September 2014 Newsletter

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Our mission is to build community around food self-sufficiency.


Conservation Corner

Drip vs. Overhead Spray Irrigation

Everyone has good intentions when it comes to conserving water.  Conservation seems straightforward, yet despite what we would believe gardeners are not united on this issue.  In fact, water conservation can hold vastly different meanings to different people.  
Conservation is defined as the act of preserving, guarding, or protecting; wise use.  To one extreme, water conservation simply means only using what you need and being mindful of waste.  To the other extreme, water conservation means preserving water at all costs even if it means being unable to grow a particular water-thirsty crop or losing crops.  Many ideologies exist to preserve water, including using drip, mulching, adding rain gardens, using water catchment systems, berm and swale systems, and more.  Over the next few months we will be exploring quite a few of these.

The challenge to actually conserving water is that most of us have been indoctrinated into certain beliefs without the opportunity to evaluate them or consider alternatives.   We are told, "If you use a low-flow shower head, you can save 15 gallons of water during a 10-minute shower."  Because we are conditioned with this belief, we may forget to think logically about how it would apply to each of us individually.  The statement assumes that shower length would not be affected, yet it would be very much affected to varying degrees in varying individuals.  For example, the low-flow shower head probably won't save water at all for a thick or long-haired person who, without the higher pressure water, would be forced to take a longer shower in order to rinse shampoo out of their hair.  Perhaps with full flow, a shower would take 5 minutes as compared to 20 minutes with a low-flow shower head, negating the water savings and causing extra time to be wasted in the shower. 
Similarly, we have been led to believe that drip saves water when compared to overhead spray.  Yet, there are multiple factors to consider before making a water saving determination.  For example, one gardener was using drip to conserve water.  At first glance a conservative drip plug emits 1/2 gallon per hour while a decent sprayer emits 5 gallons per hour.  But how many plugs/sprayers does each need and how long does it have to run to adequately water the crops?  Because drip emits less water and the plants didn't seem to get enough, the gardener set the timer run for 3 hours a day.  Let's take a look at this gardener's actual water savings for a standard 20' row of vegetables in this example.
20 drip plugs spaced 12" apart
Each plug emits 1/2 gallon per hour
3 hours time would use 30 gallons of water
(20 x .5) x30 = 30 gallons per day
Overhead Spray
6 sprayers spaced 3 feet apart
Each sprayer emits 5 gallons per hour
5 minutes time would use 2.5 gallons of water
[(6 x 5) / 60] x 5 - 2.5 gallons per day
While the gardener thought water was being conserved, the drip was actually using 12 times more water than overhead spray would.  Granted, this case is an extreme example of over watering.  Nonetheless, if the same drip system was set for 15 minutes, it would use the exact same amount of water as 5 minutes of overhead spray, both providing adequate water for the majority of crops.  If the crops could get by with the drip running 5 or 10 minutes, then there could be a savings of a gallon or so of water each day.
Another drip system caveat is that plants need to be placed near the drip plugs to receive the water.  Typically this results in planting in farm rows, which limits the amount of crops that can be planted in a small plot in order to allow space to walk between rows.  Putting rows closer together would increase the number of drip lines and water used.  On the other hand, overhead spray efficiently moistens all the soil and enables dense planting throughout the plot, producing as much as 4 times more food in the same space with the same water. Thus, the amount of water used per pound of food produced could be much lower with overhead spray. 
The type of crops being grow is also a major consideration.  Some crops flourish when their leaves are misted regularly, while others develop problems with mildew and rot.  Crops, like lettuce, taro, and trees require more water; while crops like tomatoes can get by with one good watering each week.  Tree roots grow where water is available to drink, thus evenly moist soil will allow roots to spread and prevent root rot. 
The bottom line is that no one system is best for every application.  There is no right or wrong answer.  Truth be told, whether to use drip or overhead spray boils down to the individual gardener, what they are growing, and how intensively they produce crops.  Some factors to consider when deciding on drip vs. overhead include:
  1. Crop Type, Density, Layout, & Water Use Characteristics
  2. Soil & Topography
  3. Climate & Precipitation Rates
  4. Fertigation Capability
  5. Cost
  6. Coverage & Efficiency
No matter whether drip or overhead is chosen, it is honorable to value and conserve water as our most precious resource!  At Hāli’imaile Community Garden, we recognize and appreciate diverse growing styles in our garden community.  We are passionate about our mission to build community around food self-sufficiency and recognize that adequate food production requires the need to accommodate both forms of irrigation systems in order to provide a wide variety of crops to feed our community members.

Donor Highlight

Maui Hotel and Lodging Association
Visitor Industry Charity Walk

In 1974, the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association sponsored a “Superwalk” to benefit one major charitable organization. In 1978, the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association members voted to extend the reach of support offered by the walk’s fund-raising capability, the Visitor Industry Charity Walk is the result of this decision. All of Hawai‘i’s non-profit charities are eligible to benefit.
For the first time ever, Hāli’imaile Community Garden participated in the 36Th Annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk.  This year, the Maui walk was a 3.1 mile walk through Kahului that occurred on Saturday, May 10, 2014.  Walkers were treated to food, drink and first aid at checkpoints along the walk route by Hawai‘i hotels and allied organizations.  Food and entertainment was provided at the finish line. 

“Maui County raised a total of $939,82,” said Angela Nolan, Maui Hotel & Lodging Association.  “I extend a heartfelt Mahalo to everyone for making this year such an incredible and resounding success!” 

The funds each non-profit organization raises for the event are returned to them, along with an equitable percentage of the other funds raised by the association.  Hāli’imaile Community Garden would like to thank the Maui Hotel and Lodging Association for their generosity!

