Posts in the ‘Culturally Significant-Hawaiian’ Category

The Vanilla Bee and Vanilla in Maui & Hawaii

Vanilla is an orchid, native to Mexico and Guatemala. Vanilla does not come from a tree it is a long vine that grows up into trees. The vanilla orchid produces a pale yellow flower, with a mild fragrance that does not smell like vanilla. This vanilla flower opens only once for a few hours before closing and falling off the vine. Orchids can not pollinate themselves. If the flower is not pollinated before closing it will never produce a vanilla bean.

Vanilla is pollinated one of two ways, either by human with is a very laborious and tedious task or by a bee, the Melipona bee, specifically. This is a true bee, it is very small and does not sting. This bee does not exist on Maui. Yet, we still grow a fair amount of Vanilla beans here. Read more »

The Fizzy Fermented Tea – Kombucha

On Maui, Kombucha is more than just a beverage.  It is the health tonic that has blazed a path into the social scene on Maui. We love our kombucha bars here. The health minded, spiritually woke crowd flock to their favorite kombucha bar daily! The ‘booch bar is where we come together to solve the world’s problems. There is talk about spiritual healing, composting, organic gardening, living off grid and so many other fascinating topics. You wouldn’t imagine! The people are not just here for some fizzy beverage. We are here to build community!

Let’s make sure not to get it twisted though, life on Maui is not only about getting your ‘booch buzz going. Sometimes we have other stuff to do and that is why it is helpful to brew kombucha at home for those mornings, when going to the bar doesn’t fit into the schedule. I will share with you the recipe I used to start my own kombucha SCOBY almost from scratch. “SCOBY” is an acronym: Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. It looks similar to a mushroom floating on the top of the tea and is often called the mother. As the SCOBY or mother grows, it replicates itself and this is the “baby.” You may have a friend looking to give away some Scoby babies this will save you about a month and a half of growing your own SCOBY. Read more »

We recycled, now what?

Do you ever question whether or not the items taken to the recycling locations are actually being recycled. Here is something that needs to be known. If a recyclable container has any food residue on it or in it – It will not be recycled, it will be discarded and taken to the landfill.

Maui County Residential Recycling Center Guidelines – What is accepted.

1. PLASTIC CONTAINERS – Plastic #1 and #2 only.
-NO Food residue
-NO Toys
-NO Styrofoam
-NO plastic Bags

Plastic #1 Polyethylene terephthalate aka PETE or PET. This is what the majority of disposable beverage and food containers are made from, it is somewhat porous and will take on odors or flavors, making it not an ideal container to be reused. When this type of plastic is heated it can cause carcinogens to leach into your liquids. So don’t leave your water bottles in the car on a warm day.

Plastic #2 High Density polyethylene aka HDPE. This is what many milk jugs, detergent bottles and butter tubs are made from. Their color is opaque and it is said that this type of plastic is less likely to leach chemicals into contents that #1 plastic.

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Tips for Being Mindful of Nature and Others While Visiting Maui

One thing is for sure practicing mindfulness makes us all feel better. There are so many ways to be mindful. We can be mindful of nature, the safety of animals, the health of our environment and of course we can all be considerate and mindful of one another. We are all deserving of respect and mindfulness. No one is better than anyone else we are all here together so let’s make the best of it.  Here are a few ways to take care of the land, nature and each other on Maui.

1. Stay on the trails. This is for your safety and the protection of nature. Many of the trails on Maui are very challenging on their own. Our mud is thick and slippery so wear good hiking shoes, take a good look at those shoes and know they will never look the same after they get stained with Maui mud. Hiking poles may also be your friend when adventuring here.

2. Keep your vehicle on the road. Unless pulling over for emergency vehicles or to allow faster traffic to go by. Let’s keep the cars on the road in order to protect natural habitat and plant life.

3. Take ownership of your garbage – Take your trash with you. If it can be carried in, it can be carried out. Isn’t it nice to experience a pristine natural view? When going on adventures around the island you may see something that was accidentally dropped by someone ahead of you. GO ahead and pick it up because somewhere along the way you have also accidentally left something behind that had to be disposed of by another.

4. Respect Animals – Observe wild animals from a distance as to not upset or disturb them. The Hawaiian Monk seal may look like a harmless creature but it can inflict quite a nasty bite if it feels threatened. Our beach is the seal’s bedroom, this is where they come to sleep, so if you come across a resting seal move away quietly. NOAA, The National Oceanic Atmospheric Association, recommends maintaining a distance of 150 feet away from the seals.

5. Show love for plants and trees. Plants and trees have feelings too. Please refrain from carving your name, initials or anything else into the trees and bamboo. Imagine how much lovelier it would be if this were to stop.

6. Shop with reusable cloth bags – never settle for single use plastic. Many stores on Maui sell these amazing souvenir shopping bags. And the reusable nature of Read more »

Reasons to Leave Maui Rocks and Sand Behind

It is said that removing rocks or sand from the Hawaiian islands will result in the collector experiencing a series of unfortunate events.

The Hawaiian Deity, Pele is the creator of the the Hawaiian Islands, she is the goddess of fire and volcanoes in Hawaiian religion.  There is a Hawaiian legend that states removing rocks or sand from the Hawaiian Islands would cause Pele (peh-leh) to place a curse on to anyone who takes rocks or sand away from the islands, as Pele’s rocks and sand are essentially her body. Although, there is no way to scientifically prove that these curses do or do not exist and little is known about when or how the legend began it might be better if we agree to leave the landscape the same way we found it.

