savage Kitchen app

As we all recently navigate the changing landscape of education, we’re faced with choices of how technology plays into our children’s learning. Maui mama, Sunny Savage created an app called “Savage Kitchen” which meets us in the middle – a free educational tool to get us outside while foraging for local nutritious wild food! 

“Many of us have edible invasive species within a short distance of our homes. The accessibility of these plants, and the wide range of ways they can be fit into home education activities, have made them a regular part of my own children’s homeschool education.” ~ Founder, Sunny Savage.

There have been many conversations about our food security in Hawai’i. Do you know where our food comes from? What are some food plants you can find growing in the wild? Which plants are invasive, and which are native? The Savage Kitchen App can teach you.

Java Plum trees, for example, are edible and invasive, so you can help to prevent their further spread by eating them. You get to become a citizen-scientist by putting invasive food plants on the map! With the Savage Kitchen app you can learn how to identify a Java Plum tree by watching the video, looking at photos, reading the descriptions, and even taking the quiz. Then it’s time for a scavenger hunt! Your treasure map is found in the maps tab, just look for the purple pins for Java Plum.

Once you find a tree, you are invited to use your senses of sight, touch, and smell for identification. Harvest some leaves and use the recipe included* any time of year, even when the tree is not bearing plums. Now that you know how to identify Java Plum, keep your eye out for new trees so you get to drop your very own pin with your name!

The learning continues with each of the plants in the Savage Kitchen App – Strawberry Guava, Butterfly Ginger, Wild Amaranth, Spanish Needles, and coming soon… Haole Koa!

*Java Water Recipe

• 5 Java Plum leaves   • 1 quart drinking water


Harvest leaves and rinse 

Slightly crush the leaves with your hand and place them into your water. 

Let sit for at least 10 minutes before drinking or store in the refrigerator overnight. 

You can also dry the leaves to make a fruity aromatic tea; medicinal benefits of java plum include anti-diabetic and antioxidant. 

Get inspired with many more recipes by downloading the free Savage Kitchen App for a fun activity for learners of all ages.

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Guri Bigham is a Maui mama devoted to living in harmony with earth in the midst of the climate crisis. She's a writer, recipe developer, locavore, zero-waste advocate, and co-author of Heart of Raw Food ( Instagram


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