Fruitful Farmer Confab Sep. 22-24

KULA — The public is invited to a Fruitful Farmer Conference next weekend Upcountry.
Participants may attend free activities, lectures and workshops Saturday, Sept. 23, as desired, with preliminary sessions Sept. 22 and a wrap-up evaluation Sept. 24.
Tamara Sherrill

Tamara Sherrill discusses native cultivars 9 a.m. Sept. 23 at the free Fruitful Farmer Conference at Waiohuli community center. The Maui Nui Botanical Gardens executive director is shown with an endemic Hame (Antidesma platyphyllum) tree, also known as Ha’āmaile and Mehamehame.

An expert discussing indigenous and endemic Hawaiian crops will highlight “Puwalu O Ka Hua Mahi‘ai” — The Fruitful Farmer Conference from Sept. 22 to 24 at Waiohuli community center at the bottom of Lau‘ie Drive. Tamara Sherrill, executive director of Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, will speak at 9 a.m. on native cultivars of kalo, ko, ‘uala, ‘awa — taro, sugarcane, sweet potato and kava, respectively — and other crops.
Michael Marchand and Devin Fredericksen of Lapa‘au Farm in Olinda will keynote a noon luncheon on the topic of natural farming. Upcountry rancher Jerry Sakugawa will follow with a 2 p.m. question-and-answer forum on the challenges and expense of the cattle-ranching industry.
Michael Marchand

Natural farmer Michael Marchand keynotes noon lunch Sept. 24 at the free Fruitful Farmer Conference at Waiohuli community center with his Lapa`au Farm partner Devin Fredericksen. A former collegiate lacrosse player and Kahului public school art teacher, Marchand promotes permaculture and self-sustainability.

An added conference component is a two-night camp-out allowing Maui
community members, especially beneficiaries awaiting Hawaiian homelands, to bond with Upcountry farm- and ranch lands, and with one another. Attendees should bring camp gear and potluck drinks, side dishes and desserts; organizers will provide entrees.
See the complete conference schedule at website or, or contact Kekoa Enomoto at (808) 276-2713 or The nonprofit Pā‘upena Community Development Corporation presents this event with funding by USDA.

Norman Abihai

Pā‘upena co-founder Norman Abihai shows ‘awa bushes on his verdant one-acre Waiohuli homestead farm.

Pā‘upena Community Development Corporation presents Puwalu ‘O Ka Hua Mahi‘āi — The Fruitful Farmer Conference/two-night campout 9/22/17 through 9/24/17 at He Piko No Waiohuli — Waiohuli community center, to promote agriculture and ranching among native Hawaiians on Maui. Open to the public, activities and presentations involve, as follows:

Friday 9/22/17: 

  • 9 to 11 a.m. Tour Norman Abihai’s homestead farm replete with edible crops, including 15 mango varieties, 96 ‘Ahulua St., Waiohuli homestead (turn right at bottom of Lau‘ie Drive, go half block, park on street).
  • 12 noon — Lunch, camp setup, fellowship and ku‘i‘āi (pound poi for supper) with taro cultivator/woodworker Norman Abihai.
  • 7 p.m. — Video on Norman Abihai’s homestead farming operation, followed by kanikapila.

Saturday 9/23/17: 

  • 6:14 a.m. Chant up the sun with cultural practitioners, optional; stage 5:50 a.m. at hale halawai (traditional structure).
  • 9 a.m. Hawaiian cultivars ‘ike/verification/propagation with Maui Nui Botanical Gardens executive director Tamara Sherrill.
  • 10:30 a.m. Disposition of/plans for HC&S former sugar lands.**
  • 12 noon luncheon keynote on natural farming by Michael Marchand and Devin Fredericksen.
  • 2 p.m. Question-and-answer forum on the challenges and expense of the cattle-ranching industry, with Jerry Sakugawa.
  • 3 p.m. Ag/pastoral community design with a Department of Hawaiian Home Lands planner.**
  • 4:30 p.m. Global Indigenous Housing Solutions with Whangataki William Parata of Aotearoa.**

Sunday 9/24/17: 

  • Puwalu assessments/wrapup, followed by camp breakdown, brunch, site cleanup.

— — —

Event presenters/activity leaders and background are, as follows: 

  • Norman Abihai, Waiohuli homestead farmer, woodworker, retired heavy-equipment operator; will lead ku‘i‘āi (poi-pounding) workshop.
  • Kekoa Enomoto, cultural practitioner, kahuna kakalaleo (chanter of pule, with same status as kumu hula), Hālau Nā Hanona Kūlike ‘O Pi‘ilani; will lead pule/oli.
  • Michael Marchand and Devin Fredericksen are partners/co-owners of Lapa‘au Farm in Olinda, Maui; keynote presenters.
  • Whangataki William Parata, principal with Global Indigenous Group; presenter.
  • Jerry Sakugawa, principal of James C. Sakugawa & Sons Ranch; presenter.
  • Tamara Sherrill, executive director of Maui Nui Botanical Gardens; presenter.

— — —

Summaries of event seminars, workshops or other opportunities: 

  • Pu‘u O Kali hike allows participants to explore a 200-acre exclosure showcasing one of the archipelago’s last extant dryland forests, replete with endemic/indigenous native trees, shrubs and plants.
  • Fellowship and ku‘i‘āi (poi-pounding) session is hands-on, interactive recreation of a traditional activity by Native Hawaiian kūpuna.
  • Video on a homestead farming operation explores an impressive one-acre farmlet teaming with edible produce, including 15 mango varieties.
  • Chant up the sun, to recreate Native Hawaiian cultural practice on the slopes of Haleakala, “The House of the Sun.”
  • Hawaiian cultivars lecture presents an expert speaking on kalo, kō, ‘uala, ‘awa and other native crops.
  • HC&S former sugar lands presentation reveals a corporate land-use management plan to repurpose plantation acreage.
  • Question-and-answer forum on ranching allows attendees to interface with a two-decade lessee of 5,000 acres of homestead farm/ranchlands.
  • Ag/pastoral community-design workshop is a sovereign first step for wait-list beneficiaries to envision and realize their own homestead future.
  • Global Indigenous Housing Solutions presentation is by a Maori affordable-housing developer, who wants to introduce his New Zealand-based operations/techniques to Hawai`i.
  • Two-night campout allows attendees and `ohana members to bond with the Upcountry farm/ranchlands and with one another.
  • Puwalu assessments/wrap-up session allows organizers and participants to make input on event improvements and to plan follow-up activities.

**Possible sessions. Schedule subject to change.