Kauai – The Garden Island


Thanks to jet-lag, I am officially a morning person in Kauai! The island has a certain vibe to it and the first week supplied a slew of knowledge and realizations.

Touring Malama Kauai, our host organization located in Kilauea, brought a lot of the community’s issues to the surface and gave me some insight into what the needs of the island are, particularly the rural farming communities. I was connected with a few farming organizations, hopefully to garner some answers to questions about the current state of things on the island, along with setting up future interviews.

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Youth Garden at Malama Kauai

One of my first observations is the lack of solar photovoltaic panels anywhere on the island.   You find them sporadically, but not nearly as prevalent as you’d expect, especially for a place that has had daily sunlight since I’ve been here. This is an underutilized energy source and I still haven’t quite figured out what the challenges are to installing solar, or if people even want to change their ways.

Another quick realization is the hundreds of shipping containers docked at the harbor and at each grocery store. With Kauai importing over 80% of their food products, these are a common sight and an uneasy one.  Besides the local markets, it’s difficult to find locally sourced foods. If you do visit a restaurant that sources locally, you definitely pay the price.

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One of many shipping containers throughout the island.  This one is at Kapa’a’s Safeway grocery store.

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