Sunny Jiang PhD Leads Effort at UCI as part of DoE Supported Hub

Sunny Jiang PhD. Photo by Anne Lemnitzer/UCI

Sunny Jiang PhD is the second GELF Team member assigned to lead their universities team on the Department of Energy’s hub on water security issues.

Sunny is developing a Microbial Sensor Array (MSA) for the MEC System which is being developed for the Kilauea Community Agricultural Center on the Island of Kauai.

The MSA is an automated multi-sensor array that is capable of producing water quality results in minutes. Without the MSA, water quality data results take 5 days.

Pei Xu, NMSU, National Alliance for Water Innovation Team

Pei Xu PhD takes the leading role

Pei Xu, New Mexico State University Civil Engineering professor, will lead NMSU’s efforts on the National Alliance for Water Innovation team that received a U.S. Department of Energy five-year, $100 million grant to create the Energy-Water Desalination Hub. (NMSU photo by Vladimir Avina)


NOTE: As we work towards our next annual giving campaign, we’re having a look at some of the bigger projects both of the last 6 months, and those lined up for the rest of 2019. Here, a recap of the exciting new Waste to Energy Project at KCAC, starting with a note from our CEO, Yoshito L’Hote.

I met Brett Danson after being introduced to him by a common friend Rick, who shared our concern on how polluted Hanalei bay was and sparked a discussion.  Brett was aware of technologies that might solve the problem. When Brett shared his technology with us I became a believer that there is a way to clean our bay and prevent sewer from going to the ocean but also the hopes to provide a comprehensive sewer solution for the town of Kilauea as we are all still on cesspools and septic tanks.  

Housing is a big issue in Kilauea but no expansion can happen without solving fundamental infrastructure problems such as Access, water, and septic. 

The timing couldn’t be better as we are developing a public restroom on site at KCAC. Here was a way to introduce an innovative solution to handling our waste. This Microbial Electrolytic Cell (MEC) will turn the farm waste and our solid waste into energy! Answering to two challenges with one stone. 

About 3 months ago we started meeting on a regular weekly basis, to turn this concept into a reality, our reality in Kīlauea.  Below is a draft of the proposal that outlines the inner working of the technology as well as each component and all the people involved with it. We also included a quick outline of our initial needs (seed money) to get these plans engineered and to have a site plan to start working on permitting. If you are interested in supporting this project and helping us make Kauaʻi Green, help us find the seed money.


Our target is the end of June. 

It is a great concern to us to ensure a clean environment for our community especially the near shore waters where so many of us enjoy recreational time and feed ourselves. 

Our vision is to first have a working model and to create a model for the town of Kīlauea. When the technology is refined and we are successful in using our solid waste to generate energy, we want to work towards cleaning up all the County bathrooms and protect our ocean from pollutants that are making people sick on a daily basis.  Maybe one day all the sewer plants will be retrofitted and will be that much closer to 100% energy sustainable. 

— Yoshito L’Hote, CEO, AHK


CSA is a system in which members of a community invest in their local farm by paying for a share of the season’s harvest. A farmer therefore gets cash at the beginning of the season when it’s most needed, and customers get a share of vegetables each week, usually worth their investment price plus extra as a reward for supporting local farming.

– The Kilauea Community Farm currently occupies 1.5 acres. 
– Annually, we produce about 30,000 lbs. of vegetables are distributed to CSA members, senior groups, and schools. 
– A lot of the work is done by volunteers that assist the farm manager and AHK.
– Without your financial assistance this system would not work.
– Regular weekly produce makes healthy eating convenient!



AHK encourages the North Shore community to sign up for the upcoming Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training here in Kilauea.

This excellent instruction includes education in disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact your community, and provides training in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, emergency medical response, and emergency communications. The best part – it is absolutely free to the public!

Classes start this Wednesday. Check out the flyer for more info, and email for more info.

Sunshine Market on for Today

Come to the farm and load up on your fruits and veggies for the week. Eat local and support your local farming community.

New Greenhouse at the Ag Center Nears Completion

We are happy to now have a 20 X 96 covered greenhouse to support the growth of our CSA program. Sign up for CSA on our website and join us as a subscriber for fresh organic fruits and vegetables.

Winter is Here

Winter is in and the Kilauea Community Farm is looking good. This week’s harvest list includes:

Lettuce heads

Kilauea Sunshine Market is Today

Join Us for today’s Sunshine Market: Come to the farm to get your fresh fruits and veggies, all grown here on Kaua’i by local farmers. See you at 3:30.

AHK’s 60 Year Lease Agreement

Our biggest achievement in the past few months: we have secured a long term lease with the support of the County Council and the Mayor’s Office. This 60-year lease agreement confirms the unwavering support of the County of Kaua’i and commitment to work with the community of Kilauea to increase the food security of Kauaʻi. Check out our website to learn more about how you can help support this long term vision.