Learn ocean friendly gardening

  • photo submitted by Cynthia Welti

    John Anderson talks soil with the East Side gardening hui at his home.

  • photo submitted by Cynthia Welti

    John Anderson talks soil with the East Side gardening hui at his home.

LIHUE — John Anderson, who is part of Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, said connecting with other gardeners and farmers is incredibly helpful when it comes to growing things.

And recently he had a chance to talk shop with a group of garden gurus who have come together to be a resource for the community about agriculture and its connection to the ocean.

“We walked around and sampled the different fruits, checked out different ways of helping feed the trees,” Anderson said. “It’s a chance to share some thoughts.”

The group combines the skillsets of two programs on Kauai: the University of Hawaii certified Master Gardeners and Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Gardens program.

“It’s an opportunity to have a free garden consultation and for Master Gardeners, it’s a chance to walk the walk,” said Cynthia Welti, who is heading the consultation group.

She is a Master Gardener with a passion for the environment, and heads up Kauai’s Ocean Friendly Gardens program, a nationwide program that encourages growers to consider their impacts to the oceans and surrounding ecosystems.

Master Gardener is a certification obtained through UH after going through a few months of classes taught by experts in agriculture.

“It’s a collaboration and a cooperation. It’s a gardening hui,” Welti said.

The hui is focused on the East Side right now and 12 gardens have been Ocean Friendly certified.

Welti said she’s open for business on the East Side and the hui is looking for yards and gardeners to chat about their specific pests and invasive species challenges, their use of pesticides, and soil rehabilitation.

The program certifies yards and gardens that have minimal hardscape and no run-off, healthy and living soil, and uses minimal to zero pesticides.

Welti has an ocean friendly garden on her property and said she’s looking forward to connecting with other gardeners to troubleshoot problems and gain inspiration.

“A lot of the questions we’ve been getting are ‘what is this plant,’ type questions,” she said. “We talk about invasives management and best practices.”

Anderson said the tour with the gardening hui was a great chance to collaborate, and he spent quite a bit of time talking with them about soil rehabilitation.

“Our soils are largely so depleted on Kauai in part because of how the lands were used, and in part because of the rain and the erosion that takes topsoil away over time,” he said.

The gardening hui pointed out much of that runoff goes straight into the ocean, and brought back up those questions about where fertilizers, pesticides and other soil amendments end up.

“One of the main things I got out of it was a reminder of the connection between my place and the ocean, which I don’t think of that often,” Anderson said.

Anyone interested in meeting with the gardening hui, or forming additional groups around the island, can call Cynthia Welti at 278-0748.

  1. manawai June 13, 2018 8:27 am Reply

    Their “off-grade” fruit they espouse has extra protein due to the all the insect bites, egg-laying and larva. That’s why they’re ugly aka “off-grade”. But if you like that extra protein, be their guest! Yum!

    1. Nadya Penoff June 13, 2018 11:13 am Reply

      Manawai, there is nothing in this article about “espousing off-grade fruit”. You are very misleading with your comment and I can only wonder why.

  2. Charlie Chimknee June 16, 2018 6:35 am Reply

    Aloha Kakou,

    For many of us we find the mindset of those who scoff at or ridicule those who are concerned for the environment, whether it be Aquatic, Plant, Animal, Microbe, or Human…to be truly amazing, if not outrageous.

    When difficult to persuade governmental agencies or Federal and State Courts declare poisonous food chemical additives, or agricultural chemicals to be cancer causing and / causing birth defects, as well as other diseases, it is truly amazing that some people ignore these warnings and declarations by our nation’s Authorities.

    While science can determine the Cause and lethal Effect of the use of toxic chemicals; how is it that some citizens ignore these known Causes and Effects especially when these poisonous chemicals shorten the lives of so many in the population living only a sickly 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 decades; while others achieve healthy active lives into their 10th and 11th decades.

    For some healthy aging comes by repetitive (handed down) cultural lifestyles, of course their historical foods, and their growing, cultivating, harvesting, preparing, and harvesting these is of utmost importance following centuriesif not millenium of timemtested methods.

    Yet these modern “whipper snappers” poo poo the tried and proven ageless sustenance methods of food for their new choice of being radical and full of hubris (stupid arrogance), all the while looking at their little “screens”.

    In the past, while the 3R’s were taught in school, and living was handed down from Tutu to Parents and Keiki, for too many that is going the wayside like respect.

    In today’s educational system, what students learn is determined by a few at the top; like school boards and education departments.

    Is it really a coincidence that ones own most important thing in life, their own body, and that the information and study of our own body is held secret or captive by a “For Profit” business known as the American Medical Drug Cartel made up of the Petro-Chemical Pharmaceutical Companies and their drug distributors the Hospitals and Doctors?

    The $4 Trillion the American Medical Drug Cartel (AMDC) earns each year is made greater in profit when you include the 4th Estate of the Insurance Industry that pays for most of American Medical Drug Cartel’s Disease Care System.

    As to educating the public about their bodies as elementary through high school education curricula, is medically profit wise to keep,the public ignorant and they’ll follow the Drug Ads to their Doctor like SHEEP.

    Besides if your Gods produce the foods out in the open on trees and from the ground, isn’t it clear that The Gods intended for the other living creatures from animals to bugs to microbes to share in their nutrients.

    Insect bites are a lot more tolerable than the deadly lesions and tumors of cancer.

    Besides, no scientific study has shown that a fruit fly bite out of your lychee or papaya or avocado or banana will give you cancer, heart disease, stroke, or diabetes.

    People that know their own body in depth rarely need to use, if ever, the profiteering American Medical Drug Cartel’s Disease Care System of a pill for every ill, and the knife when all that fails.

    Choose Health Education for a Healthy Long Life…



  3. Charlie Chimknee June 16, 2018 6:43 am Reply

    Apologie for not proof reading my comment above.


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