Local Seeds For Local Needs
Founded in the year 2000, The Kohala Center is an independent, community-based center for research, conservation, and education.
We turn research and ancestral knowledge into action, so that communities in Hawai‘i and around the world can thrive—ecologically, economically, culturally, and socially. Our main areas of focus are food, water, place, and people.
In an effort to improve, increase, and promote biodiversity, the Hawai‘i Public Seed Initiative works with communities, farmers, and gardeners statewide to select, grow, harvest, store, and improve seed varieties that thrive in Hawai‘i.
With more than 90% of the fruit and vegetable varieties offered by seed companies in the United States in 1900 no longer available today, open-pollinated seed and genetic diversity are being lost at a rapid rate. The Initiative supports education, research and community projects related to promoting and increasing seed diversity and improving food security throughout the islands.
In 2010, The Kohala Center conducted a baseline assessment of island-wide interest in seed saving and community seed-saving capacity. This survey revealed the need to develop knowledgeable seed growers, increase seed education, and create a local source of quality seed. A two-day, island-wide Seed Symposium, “Hua Ka Hua: Restore Our Seed,” was held in 2010 in Kailua-Kona, funded by the USDA’s National Organic Program; the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management; the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (UH CTAHR); County of Hawai‘i; and the Keauhou-Kahalu‘u Education Group of Kamehameha Schools.
For more info: www.kohalacenter.org