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‘Āina Ho‘ola Convention

Yesterday (June 9), I attended the convention in Waimānalo. It was a day filled with practitioners and students focused on food sovereignty. This was the last of the three days (I only attended one day) which included workshop and hands-on sessions. The day started off with a plenary discussion on food systems. A familiar face (Keola Chan) was first to speak in the group. He talked about the need to have a relationship with our food, to honor it and make it more of a spiritual experience. The others on the panel went through food the rest of the food system from farmers, chefs, markets and education. This did set the tone for the rest of the day and I was excited to be part of the movement occurring. There were about two hundred people and I was in awe over the diversity, from university to community, and yet there was always a shared common goal.
I participated in ‘Ai Pono, Kaulana Mahina and Aquaponics.
In the ‘Ai Pono session I heard them talk about health eating but what was really great to hear is that on the business aspect, they served lunch this past year to all Hakipu‘u students. In the prior year, maybe 20 students per day ordered lunch and that went up to 60-70 students. They plan to add 7 other schools on next year and have found a way to make the USDA guidelines and get healthy, local foods into schools.
Kaulana Mahina was with Kalei Tsuha. I missed her presentation when I was supposed to see her at UH but was excited to catch her at this conference. She had a short amount of time to present a vast amount of info so it's really good I had some background on this from A1. She mentioned the book that she's writing and I can't wait to see that come out. It should be a great reference to all this information.
For me it's always great to be in the community and see what's going on (there's so much). Also to see the students taking part in this experience and making commitments toward food sovereignty (growing gardens, buying organic local food, etc.)

http://www.maoorganicfarms.org/index.php/site/education_hoola/

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