Hawaii’s agricultural renaissance starts with individual participation

Special to The Hawaii Independent

HONOLULU—It’s estimated that 80 to 90 percent of our food is imported. This is an alarming rate for our island state because any disruption to food supply lines would leave us with less than a week of food.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has said he believes it’s time for an Agricultural Renaissance in Hawai. A major part of that renaissance is raising the demand for local food and supporting individual participation in this movement.

Jacqueline Kozak of the Hawaii Invasive Species Council is an active participant who is committed to seeing more home gardens throughout the state. She inspired Abercrombie and his wife Dr. Nancie Caraway to also make that commitment.

“The New Day Garden is an example of how we can all make a difference from our own backyard,” Kozak said.  “Everyone can participate in growing food which helps to reduce our dependency on imports and the risk of introducing invasive species on cargo that could end up harming our agriculture and natural resources.  Plus, eating fresh, locally-sourced foods is good for our health and the economy.”

Now the Governor and Dr. Caraway enjoy getting fresh herbs from their organic garden outside of their home, Hale Ki’aina, on the grounds of Washington Place. 

The New Day Garden project was made possible through public-private partnerships and the helping hands of Kokua Hawaii, students from the Aina Hoola o Mailikukahi youth conference on food sustainability, and the Kainalu Elementary School’s garden club.