The Green Leaf» Grow aquaponics, Grow Hawaiian

The Green House is offering three workshops on Saturday, April 2.

How Does Your Garden Grow…Backyard Aquaponics
Environmental Engineer Jeremai Cann, aka Dr. Sustainability, will lead this workshop covering everything you need to know to start your own aquaponics system (organic gardening with fish and plants). Grow your own dinner and lessen your reliance on imported food!
The Green House
Saturday, April 2nd
10:00 – 11:30pm
Fee $20

“Turn used water into real savings” — Greywater Harvesting
Jeremai Cann will lead this workshop on how to create your own “greywater” catchment system. Greywater refers to the reuse of water drained from baths, showers, washing machines, and sinks for irrigation and other water conservation applications. Reduce your use of tap water while helping the environment and lower your monthly water bill.
The Green House
Saturday, April 2nd
Fee: $20

It’s Easy Being Clean…Natural Green Cleaning Recipes
Learn how to whip up a batch of handmade soap and explore simple cleaning recipes that are safe, effective, inexpensive. You may already have many of the ingredients in your kitchen cupboards. A booklet of natural cleaning recipes will also be shared.
The Green House
Saturday, April 2nd
Fee: $20

Advanced registration required for all workshops.

Go to to register online, or call (808) 524-8427.

Growing Future Farmers

Ag tourism, marketing leaders are planting, watering seeds of interest with isle students

KAHULUI – At first glance, it’s hard to recognize the plot of land in Kahului filled with weeds, grass and natural debris. On second look, a couple picnic benches come into view and the nearby area, which was once a thriving banana plantation, becomes slightly more discernible.

However – the only thing Pomai and Lani Weigert see at the Maui High School farmland – is potential, acres and acres of it.

The mother-daughter team of ag tourism and marketing leaders are launching a pilot program to revitalize agricultural studies at MHS, Pomai’s alma mater, in hopes of harvesting future farmers and agricultural enthusiasts for Maui County.

As a result of the MHS farm replanting effort that started last month and two days of agriculture field trips, their efforts are already yielding results.

“Ag and food services have never had registration like how they have now,” MHS agriculture teacher Ian Lowland said. “Instantly the word got around: Cool stuff is going on in agriculture. They’ve been an integral part of all of this.”

MHS senior Sarah Bam said she realizes that agricultural skills are important for all people, especially those living in Hawaii: “Everybody should know how to plant and grow their own food.”

Backyard Aquaponics Shows Promise, Kitsap Couple Says » Kitsap Sun


Eighty rainbow trout go into a frenzy as Rene LaMarche sprinkles food pellets into their 300-gallon tank. The surface of the water erupts in turbulence as the fish feed with noisy gulps.

The trout have a symbiotic relationship with garden vegetables floating on rafts in LaMarche’s backyard. The process, called aquaponics, marries aquaculture (fish-rearing) with hydroponics (growing plants without soil).

Fish waste, converted to non-toxic fertilizer, feeds the plants. The plants clear the water of fertilizer and it is returned clean to the tank.

LaMarche and his wife Linda of Sunnyslope are excited about the technology, which they learned about on vacation in Hawaii. Aquaponics has great potential as a sustainable food source, say LaMarche and his mentor Clyde Tamaru of the University of Hawaii. But for both, it’s been a rapid learning curve.

An Inquisitive Mind

The LaMarches earlier this year traveled to Oahu, where Linda grew up. By chance, they chatted with a resident Hawaiian about aquaponics. Intrigued, Rene LaMarche got on the Internet, searched the term, and he was hooked.

He found the technique was being heavily explored in the Virgin Islands and Hawaii, both island cultures seeking to reduce their dependence on imported food. He saw potential for adapting the technology to the Northwest.