Archive for January, 2012

Heirloom seeds, seed saving and the future of food

Monday, January 16th, 2012

We love Seed Savers Exchange.  It’s a non-profit member supported organization whose headquarters is a 890-acre farm  in Decorah, Iowa that maintains thousands of varieties of heirloom garden varieties of herbs, vegetables, flowers, fruits, legumes and even garlic.  It was founded in 1975 by Diane Ott Whealy and Kent Whealy to honor the tradition of preserving and sharing seeds.  They started with the seeds of two garden plants given to them by Diane’s grandpa – a German Pink and Grandpa Otts’ morning glory, brought to the U.S. by his parents when they migrated from Bavaria.

What started as a personal mission has grown into a network of people that are carrying on the wisdom and know-how of seeds saving, as well as the creation of a living legacy of garden varieties cultivated over the centuries by generations of gardeners.  This has proven and will prove to be even more of a saving grace in the years to come as our world’s seed supply continues to be monopolized, re-engineered, sterilized and corporatized.

In addition to our chicks, feed, and backyard farm supplies we’re carrying packets of Seed Savers Exchange seed varieties, as well as classic book on seed saving “Seed to Seed” by Suzanne Ashworth.  Gardeners may also like to know that in addition, we  carry Seeds of Change seed packets, seeds from Fukuda Seed, local fruit and spice trees, and organic seedling starters.

We’re thinking about starting a seed exchange library here at the hatchery later this year.  If anyone is interested in participating, please email

Local Fruit & Spice Starter Trees

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Hi folks,

We received a little forest of local fruit and spice starter trees in time for the new year.  The hatchery feels like an edible forest right now.  We love it!
Trees are locally grown, no imports for us.  And all edibles, since we love to eat.  We’re excited about the spice trees we were able to get.  And except for the Black Pepper, they are all trees — the cinnamon is over seven feet tall.  Pretty cool.
Here’s a close up of that fragrant cinnamon bark:
And here’s a calamondin tree that’s already flowering and fruiting:
We like dwarf citrus trees a lot.  It’s a great fit for urban gardens like ours here in the heart of industrial Kalihi.  We have a calamondin tree that’s been living in a 10 gallon container for over six years.  It has given us continuous amounts of sweet calamansi though it’s lived all of its life in that container.  We also have a mulberry tree tree also living in a container that’s a fruiter.  Then there is the much beloved Sweet Manoa Acerola in the planter box in front of the hatchery.  My mom loves that tree.  So do the bobos.
Here’s our mom giving her baby some loving:
As space and land grow more scarce (water too), it might be a good idea to start seeing what we can start growing ourselves, in especially the smallest of spaces.   That’s become a major interest of ours over the years – finding ways to grow food in island, urban, backyard, settings.  Stay tuned for more stuff.
Here’s a list of the rest of the trees we now have in stock:
All Spice
Black Pepper
Brown Turkey Fig
Calamondin (Calamansi)
Dwarf Apple Banana
Dwarf Kaffir Lime
Dwarf Nagami Kumquat
Green Gold Avocado
Improved Meyer Lemon
Mammoth Loquat
Mountain Apple (White)
Mountain Apple (Red)
Sweet Manoa Acerola
Variegated Pink Eureka Lemon
Come by soon if you are interested, they are going pretty fast!