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Mar. 2017  Same Canoe Newsletter  v. 58
     Sustainable Food . Housing . Health News for March 
  View our Hawaii Tiny House video slideshow

It All Started with Aiming to Increase our Food Security
From the local food sustainability conversation has sprung the Food is Good Medicine and Canoe Crop programs, the Tiny House affordable housing, and the solar refrigeration and potable water for Native Hawaiian initiatives.

March Events
Canoe Foods: March 16 in Kona, and 2th in, Hawi. 
Tiny House: Letters: March 2nd, State; County March 7th; Working group, March 22nd, Honoka'a.
Health: Future of Health in Kohala, March 13th, Hawi

Food . Farms . Renewable Energy . Green Building . Health . Art & Culture 

Take Action in Your Community! 

What's Happening at One Island in March 
Being Part of the Change We Want to See in the World     
Good News - we are Launching!

The next cycle of Same Canoe food system work has been awarded a new Specialty Crop Grant to showcase healthy, local canoe crop foods 2017-18.

See the new recipes online. Share your own!

Canoe Crop Presentations and Tastings:

Sat. March 16th
at the Kailua-Kona Public Library as a guest of the Kona Seed Library. 10am, Bring recipes to share!

Sat. March 25th
at the Hawi Farmers' Market with tastings, culinary demonstrations, and a recipe share with Food Author, Sonia Martinez. 8am-noon. (Photo credit for produce above, Sonia Martinez)

We will be working with Farmers' Markets, Grocery stores, Restaurants and Chefs, School gardens, and Community groups to gather recipes, host cooking classes, provide free tastings, and connect buyers with farmers. The project promotes the appreciation and availability of these Hawaiian legacy foods. Districts served include Hamakua, North and South Kohala, and North and South Kona.

Mahalo to the State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture for their support, and the USDA Specialty Crop Program!

Full House: Honoka'a Tiny House 'Town Hall' Feb. 22nd
New Legislation in Motion

There are two House Bills making their way through the State Legislature with the specific Tiny House On-Farm HB2 coming to vote March 2nd or 3rd, and then it will pass over to the Senate. See details to the right and at bottom of newsletter.

Break out group panel reports

Full House Meetings

We have now seen over 250 people show up for Tiny House Conversations in three districts on the Island of Hawaii.

Next Tiny House Meeting
March 22nd, Honoka'a, 6:30pm

Over 100 people showed up for the Tiny House Conversation in Honoka'a on February 22nd!! A show of hands revealed people had traveled from all around the island to join the conversation.

During the breakout groups, common topics were looking at ways to build small village clusters of tiny homes, using shared infrastructure while having private personal spaces. Other topics that were brought up took a 7th generation farm/food look:
  • With the average age of a farmer being over 62,   there is a HUGE need to proactively train the next generation of farmers. Before these elders retire, they want to pass along their skills to a new generation of food producers. And, they need physical help on their farms. Tiny Houses are a way to legally allow our Master Farmers to have young farmers on their farms, working together, training, preparing the young farmers to step into these cherished food producer shoes to feed the state.
  • Native Hawaiian families on ag lots leased through Hawaiian Homelands have often maxed out the number of people their house can hold; yet there are family members who want to come back to the farm, to farm. Tiny Houses are a way the State could support zoning changes that allow family members to return to their homelands and take part in growing food production.
  • Young future farmers by the hundreds,
    likely thousand-plus, come to Hawaii each year looking for training in agriculture. They volunteer on a farm, often living in a tent, and trade their labor for the training they are eager to receive. When interviewed, these young potential farmers find it impossible to stay and farm in Hawaii because no affordable housing is available. And then all of the knowledge they have acquired leaves Hawaii because we are not prepared to support their entrepreneurial spirit.

View the updated
Hawaii Tiny House  


Wellness Events  

We have begun the planning steps to develop a new Wellness Center Campus in North Kohala that will offer Western and Integrative Medicine through non-profit health care providers and private practitioners. We envision this campus as a convergence for the 'Food is Good Medicine' dialogue and are considering options to include a healthy foods kitchen, demonstration gardens, community meeting rooms, and Tiny House-style accommodations for visiting practitioners and clients. The program will also link clients to farm-based wellness retreats in North Kohala and offer on-farm wellness tours.

The Future of Health in Kohala Roundtable
Monday, March 13th, 6:30pm
North Kohala Public Library

Join health leaders from Hamakua-Kohala Health, Ardolf Naturopaths, and North Hawaii Hospice to learn about new resources coming to Kohala.

Strengthening our Island's Wellbeing     

Blue Zones expands to West Hawaii _
Blue Zones expands to West Hawaii ! 

A Big Mahalo to our inspiring and innovative stakeholders  doing the 'Good Work': Blue Zones Hawaii, West Hawaii Community Health Center, Hamakua-Kohala Health, Ho'opomaika'i, and the Naturopathic Physicians Society. Together, we serve over 30,000 island residents with positive health and behavior change tools.

