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Resourceful resort

PUHI — If things go according to plan, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa’s dining menus will feature freshly grown produce from its own hydroponic gardens.

“This fits into the global sustainability mission of food thoughtfully sourced, and carefully served,” said Keith Butz, the general manager of the Grand Hyatt.

The Grand Hyatt and Kawailoa Development finalized a partnership with the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources and Kauai Community College to design, construct and operate a hydroponics garden unit on the grounds of the Grand Hyatt in Poipu.

“We’re not the experts in this field,” said Dennis Chan, Kawailoa operations director. “By partnering with the college, we can turn a lesser-used portion of the resort into more productive use. Additionally, by working with the students at the Kauai Community College, they get experience while learning.”

Diann Harman, community relations director at the Hyatt, said the on of the resort’s 400-square-foot tennis courts will be used as a data gathering and training site during the preliminary phase of the project.

Chan, and Anson Abalos, the Kawailoa project superintendent, said the project has been budgeted for $300.

“The materials have already been ordered and should be here by the end of the month,” Abalos said. “Work on the project will begin shortly after.”

Eric Knutzen, executive director of Hoouluwehi: the Sustainable Living Institute of Kauai, is also pleased with the direction being taken by the Grand Hyatt, a forefront promoter of sustainability in the state.

“What a sensible way to create local jobs in growing local food literally on-site in a very progressive way through the use of hydroponics,” Knutzen said.

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