<![CDATA[Koa Farms - KOA Blog]]>Thu, 18 Feb 2021 07:41:43 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Climate Change Calls Kaua'i To Action!]]>Sat, 23 Jan 2021 22:43:47 GMThttp://koafarms.org/koa-blog/climate-change-calls-kauai-to-action

State Laws/Kauai County Ordinances​​
  1. Comprehensive Stormwater Quality Protection,
  2. Only recyclable materials can be imported into state,
  3. Recycling bins at all “big box stores” and supermarkets,
  4. Will support only sustainable agriculture (as defined by US Code/USDA) pursuits and increase local food production
Basic Agricultural Concepts/NEEDS
  1. Food security – need to become food secure in 10-15 years or sooner
  2. Need to re-establish or restore traditional taro production
  3. Need to restore natural instream flows to promote both taro and fisheries production-in both streams and ocean; and to protect water quality
  4. Cannot have resilient communities without food security and cannot have food security without planting the most resilient crop-TARO!!   Kaua'i once had 38,000 of taro, and now only 150 acres exist.    
  5. We, as a community, need to decrease consumption of imported food (90%), increase consumption of locally grown and sourced food, such as taro,  fruits, vegetables, fish, meat and dairy.
  6. More integrated agroforestry systems that include both plants and animals with high biodiversity (see UN—“Agriculture at a Crossroads: an assessment of existing technology, science and systems)
  7. 140 agronomists from 50 countries have stated that    we can only feed the burgeoning global population by re-establishing traditional integrated agroforestry food and fiber production systems commonly practiced by indigenous people.
Climate Facts
  1. Increased storms and more intense; more severe hurricanes
  2. Increased flooding along coasts, exacerbated by increasing sea level rise
  3. ​Increased flooding along streams exacerbated by increased hardening (increased impermeable surfaces) due to unsustainable development of watersheds , e.g.  urban houses, roadways, driveways, parking lots, shopping centers that discharge their pollutant contaminated stormwater runoff directly into streams, rivers and into coral reefs

​"If you do not get directly involved with government actions you will be governed by fools."

 -- Plato, Greek philosopher
<![CDATA[Mele Kalikimaka e Houoli Makahiki Hou from KOA Farms and the Buffalo Gals!]]>Tue, 31 Dec 2019 22:30:02 GMThttp://koafarms.org/koa-blog/mele-kalikimaka-e-houoli-makahiki-hou-from-koa-farms-and-the-buffalo-gals
Merry Christmas ohana!  2019 was a buffalo stampede...it took 2.5 years of full-court-press to get the State Dept of Ag to realize these are domestic dairy water buffalo, and the breed has been domesticated for 5,000 years. The photo above is about 1 month old; the buffalo gals are the dominant Ku'uipo (far right; who just had a female calf 3 weeks ago), the 3 calves are Kane (a bull calf), Kala and Buffy (both cow calves) and not shown in the photo little Ua (rain/life) born just after this photo was taken, and the other 3 buffalo gals are Lani, Koko and Pua.

BTW, this photo was all over the web because the Java plums are ripe now, we have had lots of heavy rains, and a Java plum tree came down on the buffalo's electric fence and they decided to take a stroll up the hill because they had heard that there were grown men hitting little white balls around on Pua Kea golf course and they wanted to see it for themselves!  They were not impressed and walked back downhill to the farm their home!

My new partner, Valerie is the love of my life (translation= she is the only woman that can put up with me:-) and has all the attributes of which a man dreams (kind of like the old Chinese proverb of the perfect woman= a diplomat in the living room, an economist in the kitchen and a tiger in the bedroom:-); she is a huge positive impact on my life and on the farm. Valerie has been a Registered nurse in onchology for 17 years but saw that they were primarily just killing people, so now she treats persons with chronic illnesses using holistic and alternative therapies. Valerie will use our little guest house to help her clients overcome chronic illnesses, primarily with balanced organic meals and with supplemental nutrition. We just added a bathroom and shower room to our little guest house and plan to put railing around its redwood deck so no one will fall off into the adjacent taro pondfield (lo'i).

Although our taro and luau (taro leaf) sales have slowed due to obtaining the buffalo in August of this year, we have been planting more fruit trees (avocado, breadfruit, momi apple, coconut, longan) and are propagating and planting more cacao (chocolate), yerbe mate, awa or kawa, and expanding our vegetable and herb gardens.

Other projects ongoing or finished on the farm are:
  1. Finished the milking barn/corral for the buffalo but won't start milking for another month or so, and will only milk once per day to allow the calves to get as much milk as possible (since "herd building" is our main goal right now). 
  2. Much mahalo to Birendra and Savannah, we were able to AI (artificially inseminate ) three of our lactating buffalo cows that have calves that are 3 month old; Birendra is a professor of veteranarian medicine at the Univ. of Hawaii's College of Tropical Agriculture and Savannah is the agriculture extension agent on Kauai that specializes in cattle (now buffalo:-) and she is storing more frozen buffalo semen for future AI work; mahalo again to both Birendra and Savannah!!!
  3. Submitted a USDA/SARE (Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education) grant in November entitied, "The integration of multi-purpose dairy water buffalo into an integrated aquaculture-agriculture whole farm system: potential economic, ecological and social benefits"; the project if funded will look at dairy water as multi-purpose animals that produce milk, fertilizer and calves, function as draught animals to plow, puddle and level taro pondfields, pull logs of invasive hardwoods out of the forest for farm building material, and pull wagons of agrotourists around the farm during farm tours. We will provide raw wholesome milk to local consumers via "herdshare agreements" and make cheeses, yogurt and butter/ghee from the buffalo raw milk (which is twice the protein content of cow's milk, 30% higher in butter fat, and loaded with probiotics and vitamins A, D and C. 
  4. We replaced the bridge over Puali Stream near the waterfall pool, and are re-building the bridge/walkway to the treehouse where Lucas and Brittney live (they are our new live-on farm team; Lucas a carpenter, animal trainer, farmer, and wife Brittney a gardener/farmer).
  5. Rebuilding ancient chief Puali's house site near the waterfall pool; in the future, when our farm's website is up; we will use the guest house and Chief Puali's house, and some of the treehouses, for agrotourists and for retreats for holistic wellness training and seminars.
  6. Preparing to grow watercress on a small commercial scale in running water from one of our springs.
  7. Continuing to expand our grazing paddocks for our expanding dairy buffalo herd.

Finally, we rejoice in the abundance of food on our farm and know that when our current economy collapses (and right now our national deficit is greater than our GDP!!!!!), those on the continent need to get on a plane if there is time and come here to paradise:-) It got down to a bone-chilling 59 degrees F on the night of Dec 21, the shortest day of our year!!!! We miss and love all of you!

Mele Kalikimaka e Houoli Makahiki Hou! 

Don & Valerie