For over 30 years, I have dedicated my life to learning, teaching, and practicing sustainable agricultural and environmental management in Hawaii.
I hope you have time to look over my Curriculum Vitae.
- Organic farming
- Troubleshooting and Consultancy
- People skills
- Nutrition, health and lifestyle
- Hawaii local farming knowledge specialist
- Hemp and medical cannabis growing
- Effective Micro-Organisms (EM) and Bokashi
- Co-founder and former President, Hawaii Organic Farmers Association (HOFA).
- Developed organic vegan farming methods to produce the highest quality herbs, utilizing ancient and modern techniques. Eliminates chemical and animal inputs, and alleviates food safety handling concerns.
- Established largest vegan, organic tomato farm in the State of Hawaii.
- First organic farmer to farm in Waimea Lalamilo State agricultural farm lots.
- Hawaii’s primary Effective Micro-organism (EM) Bokashi producer since 1998.
- Mastery of modern techniques using microorganisms and probiotics in farming.
- Organic soil, plant fertility and pest management – sustainable soil building with local inputs and microorganisms for food and herb production.
- Over 30 years of leadership, consultancy and success in organic farming and Earth-centered vegan life in Hawaii.
- Techniques increase agricultural production typically by around 30% over traditional farming methods, while improving soil quality and avoiding toxic chemicals.
Troubleshooting and Consultancy
- Able to provide organic solutions to pest infestation, poor soil quality, and other farming issues.
- Often called in for serious challenges others have not been able to solve organically.
- Provided consultation services to chemical farmers to help them integrate and convert to organic practices.
- Discretely and successfully coordinated agricultural projects for several high-net-worth individuals, developing a good understanding of the special needs of this group.
- Track record of success in a wide range of cultural settings – entrepreneurial, corporate, private, spiritual, traditional and nonprofit.
Nutrition, Health and Lifestyle
- Producer of high quality, nutrient rich foods and herbs – natural medicines in the most easily-assimilated forms.
- Promotion of environmental awareness, including organic farming and vegan nutrition, for over 30 years.
- Successful management of outreach and marketing projects using print and television media.
Hawaii Local Farming Knowledge Specialist
- Built a large and growing network of contacts in Hawaii among farmers, herb growers, supply stores, restaurants, and health food stores.
- Charter member of the Hawaii Herb Association and served as President.
- Co-founder and former President, Hawaii Organic Farmers Association (HOFA).
- Co-founding Board member of the Hawaii Farmers Union United, Kohala Chapter, 2014.
- Developed Merriman’s Restaurant garden in Kamuela, Hawaii, which was featured in national magazines and television shows, 2006 – 2015.
- Established first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscription farm on Hawaii Island.
- Founder, in 1989, of Island Herbs, an organic farming, gardening, and landscaping consulting firm.
- Have run large production scale grows of various agricultural crops, including medicinal herbs, in every district on Hawaii Island.
- Helped pioneer modern organic soil fertility management techniques tailored to Hawaii Island’s numerous unique micro-environments using soil fertility and plant health with regenerative, organic, vegan agricultural practices.
- Intimately familiar with all the Hawaii Island growing environments.
Hemp and Medical Cannabis Growing
- Advised on strategy to State of Hawaii for proactively addressing hemp pollination concerns of medical marijuana growers.
- Advised the University of Hawaii Industrial Hemp Pilot Project on how to tend soil for optimal hemp grow. Rows farmed as recommended in hemp pilot had consistently highest yields and greatest health.
- Advocate for Hawaii farmers to be able to grow industrial hemp for over 30 years.
- Applied techniques typically increase outdoor and indoor medical cannabis production by around 30%.
- Charter member of the Hawai‘i Agricultural Hemp Cooperative.
- Co-coordinated statewide effort by Hawaii Farmers Union United to pass legislation in support of industrial hemp.
- Co-founder of the Hawaii Island Hemp Association, which advocated for growing hemp instead of sugar cane in the early 1990s. Permission was granted for a pilot project.
- Consulted on optimal structure for Hawaii’s first medical marijuana bill.
- Designed and managed very large industrial hemp and medical marijuana farms with over 40,000 plants.
