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Building a community garden
January 7, 2013 - Leah Sherman
The description on the Hands On Maui website (the County of Maui's online volunteer center) stated:
“Community Garden Plant Day
“Sustainable Living Institute of Maui
“Come learn, work and play in Kahului's only Community Garden!
“We are creating a luscious permaculture oasis full of fruit, herbs, food and flowers.
“On volunteer days we accomplish a few of the following: plant, weed, water, paint signs, learn about compost, mulch the garden, harvest food, build garden beds, organize the garden, start seeds, propogate new plants and socialize with fellow community members.
“Reasons to volunteer:
“—You are helping the community to learn how to grow their own organic food
“—Meet new people!
“—Take home seeds or starts.”
I guess I read “plant, weed, water, paint signs” and overlooked the rest of the description, because I was completely unprepared for Thursday afternoon's activities at the garden on the campus of the University of Hawaii Maui College.
The garden, which will eventually offer 30 plots (each 5 feet by 8 feet) that island residents can rent to grow their own produce, is in the building stages.
Volunteers are welcomed every Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Be ready for physical labor. (It was more than I can handle — I'm very lazy/out of shape.) The afternoon's activities included shoveling sand into wheelbarrows, mixing the sand with concrete and shoveling the mixture into earthbags to form a low wall; raking plots; and cutting banana leaves to be used in compost.
To learn more about Sustainable Living Institute of Maui or Hands On Maui, see the links at right.
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Sustainable Living Institute of Maui's Tracy Tarlow (left) and a volunteer unroll an empty earthbag at the community garden Thursday on the campus of the University of Hawaii Maui College in Kahului.