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Wild Foods From Berkeley and Oakland Sidewalks

"UC Berkeley professors Philip Stark and Tom Carlson are self-proclaimed botanical rubberneckers. When both of them walk their daily route to campus, it’s rare that they’ll take a few steps without stopping in their tracks, bending down, and finding some food to snack on.

Their wild snacks are what most people would call weeds. Weeds, they say, get a really bad rap. Instead Stark and Carlson want people to think of them as wild edibles, underprivileged plants, or forgotten foods. 'They’re just an incredible resource and we’re not using them,' Stark says.'"…

Pulu Hui Carver

Nice necklace pendants, mostly whalebone, by Sosaia Pulu. He is in Waimea durng the week, and at the Hanapepe Street Fair on Friday nights.

Meals on Wheels in Hanapepe

There's a great street fair in Hanapepe on Friday nights. (I'm back home from Kauai now and in a bit of a quandary with so many photos-- will post them from time to time.)

This is a great little town.

Ambrose and His 200 Surfboards

I saw a huge number of old school surfboards (turns out there are 200, almost all made by Ambrose) a little south of the main part of Kapa'a, stopped in and met Ambrose Curry III, who has lived here since 1969. Turned out he is a fellow native San Franciscan, so we had lots to talk about. We hit it off on all cylinders and even went out in the choppy reef surf on 2 of his big boards (10' and 11') and got knocked around a bit while he pointed out landmarks on the shore and mountains.

Here he is standing next to a 15'-4" board that is 30-7/8" wide and weighs 40 lbs. It's styrofoam with epoxy resin. (I saw some spectacular Hawaiian tandem surfing on TV last night.)

I told Andrew about my trouble riding an air mat and he said the really good mats were made by Dale Solomon and called Pneumatic Surfcraft, no longer available. They had, among other things a very roughened up top deck. He gave me a lot of mat riding tips, so I'm gonna give it another try when I get home.

Boy, was it fun to run into a brother native son, and a surfer to boot.

The Poisoning of Hawaiian Soil by GMO and AgriBiz, Part 2

DuPont/pioneer's agribusiness fields above Kauai's westside town of Waimea. More than a hundred residents are party to a lawsuit alleging health problems due to pesticide & herbicide drift.
Photo and caption by Wayne Jacintho
There is intense debate over the effect of the giant corporations such as Dow and Monsanto and the effect that their GMO/chemical/poison activities are having on Hawaiian land, water, people, and other living beings.

One thing that gave me pause was the group of uber environmentalists in my neck of the woods (such as the Environmental Action Committee) who have shut down the sustainable, local, organic Drakes Bay Oyster Farm, and basically seek to curtail any hunting, fishing, and farming on public land

Fresh Local Tropical Fruit in Kapa'a

On east side of highway. Everything this lady sells is fresh and good.

By way of contrast, I ate a banana from my hotel's "continental breakfast" table this morning and it left a bad taste in my mouth. Thinking back, I recall that in Costa Rica, one of the world's big banana producers, the bunches of bananas on the trees are ensconced in blue plastic bags permeated with insecticides. The Ticos call them "condoms."

The bananas from this stand are small and sweet, with an almost citrus-like tang.

Rambutan fruits. (Not prickly, but soft on the exterior.) Inside is a tangy gelatinous fruit around a large seed.

Tacos on Wheels in Kapȃȃ

“The Omnivore’s Dilemma": You Know That Cheap Beef You Buy At Costco?

Guest editorial by Wayne Jacintho* posted in The Garden Island newspaper July 29, 2013: 

Kauai’s chemical companies (seed farmers) like to tell us they’re feeding the world. Using poisons and genetic engineering, they’ve helped give us an Everest of cheap federally subsidized corn that is fed to cattle, which gives us cheap beef. Since looking into this feeding of grain to a grass-eater, I no longer eat cheap beef. I buy local, and I’d like to tell you why.

My story begins with Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” a book about three sources of meals: American Agribusiness, organic farms, and hunting/gathering. In chapter 4, “The Feedlot”, Pollan purchases an eight-month-old steer in South Dakota and follows his steer to a feedlot in Kansas where it will be fattened for slaughter. He smells the lot’s stench more than a mile before seeing: 37,000 cattle, a hundred or so per pen, standing or lying in a gray slurry of feces, urine and mud, as far as the eye can see.

His steer will exist briefly in this place so different from a farm or ranch that a new name had to be invented: Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, or CAFO, which could not exist without corn that cost CAFOs less to buy than it does to grow, corn that has “found its way into the diet of [cattle] that never used to eat much of it … In their short history, CAFOs have produced more than their share … of polluted water and air, toxic wastes [and] novel and deadly pathogens” and a waste pollution problem “which seldom is remedied at all.”

Bruddah Iz

Da Gospel For Da Bruddahs

I found this book in The Talk Story Bookstore in Hanapepe and it looked authentic. It was put together by a team of 26 native speakers of Hawaiian Pidgin—their interpretation of the bible for speakers of Hawaiian Pidgin who find the king's English bible difficult to understand. Below is a page and an excerpt:

John 3:16: God wen get so plenny love an aloha for da peopo inside da world, dat he wen send me, his one an ony Boy, so dat everybody dat trus me no get cut off from God, but get da real kine life dat stay to da max foeva. You know, God neva send me, his Boy, inside da world for punish da peopo. He wen send me fo take da peopo outqa da bad kine stuff dey doing."

California Dreamin' by Diana Krall

Diana Krall's new album Wallflower is beautiful. Here are 2 songs:

California Dreamin' by Diana Krall - www.musicasparabaixar.org on Grooveshark

Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word by Diana Krall - www.musicasparabaixar.org on Grooveshark

Another Design For Small Home

On a grassy hillside in southwest Kauai. Note simple awnings that keep rain, glare off windows.

Perfect Design For Small Home


Come to think of it, I might do a series of photos of elegant proportion: barns, farm buildings, modest homes, commercial buildings, public buildings…I'm always on the lookout.

My favorite definition of architecture: "…the art and science of building." Too bad so few architects are builders.

Dog house is in Kapaa, Kauai.

Joy and Sadness for the Peripatetic Voyager

When I'm on the road, I fluctuate between giddy delight and morose depression.
"Best day of my life."
"I'm so homesick."
One day will be the sweet spot in time* when it all comes together: the right people, places, climate, food, feng shui…Another day I don't know where I'm going to stay, where I'll eat, what I'll do. The volatility of it all.
Yesterday was a good one. I came back to Kapaa from the south, went to a yoga class that was perfect for this body, which has had long and hard usage, then hung out with some wonderful people in the afternoon. Swimming at Anini Beach, beautiful sandy bay inside a reef, got $95 hotel room at the Kauai Shores, which I really like, then good dinner (camorones mojo de ago) at Mariachi's (there's a real chef at work here), watched the sun rise from the beach this morning, now having fine latte, warm cinnamon roll and savvy wi-fi at Java Kai…
During the down periods I try to let serendipity take over. Valleys often followed by peaks. The best is often unplanned. The grand sequenter…

*The Sweet Spot in Time, by John Jerome is about that moment in sports when everything comes together. The 85-yard punt return, surfing on a day when the water's warm, the waves perfect…I read it years ago and thought it applied to life in general.