In early March, a group of Down to Earth team members attended Expo West, one of the largest Natural Product shows in the entire world. At this convention, the main draw is usually to see new products and upcoming innovations. There are also numerous events and workshops that cover relevant topics surrounding the Natural Products industry. One of the most popular events focuses on predicting upcoming trends. Usually these feature trending categories like specific kind of snacks or beverages (i.e. plant-based jerky, kombucha, etc.) that are gaining popularity.
Environment & Sustainability
As you drive up the Wai'anae Coast, especially coming from Honolulu, you might notice a wonderful sense of vibrancy growing as you go further west. This invigorating feeling intensifies as you pull up to the seemingly quiet fields of Ma’o Organic Farms. As you look up into the incredibly dry Wai’anae Range in the background, you may be surprised that anything grows out here, let alone a commercial farm that sells a huge volume of produce. You can feel that something very special must be happening here to not only survive but to flourish. Ma’o is definitely doing something special.
Earth Day is on April 22, one day before my birthday. Growing up, I always felt a connection to Earth Day; it was like my own special holiday. My young mind seemed to think that Earth Day was actually the Earth’s birthday and so close to mine – it made me feel like I was “birthday buddies” with the Earth. Of course I eventually knew the real story behind the day but it hasn’t taken away this odd sense of kinship with my “birthday buddy”.
When you think of the word sustainability, do images of farms, recycling symbols, and windmills come to mind? Sustainability can be a huge concept to wrap your mind around. Working at Down to Earth, I’m usually surrounded by like-minded people who incorporate sustainable practices in their lives without a second thought. However when I run into the “real world”, it shocks me sometimes how little many care about sustainability.
Due to my busy schedule, I am always eating on the go. But I love to eat healthy foods, so I bring food with me everywhere. I drink smoothies in the car, bring homemade lunches to work, pack dinner picnics to the beach, bring snacks to events – you can always find some sort of goodie in my bag. I always try to have good, wholesome food (and chocolate) with me as much as possible so I don’t get tempted to get something unhealthy and regret it later. Eating this way makes me feel better, but it’s also good for my budget.
Living in Honolulu, it’s so easy for me to forget that I live on land that is still very much alive. This past December, a group of thirteen Down to Earth team members (including myself) dedicated some time to volunteer at a special place tucked deep in Kalihi Valley. Ho’oulu ‘Aina is a beautiful nature preserve and organic community garden -- if you haven’t been there, it’s truly breathtaking! Every Thursday, Ho’oulu ‘Aina invites the public to their Growing Farmers community workday from 9:30am to 12:00pm.
Down to Earth wishes you a very Happy, Healthy 2015! The beginning of a new year is always a wonderful opportunity to start fresh and we’re here to help you. Our January Events Calendar is packed with so many different inspiring events, there’s bound to be one that’ll help with your goals this year. In addition to our free monthly cooking classes, here's a few exciting events you might like to consider in January:
A few weeks ago, I had the amazing opportunity to visit MA‘O Organic Farms, which is a 25-acre organic certified farm in Lualualei Valley on the western coast of O‘ahu, near the town of Wai‘anae. The trip was just one of the many events I had planned as part of a three-day meeting that Down to Earth hosted for members of the Independent Natural Food Retailers Association, who were visiting Hawaii from the mainland.
Although Earth Day is officially April 22nd, Down to Earth will be celebrating it on Sunday April 27th with a special day of fun and music. Proceeds from tickets sold will go towards supporting an awesome new sustainability charter school in Kaimuki, the School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability (SEEQS). Here's a great opportunity to support a worthwhile cause and have fun doing it! Learn more about Down to Earth's Earth Day Celebration
Tucked into the beautiful Lualualei Valley on the leeward coast of Oahu, are dozens of family farms growing a range of produce for the island. One of the newest in the valley is Ili’ili Farms, a certified organic aquaponics farm which we recently had the pleasure of visiting. Aquaponic farmers typically grow vegetables in water, instead of soil, where they place fish to nurture the plants.