The sky was a mosaic of clouds — gray, white, black, charcoal, pink, orange, blue — when Koko and I went walking this morning. The lightest rain accompanied our return in the golden light of sunrise, which burst forth and then quickly faded into the paleness of a cloudy day.
It was not unlike yesterday’s sunset, which I witnessed from John Wooten’s farm in Moloaa. With his wife away, another woman and I helped him pick veggies for today’s farmer’s market. I buy produce from the Wootens each week, but never really had a sense of what was required to harvest, much less grow, my order.
As Moira and I picked bouquets of parsley, basil and kale, we remarked on how many people just John’s small farm could feed. I marveled that he could coax these beautiful, healthy veggies from the bright red soil, without chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
And then I thought of the many landless Hawaiians I know who are looking for a place to farm and the marvelous dark loamy fields near Mana — much of it “ceded land” seized from the Kingdom — where big corporations are growing GMO seed corn and other transgenic crops using chemical ag techniques.
To borrow a line from Sudden Rush song: “Are we supposed to be happy with the situation?”
I sent a friend who keeps bees in Illinois a copy of an article on a possible link between bee deaths and GMOs. She wrote back:
The biggest issue bees seem to have around here, aside from the two mites (which are treatable) is starvation. Here we are in the breadbasket of agriculture and bees starve. Hmmmmm. Queens are also not as hardy as they used to be, and they did show the chemical build up in the honeycomb is more than they suspected. They are a barometer of what is going on....... I also read an article that bats are in trouble too. Sigh.
It’s pretty simple. No pollinators, no crops. And as the bumper sticker on John’s truck says: “No farms, no food.”
So if you get the chance, hug a farmer today, and tell a bee mahalo.
In other news, a rumor was circulating yesterday that the Superferry, which apparently passed its Coast Guard inspection on Monday, was headed for Kauai, causing quite a stir until Keone Keaaloha aptly fingered it as an April Fools joke. Still, was remarkable to see how quickly folks could mobilize.
Meanwhile, Dan Hempey guys have filed an appeal of Judge Randal Valenciano’s Sept. 6 ruling, which denied a motion for a temporary restraining order to stop the boat from running without an EIS, and nixed use of "presumptions of irreparable harm" in their arguments against the boat’s operations.
It’s interesting how the situation has changed in the past six month. As the Garden Island notes:
Hawaii Superferry had claimed it would face financial strain if forced to stop operations while completing the EA.
Since then, we’ve observed that the Superferry is experiencing fnancial strain even while operating — if it’s extended down time in dry dock and sidelining during big surf could be called that.
The article goes on to report:
The 1,000 Friends of Kaua‘i brief states that “the court should protect the public and enforce (the Hawaiian Environmental Protection Act), even against violators who can show that they cleverly approved a statewide project in severable subparts, or who may lose a lot of money if the environmental laws are applied to them.”
Yup, that's pretty much the crux of the situation. Brad Parsons has posted some interesting tidbits gleaned from the Superferry oversight task force report, including:
Kauila Clark missed 3rd out of 4 meetings. Only 8 round trips for February.
Average passenger load from Oahu to Maui of 115 per one-way trip.
Average vehicle load from Oahu to Maui of 40 per one-way trip.
Average passenger load from Maui to Oahu of 87 per one-way trip.
Average vehicle load from Maui to Oahu of 39 per one-way trip.