Volunteer Highlight

Mercer Richards Ensures Safety, Security, & Equipment

Mercer Richards joined Hāli’imaile Community Garden in February of 2009 to start his own garden.  He has been an integral part of our garden community since.  
Here at Hāli’imaile Community Garden, power tools need regular maintenance and repairs.  In addition to running his own business, Mercer had dedicated his time to keeping the power tools maintained and repaired for everyone at the garden.  Whenever equipment breaks down, Mercer is on the scene.  Over time, he has contributed supplies and been instrumental in the garden's purchase of a wheelbarrow and new power tools. 
Mercer also teaches our annual power tools training workshop to garden members.  Gardeners learn how to start and operate power tools, how to diagnose basic problems, and how to do routine maintenance such as checking air filters and changing oil. 
When he's not working with the power tools, Mercer can be found installing and maintaining security devices and monitoring safety at the garden.  Recently, he took on the painting the new shed ramp with a non-skid deck paint. 
Mercer was nominated and honored in 2012 as the County of Maui Volunteer Hero for the work he does with Hāli’imaile Community Garden. 
Mahalo Nui Loa to Mercer for his commitment to the garden!

Garden Recipes

Roasted Fennel

This month's featured garden recipe is Roasted Fennel.  Fennel grows abundantly and produces beautiful bulbs with a sweet licorice flavor.  It is resistant to most pests and grows well at Hāli’imaile Community Garden.
Serves: 2          Prep Time: 10 min          Cook Time: 30 min

1 fennel bulb
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper 
Parmesan Cheese (Optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut off the stalks of the fennel and parboil until almost tender.
  3. Halve the bulbs lengthwise and rub olive oil onto both sides of each bulb.
  4. Please fennel on a roasting pan.
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (optional).
  7. Roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until bulb is tender and starting to brown around the edges.
  8. Serve immediately.
To obtain a copy of the Hāli’imaile Community Garden cookbook, contact us at to purchase direct or go to to purchase online.  All cookbook fundraiser proceeds benefit Hāli’imaile Community Garden, a tax exempt public charity under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).

Native Plant Species

‛Opelu by Allison Borell

Photo courtesy of Allison Borell

Hawaiian Name:  ‛opelu
Botanical Name: Lobelia grayana
Family: Campanulaceae
Status: Endemic
Where Found:  Maui Endemic
The Hawaiian lobelioids which are a part of the bellflower family have the largest radiation among plants in Hawai‛i and any tropical island. Thought to arrive some 13 million years ago this family of plants evolved alongside our native honeycreepers and has thought to have triggered some of the bird adaptations. The sickle-shaped beak of the ‛i‛iwi and this flower are a perfect fit! Surviving mostly at high elevations many of the plants in this family are endangered. You can see this plant currently on bloom by going on a guided hike with Haleakalā National Park into The Waikamoi Cloud Forest Hike in Nature Conservancy’s Waikamoi Preserve. Call them at 572-4400 to sign up!

Video Clips

How to Make a Shade Structure for Plants Wilting the Heat

Direct Video Link:

Worms, Weeds, Wisdom, & Who's Who:  What's the Digs in a Plot Near You?

Meet Sookie Kunst


September Events and Service Projects
Opportunities to Meet Others and Benefit the Garden

Prepping Plots
Tuesday, September 16th, 4 pm - 7pm

Join us to prepare plots for occupancy.  We'll be weeding, bush whacking, and covering plots for occupancy during the cooler hours of the
late afternoon after work.  Bring your favorite hand tools and, if you'd like, something to eat to tide us over until dinner. 

Orchard & Other Community Areas
Saturday, September 27th, 9am - 12pm

Join us to prune, trim, weed, and care for the orchard and other community areas..  Bring your favorite hand tools and let's have some fun!  If  you'd like, bring a snack to share. 


Call for Volunteers
Community Garden Needs Your Help

Are you interested in volunteering at Hāli’imaile Community Garden?  It is a beautiful place to be and a place where you can really make a difference.  Individuals and groups interested in becoming volunteers should complete a volunteer application and plan to attend an orientation session to receive a tour of the garden and learn about the various opportunities available to volunteers.  For more information and a volunteer application form:

Membership Has Its Benefits
Come Grow With Us

The benefits to gardening in a community setting are that it:
  • Improves The Quality Of Life For People In The Garden,
  • Stimulates Social Interaction,
  • Encourages Self-Reliance,
  • Beautifies Hali’imaile,
  • Produces Nutritious Food,
  • Reduces Family Food Budgets,
  • Conserves Resources,
  • Creates Opportunity For Recreation, Exercise, Therapy, Stewardship, and Education,
  • Reduces Crime,
  • Preserves Green Space,
  • Provides Opportunities For Intergenerational And Cross-Cultural Connections,
  • Increases Environmental Sustainability, and
  • Provides Food For Food Pantries.

Plots are now available for new members interested in gardening with us.  Plots are 10' x 20'.  Membership dues are an affordable $100 per year plus 1 service project per quarter.  For more information, see  To inquire about membership, call 415-480-GROW (4769) or submit a contact for at

Talk To Us
The Garden Council is Listening

The garden council provides active management of the garden and is always available for your questions, concerns, ideas, visions for the garden, and suggestions at  Councilmembers Kevin, Lori, and Volkan all receive and read the incoming mails at this address.  We do our best to respond quickly. 

Support Hāli’imaile Community Garden
Make a Tax Deductible Contribution

Mahalo for supporting Hāli’imaile Community Garden with a tax-deductible contribution,  Hāli’imaile Community Garden is recognized as a tax exempt public charity under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).  For donations options:
Donate Now
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Hali'imaile Community Garden is recognized as a tax exempt public charity under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).

Copyright © 2014 Hāli’imaile Community Garden, All rights reserved.

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