There are laws protecting the natural landscape in many parts of the Hawaiian Islands that would hopefully prevent people from taking Hawaii away one piece at a time. It’s illegal to take rocks and minerals from any national park or to take sand and rock from any public beach.  Approximately 10 million people visit Hawaii in a year, if everyone took a piece of Hawaii home with them, it would be obvious. So please take as many photos as you want and let the island stay here.

Haleakala National Park on Maui receives over 100 rocks per month from tourists wishing to break the curse. Additionally,  Haleakala National park is not the only place receiving cursed rocks and sand in the mail, the actual number of rocks being returned to the entire island is much much higher. Before these rocks and other natural treasures can be placed back into the wild they must be stored in a freezer for 30 days to sanitize them as to not inadvertently introduce an unwanted bacteria or virus to our delicate ecosystem. The rocks can not be returned to the crater because there is no way to know exactly where they were taken from so the rocks will be placed in the gardens just outside the visitor center as not to make a mess out of the geologic record. So let’s save everyone the trouble and leave them where they are.

If it’s too late and you already removed rocks and now find yourself wishing you hadn’t, you can mail the sand or lava rock back to the islands just in case. The packages can be mailed to the appropriate address below, depending on what is being sent and to which island. Please enclose a note indicating from where the sand or Read more »

11 Ways to Environmentally Protect the Island of Maui

Our island is a place we love, it is our home or our place to vacation. Here are some activities that can be done to protect the beauty of the island and the quality of life for all that thrive here. We need to make a conscious effort to reduce our waste and increase our quality of life to keep Maui sustainable.

#1 Start a Garden

Plant more trees, put seeds in the soil and watch them grow. Ever wonder why a mango is $6 at the grocery store? It’s because not enough seeds were allowed to grow. If we plant more seeds today in just a few years we will solve this $6 mango problem. We can grow just about everything here and today is a great day to start.

#2 Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

REDUCE – Only buy products in plastic if there are no other options and there are almost always other options.

REUSE – When you do get stuck becoming the owner of some unwanted container find other ways to use it. Either for storage or starting a plant from seed.

RECYCLE – When the item has been used to its full potential clean it up and take it to be recycled.

#3 Pick it up

See something in nature that doesn’t belong there, be part of the awake crowd, pick it up and dispose of it properly. Others will take notice!

#4 When taking prepared food home

Bring your own doggie bag or take out container when dining out. It is always safer to place hot food into a glass or stainless food container than some leaky single use container anyway.

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Hawaii Grown Fruit of the Month for January – Egg Fruit

Welcome to our new blog series called “Hawaii Grown Fruit of the Month“. At the beginning of each month we will introduce a new fruit. We will tell you where to get it, how to grow and harvest your own and of course how to eat it and why it is good for you.

This month we take a look at “Egg Fruit“.

Egg-Fruit-Conscious-Maui-Hawaii-Groceries-VeganWhat is Egg Fruit:
Egg Fruit aka Canistel or Yellow Sapote in other parts of the world. This yellow- orange fruit has a sweet flavor with a texture similar to the yolk of a boiled egg. The size and shape vary slightly. Similar to the size of an apple, Egg Fruit are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand they can be round or oval shaped.

Where to get Egg Fruit:
Farmer’s markets, a friendly neighbor with a tree, roadside fruit stands, some Maui grocery stores or most satisfyingly your own tree, if you plant a seed today you can be harvesting your own fruit within 4 years!

When to Harvest Egg Fruit:
Seedlings will produce fruit after 3 – 4 years.
An attractive tree which will reach 20 feet high and about 15’ wide.

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11 Ways to become a more Sustainable Business

Aloha Business Owners, Residents and Visitors – Here are 11 easy steps on how you can make a difference!

#1 Restaurants Owners – can provide metal, paper or reusable take out containers. Styrofoam is a hazard to the island and the planet. Also hot food that has been in contact with styrofoam absorbs harmful chemicals when it starts to melt and probably before melting.  Maui County has a ban on polystyrene food and beverage containers that starts on December 31, 2018.

#2 Vegetation Control – To control Cane grass and other undesired plant growth such as weeds. Dig them up, pull them, burn them if you must but please stop spraying them with herbicides. These chemicals are harmful to every living thing from the land to the deep blue sea, not just the weeds you want to kill are being affected.

#3 Health Care and Wellness Service Providers – Use organic cruelty free, fair trade, sustainably harvested products with your clients. The wellness industry is a huge business with enormous profits, it is important to take care of those that help you take care of others.

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The importance of buying Fair Trade products and services, not just on Maui but on Earth.

Greetings earthlings! It is important that we continue to improve consistently in order to evolve. This is a great time to consciously empower one another and offer encouragement and support to everyone we encounter. Imagine a supportive environment where you were encouraged to thrive, a space where your peers lifted you up, imagine having the freedom to be who you really are.  What if you were able to accept others as they are. Would this encouragement make us better? Happier? I think it would. Our free flowing positive energy would be spent on creating and growing! What is better than that?

Everyone deserves fresh water, healthy organic food, comfortable clothing and safe shelter from the elements. We need to make sure that each of our needs are being met and that we are paying and being paid fairly. Sadly many of us are being exploited. Even today  some people are working long hours and barely making enough money to scrape by. This is a sad existence, this is not living. But it does not have to be this way.  Companies care about profits thus the most powerful vote we have is the vote we make when we spend our money.  If you don’t stand for it don’t buy it. When participating in a capitalistic society it is only fair that working people receive a reasonable wage for the services and products they provide.  We should expect to pay others what we would want to be paid for providing the same services. Our time is equally valuable.

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Dennis Kahula Jr. plays “Queens Jubilee” on his Ukulele

Dennis Kahula Jr. plays “Queens Jubilee” on his Ukulele. The song was originally composed by Liliʻuokalani on June 20, 1887…

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Conscious Maui