OVERVIEW: BUILDing Maui's Local Food Movement

Maui is a like a miniature version of the planet, with an incredible diversity of ecosystems and microclimates all packed into one small island. As a result, the options for farmers and gardeners are enormous. Name a food plant, and chances are that it can be grown on Maui. Temperate crops like cabbage, kale, onions and squash all thrive in Kula. Traditional Polynesian staples including taro, sweet potato, breadfruit, and coconut palm are at home in the lowlands of East and West Maui. Tropical fruits like banana, citrus, lychee and mango all like it hot, as do a great variety of lesser known fruits and perennial greens. Delicacies like cherimoya and persimmons find their niche on the slopes of Haleakala, and so do grass-fed cattle and other livestock. The island can also produce more avocados than we can eat, with better quality and variety than the mainland offerings. Plus irrigation can bring the island's Central Valley to life, supporting bamboo, sugar cane, hemp, sunflowers, and many other food, fuel, and fiber crops.  Continue reading