About Town 11-23-12


Kohala Center begins farmer training program

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced $18 million in federal funding to support new farmer training and education programs in 27 states. The Kohala Center has received a $562,000 grant to create and deliver Ku I Ka Mana, a beginning farmer training initiative. Hawaii County is providing matching funds to secure the grant.

The Kohala Center, in partnership with several local government agencies and academic institutions, will recruit, train and support at least 40 new farmers over the next two years beginning in Hamakua. The program will help these new farmers develop business plans, secure farm leases, gain access to farm equipment and materials, and successfully produce, market and distribute their crops. As part of this program, The Kohala Center is developing a farm training site in Honokaa, which will be used to teach successful farming practices.

Ku I Ka Mana supports several primary goals of The Kohala Center, state and county governments, island leaders and community groups: to increase local food production, decrease dependency on imports, diversify Hawaii Island’s rural economy, create jobs and promote greater self-reliance.

Farmers who complete the program and create viable farm and business plans will be able to work with the state Department of Agriculture to execute short-term leases on farmlands managed by the Hamakua-North Hilo Agricultural Co-op, Hawaii County and Kapulena Agricultural Park, with the understanding that satisfactory farm operation startup will allow for longer-term land occupancy.

Community members interested in learning more or applying to Ku I Ka Mana are encouraged to visit kohalacenter.org/farmertraining/home.html, or contact Jim Cain at jcain@kohalacenter.org or 333-0457.

Meditation with Harrison Dec. 2

“Awakening to the Deepest Truth of Who We Are: A Gathering with Gavin Harrison” is planned from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Waiaka Events Salon, 66-1664 Waiaka St., Waimea. The gathering features sitting and walking meditation, dialogue and inquiry. Groups are nondenominational and open to beginning and experienced meditators. Meditation guidance is offered. Bring a meditation cushion; chairs are available. Harrison accepts donations to help cover his living expenses.

Contact Matilda Tompson at 885-9206 or TompsonP001@hawaii.rr.com for more information or visit gavinharrison.net.

Kailua-Kona Seniors meets Wednesday

Kailua-Kona Seniors meets to celebrate November birthdays and play games at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Hale Halawai in Kailua-Kona. The club will also decorate its Christmas tree and make cards for Life Care residents.

For more information, call Bev at 325-6993 or Claire at 756-5352.