Regenerative farming Maui

I’m a 55 year-old single mom raising a 12 year-old boy. Parenting is a joy, but it’s heartbreaking to raise a child in the era of climate change and peak oil. I chose to rework my career path as a permaculture designer / organic agriculture consultant and mostly homeschooled until my son was 9. 

The foundation of his education was Pattern Literacy, and from infancy we marveled at tree branches, river deltas, weather patterns, how seeds sprout and take root, microbes in the soil, and the utter magic and intelligence of fungi. We continue to learn about cultural patterns, immigration, music, biomimicry and biophilia, which in turn leads inevitably to patterns of consumption and resource depletion, the hows and whys of the great Pacific Gyre, honeybee colony collapse disorder, and myriad other horrors plaguing our beloved planet Earth. 

We have explored patterns of privilege, ethics, governance and civics, and throughout it all I have tried to infuse him and his young friends with a sense that they are the “problem solving generation”, and that all their lives they will have opportunities to create, design and participate in systems that, like nature, are regenerative, not just sustainable. Empowering kids to make choices that lead to abundance and resilience means we have to make those same choices, now.

Maui is at a very pregnant moment right now. We have broken the pattern of plantation farming, and Mahi Pono willing, we can work together to lay the agro-ecological foundations for an enduring Regenerative Agriculture that is Possible, Profitable, and Pono. Thirty years of case studies show that chemical farming is obsolete.

‘Regenerative Agriculture is a system of farming principles that increases biodiversity, enriches soils, improves watersheds, provides for pollinators, and enhances ecosystem services. By capturing carbon in soil and above ground biomass, Regenerative Agriculture aims to reverse global climate change. At the same time, it offers increased yields, resilience to climate instability, and higher health and vitality for farming communities.  The system draws from decades of scientific and applied research by the international communities of organic farming, agroecology, holistic grazing, and agroforestry.’

‘Facing Future’ we have a lot of work to do. I look forward to working side by side with Mahi Pono to create living wage farming jobs, honor traditional Hawaiian farming, restore the streams, and teach the keiki to be akamai and Pattern Literate right here at home.

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Jenny Pell started her permaculture journey 30 years ago in the Pacific NW, and most of her work (and life) has been dedicated to permaculture and agroforestry ever since. Jenny's experience spans education, consulting, and design both in the US and internationally. A move to Maui five years ago shifted her career to local food solutions, using regenerative agriculture and specifically agroforestry to develop resilient communities and economies, and as a core strategy for climate change adaptation. She has many years experience living and working on organic farms, and is currently spearheading a worker-owned Food Hub Cooperative on Maui. Jenny is also the lead author of The Malama Aina Report -


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