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North Kohala ‘Eat Local’ campaign (Sept. 25-Oct. 3)

Local produce. (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Craig Elevitch)

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The North Kohala Eat Locally Grown Campaign is Saturday, Sept. 25-Sunday, Oct. 3.

The North Kohala Eat Locally Grown Campaign is part of the Kanu Hawaii statewide Eat Local Challenge that endeavors to get 2,000 people statewide to make an online “eat local” commitment in support of a healthy, sustainable, secure food system.

The North Kohala community has a goal of getting 100 people from North Kohala to take the Kanu Hawaii Eat Local Challenge.

The campaign kicks off Saturday, Sept. 25 with North Kohala Eat Locally Grown Day at local restaurants and markets. Also Saturday, is the Kohala Aina Harvest Festival, a benefit to support young farmers.

Also that day, Pamela Noeau Day will teach Introduction to Laau Lapaau (Traditional Hawaiian Medicine).

On Sunday, Sept. 26, the Hawaii Homegrown Food Network will host a Growing an Abundant Perennial Food Garden workshop where participants will learn how to establish a low-input garden of perennial food plants.

Later that evening Sustainable Kohala will show the film Ingredients- the story of the people behind the national local foods movement.

On Thursday, Sept. 30 the Stone Soup Club with commence with Greg Menke, Personal Chef. Participants are asked to save up the abundance from their yards and bring it to the Stone Soup Club where Chef Menke will facilitate the processing of the produce and will help create a fabulous gourmet meal from the ingredients.

Local food is also best enjoyed with local talent. On Friday, Oct. 1 the Kava Kafe in Hawi features Local Talent, Local Food- a local organic vegan dinner and an all local talent show which includes beatboxing, dancing, music, juggling, skits, mechanical bull riding and more.

Community members are asked to bring coqui and fire ant free seeds, plants or cuttings to share and trade with the community at the Plant and Seed Exchange Tent at the Kohala Country Fair on Saturday, Oct. 2.

The final Eat Locally Grown Campaign event is Slow Foods Hawaii’s All Local Food Potluck at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3 at Anna Ranch in Waimea.

The North Kohala community set forth a goal in its North Kohala Community Development Plan, “to produce 50 percent of the food it consumes.”

The North Kohala Eat Locally Grown Campaign is one project to increase the amount of locally grown food available in the community by encouraging consumer demand for locally grown food.

In recent years, the fact that Hawaii imports 90 percent of its food has become a concern for Hawaii’s residents.

Concerns about food security, obesity, diabetes, loss of farm land and farmers, environmental degradation, and a sagging economy are driving a new movement on Hawaii Island to develop a local, sustainable food system.

The North Kohala Eat Locally Grown Campaign is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and the County of Hawaii Office of Research and Development.

“The North Kohala Eat Locally Grown Campaign is a unique endeavor that unifies health, economic and environmental agendas. Kaiser Permanente is privileged to partner in an effort that promotes food-security and sustainability in our island communities,” said Joy Barua, Director of Community Benefit for Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Region.

The North Kohala Eat Locally Grown Campaign is working with many community partners including Hawaii Homegrown Food Network, Slow Food Hawaii, Hawaii Organic Farmers Association, UH Hilo Net Impact and Global Hope, Hawaii Farmers Union, Kanu Hawaii, The EcoBoss, Sustainable Kohala, Hoea Agricultural Park, Ka Hana Noeau and Five Mountains Hawaii.

For a complete list of events, workshop registration details, menu ideas and to sign up for the Eat Local Challenge, visit www.EatLocalHi.org

Andrea Dean was one of the first to take the Eat Local Challenge. (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Craig Elevitch)

Local eateries are taking part in the 'Eat Local' campaign. (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Craig Elevitch)

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