Lyman Museum Begins “Going Green” Big Island Agriculture Excursions

“Going green,” with an eye toward self-sufficiency, is a goal shared by an increasing number of Big Island residents.  Our island now produces only 10-15 % of the food we eat, which means we must rely on vulnerable transportation systems, with the ever-present threat of being only a few days away from empty grocery store shelves.  But there is more—much more—to cultivation than mere food production … there is also beauty, savoring, human history and culture, and healing.

Beginning in February 2012, the Lyman Museum will offer a unique exploration of the Big Island’s agricultural potential through a five-part series of educational excursions.

Using the image of “The Garden,” these excursions will take us to a number of research and producing farms.  We’ll learn about water, land, and power resources; hear specialists in food production, transportation, and marketing; hear pros and cons of genetically modified food production; consider the cultural aspects of food that shape our diets; and enjoy the sensory experiences our gardens provide.

Join us for one or more of these exceptional learning experiences:

  • Saturday, February 4:  The Garden as Provider I
  • Saturday, March 17:    The Garden as Provider II
  • Saturday, April 14:      The Garden as Teacher
  • Saturday, May 19:       The Garden as Healer
  • Saturday, June 16:       The Garden as Paradise

Kaika, a farmer at Dragon's Eye Farm in Kapoho

Among other activities, we’ll visit an apiary, a coffee and tea plantation, an experimental farm, hydroponic gardens, a self-sufficient home, a Zen garden, an exotic products garden, a bonsai garden, and a palm garden.  We’ll learn from experts about the “locavore” movement, about ethnogastronomy, and about perception of taste and scent.

Dr. Judith Kirkendall and Leslie Lang will lead the excursions.  Kirkendall is an anthropologist who specializes in the anthropology of food.  Lang, author of Exploring Historic Hilo and co-author of Mauna Kea, has a master’s degree in cultural anthropology with a focus on Hawai`i and the Pacific region.

Each excursion will begin at 8:30AM and end at about 3:00PM, with chauffeured transportation, free entry to featured activities, and product sampling opportunities.  Lunch will be provided, and all tickets include same-day admission to the Lyman Museum upon return.  Cost is $75 per excursion ($65 for Lyman Museum members).  To register, please call the Museum at 935-5021.