- Developed pruning techniques that increase quality and production and are becoming standard in many grow operations on the Big Island.
- Excellent hemp seed production, cloning, and breeding experience.
- Facilitated two well-attended meetings on Industrial Hemp at the State Legislature for Hawaii’s representatives and senators.
- Featured in Edible Hawaii magazine (on-line and print) as long-time advocate for industrial hemp, http://ediblehi.com/grow-hemp-now
- Only farmer in the State invited to project launch and planting of the Industrial Hemp Pilot Project.
- Outreached to various specialists and experts in the field and coordinated their participation and presentations, including University of Hawaii researchers and department heads, enforcement agencies, representatives from the building and value added food industries, etc.
- Turned around a large indoor California farm that had pest challenges, and increased production by 33%.
- Worked with print and television media during statewide coverage of the first State sanctioned grow of industrial hemp. http://khon2.com/2015/04/10/uh-sets-up-industrial-hemp-research-station/ (see from 0:40)
Effective Micro-Organisms (EM) and Bokashi
- Evangelist in Hawaii and on the mainland about the value of effective microorganisms, helping to set the stage for the recent rise in understanding and popularity of both EM and indigenous microorganisms.
- Pioneered the use of effective micro-organisms (EM) on the Island of Hawaii in 1998
- Producer of Effective Micro-organisms (EM) Bokashi - fermented organic compost, highly effective at soil improvement with yield increases in the short, medium and long term – since 1998
GRANTS AND AWARDS
- Awarded a $25,000 grant by the Wal-Mart Foundation to teach organic farming techniques to young farmers and military veterans.
- Awarded Low Input Sustainable Agriculture grant from the USDA through State Department of Agriculture for demonstrating mulching techniques.
- Won the Betty Crocker Award for contributing to Hawaii’s natural beauty through creating Merriman’s Restaurant Garden in Kamuela, Hawaii.
- Built gardens at St James’ church in Waimea.
- Co-founded and helped run Recycle Hawaii.
- Donated expertise and materials for various native plant restoration projects.
- Grew food and donated food for one of the Polynesian Voyaging Society Hokulea voyages in 1993. Also, regularly donated produce to Hawaii Island Food Bank.
- Implemented successful pilot project at Hawaii County Parks demonstrating that organic and effective microorganism techniques could reduce County Parks’ long-term maintenance costs while reducing and eliminating the need for herbicides.
- Organized and facilitated workshops on agricultural and Bokashi production and uses, including helping school gardens to incorporate Bokashi. This talk was given at a forum at the University of Hawaii, Hilo in 2014, Building Momentum Toward a Resilient and Sustainable Local Farming Culture:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-UKrEyNZ9Y (see minutes 17:35 to 36:35).
- Participated in a program, directed by Dr. Kaimialoa Chrisman, to help re-establish native Hawaiian gourds, ipu nui and ipu olo, by reviving the genetics through selective organic practices. Prior to this project, cultural practitioners were having to secure gourds and gourd seed from the mainland. Now the gourds are prolific in Hawaii again.
- Participated in Healthy Keiki (child) Fest, teaching children about edible plants.
- Worked with at-risk youth through Kamehameha Schools’ Hale O Ponopono program on my Kona farm.
REFERENCES – Contact details upon request.
- David Tarnas, former Representative to Hawaii State Legislature, consultant
- Don Sasaki, owner, Cal-Kona Produce Distributor
- Gloria Flack, owner, Healthyways II, Kamuela, Hawaii
- Hiro Nago, EM Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii
- Matthew Synder, owner, Kona Coffee House and Café, Honaunau
- Mike Kudo, Farm and Garden, Kona, Hawaii
- Paul Gamasche, former manager, Merriman’s Restaurant, Kamuela
- Raymond Kawamata, owner, Kawamata Farms Inc., Kamuela, Hawaii
- Shane Rohan, Specialty Agricultural Commodities Dealer, Los Angeles, California
- Simon Russell, Vice President, Hawaii Farmers Union United
- Taine Datta, owner, Adaptations Inc., Food Distributors, Honanunau, Hawaii