality structures will find coherence and others will find friction and in this rub we learn how to be ‘communitarians’
The exciting part of the meeting was feeling that palatable energy in the room that was READY TO GO!!!
That was when a very remarkable event occurred. When 9:15pm came there were still about 45 people in the room actually signing up for working committees!!
First we heard from Chris M., who reported that the legislature committee had been in touch by email and had gone over the bills that the group on the Big Island started with HB111.
The Legislative Committee is: Ben W., Hugh S., David J., Netra Halperin, Paul A., Ken Y., Chris M., Umani, Kenneth.
IT TEAM: Candice, Pi, Jennifer, Laura Marie, Courtney
Data Base: Summer would like to do a large map and put everyone on it and she will co-ordinate with Claire K, and the IT Team.
Technical Best Practices: Ecovillage– David ,Darshan, Gerry
TBP:Food Forests: Chris
Cooperative and Economic Committee: David
Journalism , Outreach : Diana G.
Contracts: I believe there were 2 people?
People committed to geographical areas:
Paia: Jen, Chris
Haiku: Jerry I., Judy, Zoey, Jen, Shinta, David, Annette, Eddie, David K., Jerry B., Jamilla, Darshan, Hummingbird, Ricardo, Laura Marie
Makawao: Ann, Sandia, Kalia
Wailuku: Paul, Carlos, Dorthy
Kula: Gerry D., Courtney
I am not sure if the committees all had a chance to exchange emails and if any other meetings were arranged. This is the kind of info we would love to have up on our website.
And drum roll……..
Check it out: http://mauifoodforests.com/
The IT team has been ON IT!…and it is in dynamic process. You will see the survey questions are coming in, and the general concept of having our whole island mapped as a ‘Regenerative Collaborative Dance of Many’. We are all in this together and we are beginning to link our strengths for an island wide network.
At our next meeting we will spend some time as a whole group discussing our strategic next steps and then we will break up and have lots of time for working groups to get anchored. It will be helpful to have the groups all in the same room for this first organizational effort so that we can all find a place to offer our gifts.
The next meeting will be announced soon. Check the event calendar for listings.