Hawaii Blue Zones, West Hawaii is hosting sounding sessions March 1st and 2nd at the Civic Center, Kona.

"Living Longer. Better."

Real Food . Real Farms

A Farm-to-School
Food Revolution

Our regular news column this month in the print Kohala Mountain News covers the promising changes happening in the local food pilot at the Kohala Schools Cafeteria. See Feb 2017, pg. 10-11 for the full article. Excerpt below.

The kitchen at the North Kohala High School is bubbling and cooking a whole new menu of fresher, often island-sourced, kid-approved foods. This break-through initiative is the first public school kitchen pilot in the State of Hawaii to change their menu to embrace healthier, fresh, locally grown foods prepared from scratch. Thanks to leadership from the Lieutenant Governor's office and the Department of Agriculture, all three Kohala schools - high, middle and elementary - and the Senior Nutrition Program, are benefitting from this promising step forward toward locally grown and prepared foods. And to raise the bar - the monthly menus were designed by the kitchen team and kid-tested to reflect foods and cultural traditions appropriate to the local community.

What makes this so remarkable? For the past five decades, Hawaii's Department of Education (DoE) has been sourcing its food from a few large, corporate mainland distributors. When asked why the schools were prohibited from purchasing fresh produce from local farmers, the DoE claimed a purported cost saving by purchasing through a state-scale procurement contracting system. That buying system has held a monopoly on school food purchasing for over 50 years by requiring all contracts be awarded to large scale food distributors able to sell at a statewide volume. Even though the food needed may be grown here, due to the DoE's mandate for statewide scale buying, their Food Services Branch has been purchasing nearly 100% mainland packaged foods shipped in from over 3,000 miles away.

The result has prevented a small local farm from selling a box of tomatoes or oranges to a school kitchen each week, for example, because the supplier has had to provide the entire statewide cafeteria system with hundreds of boxes to earn the contract. Clearly there is room for creative, localized reinvention strategies in a situation where every school has been serving the same meal to every student every day across all of the State's 250 plus public schools.

Thanks to the combined forces of food system advocates, State legislators, the Department of Agriculture, the Lieutenant Governor, the Department of Education, and private funders, the new Kohala pilot project is pioneering a healthier, fresh made, local food menus that procure fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and meats, from Hawaii growers.

Tiny Houses:
Let's Change
the Law!

State . County . Local

The Tiny House on-farm housing bill HB2 has made it through two committees (!!) and is heading for a vote on the floor this week on Thursday or Friday, March 2-3.
Your State House of Representative legislators all need to hear from you how these on-farm, on Big Island, tiny homes can help increase our food production, food security, and help cultivate future farmers.


Call to Action #1 
How You Can Help at the  
State Level

Write a few sentences or more about how Tiny Houses can create affordable farm housing and increase the number of farmers and farm workers farming. Submit the letter as testimony for HB2 following the instructions at the bottom of this newsletter. 

Note: First Deadline is Wednesday, March 1st,
but feel free to send it ASAP
Save and submit it again to the County as described below.

Call to Action #2  
How You can Help at the County Level 
The County Council of Hawaii will be voting on a Resolution in Support of HB2 Tiny House State and HB229 Legislation. If we can see it pass at the County, it will help State law makers hear we do really want this new law.

Note: This Resolution will be voted on during the March 8th County Council Meeting. Testify in person in Hilo or by video conference on the 8th, or
send your written support between March 2nd and 7th to: 

Call to Action #3  
How You Can Help at the  
Local Level

Attend a Tiny House
Working Group 

Next meeting:

Wed. March 22nd
6:30-8:30 in Honoka'a
at the Hawai'i Cultural Center of Hamaku'a

Working groups are envisioning actual zoning and building parameters and hammering out implementation plans that pro-actively resolve community and representative concerns. 

Email to RSVP

Same Canoe Recipe Contest

Got a great breadfruit, taro, sweet potato, banana, coconut, kukui, turmeric or noni recipe?

    Food and medicinal plant recipes welcomed.

Win a FREE night
at a Tiny House, green-built BnB on an oceanview farm - or a gift certificate to dine at a tasty local foods cafe!

Your Voice Welcomed

Share your ideas for how Tiny Houses can help solve our state's affordable housing needs. 

Community input invited.

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How to Send Testimony to The State House
in Support of Tiny Houses for Hawaii  
1) Read the proposed legislation
in House Bills 2 and 229, then prepare your concise testimony   
and submit your comments during the 48 hr testimony window* - time is of the essence.  Look for the underlined sections in the Bills - they are easy to read.

See HB2   and   HB229
Look on the right side of each Bill's page for the 'All Versions' PDF link to read the full Bill, noting the underlined areas where the additions or changes are being requested.  Click on the blue SUBMIT TESTIMONY to post your comments at top of each Bill's web page. If you don't have an account yet, there is an easy sign-up step.

HB229 is asking for no limits on small house size.
HB2 is adding farm housing options under 500 sq feet, permanent or on wheels,
as additional structures on working farms.

*If you'd like a list of Legislator emails to send your letter anytime,
email to request the list.