Hawai’i-Kona-Chapter

HFUU 2016 colored w microns

Chapter Notes: The Kona Chapter is on Hawai'i Island.

Meeting Schedule: Quarterly

Meeting Time: 4:30pm - 6:00pm.

Meeting Location: Kainaliu Extension Office

President/Treasurer, Maureen Datta, is vice president and co-owner of Adaptations, Inc., a certified organic farm and regional food hub in Kealakekua on Hawaii Island incorporated in 1993. Maureen holds a B.A. in English and Public Relations from Radford University in Virginia. Each week, she oversees the consolidation of the harvests from about 50 big island family farms and distributes the produce to more than 86 restaurants, 11 local processors, 14 retail stores, 3 schools and 125 families through their CSA, Fresh Feast. She lives with her husband Tane in Honaunau on their seven acre diversified farm, which has been certified organic since the early 1980s. In addition to raising two daughters, Amber (28) and Saffron (22), they also raise cinnamon, vegetables, herbs, edible flowers, micro greens, avocados, citrus and exotic fruit. Their farm and home are solar-powered and utilize on-farm vermiculture and soil composting systems.

Vice President, Shannon Ramirez is the director for FarmCorps Hawai’i an AmeriCorps community service program located on the Big Island.  A certified Hawai’i Master Food Preserver she is passionate about developing recipes using local crops.  Shannon was led to establish a new career in agriculture after a 25 year of service in non-profits serving families and children.  Shannon, her husband and children have a family farm in Kaawaloa focusing on dry land taro varieties and chili peppers.  Serving on the board of the Hawai’i Farmers Union United allows her the opportunity to network and support other farmers in her community.

Director, Tōnya Lee Coulter homesteads a food forest on 2 acres at 1800’ in the Kaawaloa Ahupua`a, South Kona. She is a farmer, local food enthusiast, resilience community organizer & activist, rites of passage facilitator & curator, mother and Buddhi Mana instructor. Tōnya creates mind, body, soil, soul integration programs to serve individuals, children, mothers and collectives in enhancing wellbeing, assist in crossing thresholds, realizing potential and deepening relationships.

Director, Chantal Chung, is one of the founders of Ma`ona Community Garden, which works to support and create community food systems, integrating food production, processing, distribution, and consumption to improve the environmental, social, and economic health of South Kona.  Ms. Chung has been working on this project since 2007, creating a 5.54 acre demonstration site for various agricultural techniques, providing growing space for individuals, families and partner organizations, and conducting workshops and outreach sessions which provide resources and hands on experience to increase the capacity of gardeners and farmers.  She was the Hawai`i Island Extension Assistant for the University of Hawai`i Sea Grant College Program from January 2009 to August 2018, working with extension faculty in the development, implementation, and evaluation of community-based outreach and educational programming. Hawai`i Sea Grant supports an innovative program of research, extension, education, and communication services to improve the understanding and stewardship of coastal and marine resources.  Currently she taking a break from her work at Hawai`i Sea Grant to attend the University of Hawai`i at Hilo, finishing her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. She also manages a 4.25 coffee and macadamia nut farm in Honaunau.  Ms. Chung has 2 children, Lauryn (20) and Xavier (18).

Director, Zac Hosler, founded his first farm in Kona, Living Aquaponics Inc, in 2010 on roughly 3/4 acre. His second, Hā Farms Inc, is a joint venture formed in 2016 between Living Aquaponics, Inc and Cimmaron Resources, Inc.. This new entity is now positioned to take what Living Aquaponics started and build it out to a larger scale commercial farming operation in Holualoa. Zac and Rebecca Hosler have two sons, Noah and Isaac. In October of 2012 Noah, then 4 years old, was diagnosed with Leukemia. Noah endured 3 years and 3 months of continuous chemotherapy and took his last chemotherapy dose on December 27, 2015. He is currently in solid remission. This challenge faced by the Hosler family made it clear that local food systems full of healthy food is extremely important to sustaining a healthy life.

Former PresidentSteve Sakala is founder and owner of Honaunau Farm an educational farm and eco-retreat.  He has been a leader in the sustainability movement for over 20 years and has worked as an independent consultant for 15 years including several years in W. Africa.  During his 10 plus years in Hawaii he has worked on a diversity of projects including permaculture, renewable energy, green building, animal husbandry and soil health.  His diverse agriculture experience includes almost 20 years working with medicinal cannabis. The last six years he has focused on high CBD (cannabidiol) strains and their potent and diverse health benefits.  Currently, he is launching HICBD Organics a Hemp CBD company with locally grown ingredients.  Steve graduated from Humboldt State University with a B.S in Natural Resources and City Planning with an emphasis in Appropriate Technology.