You Can Eat That?

Common sowthistle (Sonchus oleraceus)

David Bruce Leonard is holding a weed up to my nose. We’re in a field full of weeds not all that different from the nondescript one in front of my face. “You can eat that?” I ask. He nods. “It’s medicinal, too,” he says. “Helps digestion.” He fires off the plant’s names in Hawaiian (pualele), Latin (Sonchus oleraceus L.), English …

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Will Sweat for Food

I get home and take off my clothes. Muddy boots, stinky socks, sweaty shirt, and all-of-the-above trousers go into a pile on the front porch (called a lanai here in Hawaii). Now in my shorts, I go into my house with a good-sized box of fruits and veggies that you may never find in stores. With my wife still at …

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Support Food Security, Befriend a Farmer

A few weeks ago, I stood in my kitchen with a load of fruits and veggies from the Blaisdell Center farmerʻs market in Honolulu. On my counter was a collection of small Okinawan potatoes that revealed a bright purple interior when sliced, two pounds of creamy apple bananas, an armful of kale, and one just-ready papaya. Having fresh produce always …

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Island Earth: Beyond the GMO Debate

You’ve heard about GMOs. You’ve heard that we need to grow more food to feed our increasing population. You’ve probably even heard about large chemical companies like Monsanto and DuPont using this argument to expand their business around the world. What you probably haven’t heard is that GMOs aren’t the real issue – people are. A Kickstarter campaign called Island …

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The Nature of Permaculture

Not long ago, the UN released a report saying that small-scale organic farming is the only way to feed the world. The detailed 341-page report argues that major changes are needed, including a reduced use of fertilizer and greater diversity of farms and produce. The conventional method of monocropping led by a few large corporations simply isn’t cutting it. But …

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