Since its creation, Kilauea Community Agriculture Center (KCAC) has always prioritized the health of the soil, our slogan is:
He ali’i ka ‘aina he kauwa ke kanaka.
(The land is a chief, man is it’s servant.)
According to Hawaiian historian, Mary Kawena Pukui, “Land has no need for man, but man needs the land and works it for a livelihood.”
To Hawaiians, land provides everything man needs to service. It is our responsibility to care for the land so that it continues to provide those necessary resources of food, water, and shelter. If we neglect the ‘aina, then the ‘aina will neglect us.
As an organic farm, we have made every effort to be certified, bur because we are managing a lot of land, the only way to do it is with a tractor and as the main means of weed control, we use tilling. The more we have learned about the affect of mechanized practices, the more we’ve realized it’s negative impact on the soil biology and we’ve come to realize, that we are losing organic matter as well as nitrogen and carbon dioxide to the air. Both of these are essential to agriculture. We have been working with Kaua’i worms to learn more about composting and vermiculture, but it seems to have had trouble integrating with the practices for the greater farm. After Yoshi’s trip to BGRNDRF, he had the opportunity to meet with David Johnson and his wife, Hui-Chun Su, both professors at California State University at Chico where they have developed the Johnson-Su Bioreactor and conducted the BEAM Research. There understanding and insight match perfectly with those of AHK and yet, a new partnership has been created as KCAC will build it’s first bioreactor and start inoculating it’s land with a fungal dominated compost that will increase carbon sequestration and improve soil health and crop fields.
Johnson-Su BEAM Research and Bioreactor Registry:
California State University at Chico Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems:
As we have progressively moved away from tilling in the CSA garden, we are still very much challenged in leaving the tractor behind in other parcels. Now that we are further encouraged to pursue this direction, with the support of David and Hui-Chun, we will try to incorporate as much of their research into our daily ag practices. We are also going to build a bioreactor and use that to inoculate our fields along with a significant amount of various cover crop species. With inspiration from other farms, we will continue to pursue what we believe to be the future of farming.
Paul and Elizabeth’s Singing Frogs Farm:
Johnson-Su Bioreactor Model: