During the holiday season we often speak of abundance and are thankful for what we have been given. At Sustainable Molokai we are equally grateful to our supporters for their generosity and commitment. It empowers us to continue to be of service to our community. At this time of year, please share your abundance so that we may serve more community members by supporting our programing ranging from food security and energy efficiency to local conservation work.

We are excited to share that from Dec. 1- Jan. 18, 2015 Aloha for Hawaii Charities will give Sustainable Molokai a “ boost” of matching funds … for every $1 donated to us, last year they matched it with 83 cents. That means if you gave $10, Aloha for Hawaii Charities will provided an additional $8.30 for total support of $18.30 that you made possible!

Our goal this year is to raise $10,000 from supporters all across the country. Every donation makes a difference. Will you give $10, $15 or $25 to help us fulfill our mission and leverage this opportunity to almost double your gift with a matching challenge?
All contributions are deeply appreciated and I assure you will be invested wisely.

Make a gift today by clicking here and your gift will be “boosted”:

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Hawaii Farm to School Conference

Re-Growing Community Food Systems
Friday, October 3, 2014 7:30am – 4:30pm
Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Campus
Honolulu, HI


Posted in News | Leave a comment

Greenhouse for Maunaloa Elementary!


On Thursday, June 26, we completed our latest project at the Maunaloa Elementary School. Back in January, we received a grant from the Kohala Center on Hawaii Island, to construct a brand new greenhouse for the coming school year. We’re so excited to announce that we’ve completed the greenhouse, and can’t wait for students to begin using it in just over a month. The greenhouse will make a tremendous difference for the garden program at Maunaloa, as it will serve as a central hub, and provide a space for students to store and track their plants. Especially exciting is the fact that the greenhouse is situated directly in front of the school, and students will pass it every morning on the walkway up the class. What better way to start the day, then by checking in on all those lettuce starts!

“That’s where you put the seeds in!” one student remarked while watching us complete the build.

The design of the greenhouse is a Swedish timber and Japanese temple. It was designed, engineered and built by Mathew Goodrich, with the help of FoodCorps service members Simon Mendes and Lacey Phifer.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

FoodCorps Joins Michelle Obama in Planting White House Spring Garden

Below is a letter from FoodCorps CEO, Curt Ellis
Dear All –
Yesterday, Michelle Obama called FoodCorps “close to her heart.” She said that the work we do –– “getting out there and teaching healthy habits for our kids –– is brilliant”. And she gave each person from the FoodCorps delegation –- four members of our founding team and six FoodCorps service members –– a hug before we said goodbye.In between those moments, we worked at her side to plant brussels sprouts and mizuna, Lincoln oats and pak choi, with children from the D.C. schools we hope to serve beginning this fall. It was a thrilling day, and a validation of everything we’re working for.

We wish all of you could have been with us planting the White House garden yesterday. But we felt your presence in the pride and gratitude that welled up on that sunny south lawn, and in the warmth and thanks the First Lady conveyed to everyone who makes FoodCorps possible. And we put seeds and tender lettuce starts in the ground for each of you.

Congratulations on the hard-earned recognition FoodCorps received at the White House. Because of the work and service we’re doing together, there’s one newly planted garden in front of a presidential mansion in Washington –– and there are hundreds more in front of schoolhouses across the country.

With gratitude and pride,
Posted in News | Leave a comment

FoodCorps Hawaii State Visit

This past Friday, March 14th, Sustainable Molokai welcomed the FoodCorps Hawaii state team to Molokai. The team consists of eight service members, there are five from Hawaii Island: Jane Lee serving at Kohala Elementary, Julia Nemoto at Mala’ai Garden, Jessica Sobocinski at Honaunau Elementary, Kalu Oyama at Na’alehu Elementary and Leina’ala Kealoha at Kua O Ka La Public Charter Schools. Tasia Yamamura is serving at Ma’o farms on Oahu and here on Molokai Lacey Phifer and Simon Mendes are our service members. The state fellow is Amelia Pedini, and our host site leader from the Kohala Center is Nancy Redfeather.
Friday at 6p.m. the entire team had arrived, and we gathered together for a welcoming pizza party, with our newly christened, mobile pizza oven. Not even realizing until now that we had this party on March 14th – 3/14 – the annual PI day, it was a fitting and incredibly tasty coincidence. Joining us at dinner were local farmers and vegan chef extraordinaire Artie and John Wordin, as well as Kent Wheely and Judith Kern, trustees of the Ceres Trust. The pizza came out so tasty – crispy, fresh and hot, loaded with local vegetables – for one night we were all in Italy. We can’t wait to continue to share our pizza oven with the community, at our future community events.

The next day the FoodCorps team gathered at the High School permaculture site for a workday led by Fred Richardson. After touring around the site we split into two stations, one group took down an old fence and transplanted some wind break trees, while the other group cleared a path through the ‘uala ground cover.

On Sunday, the FoodCorps team visited and got a tour of Pu’u O Hoku ranch. We were shown the vegetable gardens and awa production, and everyone got to drink fresh awa. After the ranch we were treated to a hands on la’au lapa’au with Malia Akutagawa—we are now all confident in our Hawaiian medicinal plant identification abilities!

On Monday, we visited Halawa valley. We learned Anakala Pilipo Solatorio’s story and a little history of his early childhood. We then worked together as team to build a solid dam base for the waterway feeding the loi terraces, alleviating future overflow. The day and conference concluded with a terrific lecture from Glenn Teves, and a delicious, local meal prepared by the Phifer ohana.

It was a great privilege and enjoyment for Sustainable Molokai to host the statewide FoodCorps Hawaii team and we hope this becomes an annual event here on Molokai. Applications for the next year of FoodCorps are open until March 30. Feel free to contact Simon and Lacey for any further information. (

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Molokai Go Local! Business Directory

Sign-up here to be included in the Molokai Go Local! Business Directory:

This project is funded by First Nations Development Institute and the County of Maui Office of Economic Development. The purpose of the Directory is to support our local businesses and strengthen our local economy. It will also be added to our ongoing Molokai-pedia project, which is aimed at creating a database for the island.

The form only takes a few moments to complete, and will secure your place in the Molokai Go Local! Business Directory. For questions, please contact Harmonee at the Sustʻāina-ble Molokai office at 560-5410 or Mahalo in advance for your time.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Sustainable Molokai Plants Trees to Honor MLK

This past Monday Sustainable Molokai celebrated MLK day with a community tree planting and workday at the high school permaculture site. Honoring the national day of service, we had a small gathering of community, and our FoodCorps and Americorps service members, to put in some work at the Sustainable Molokai community permaculture farm. The day began as it always does at the permaculture site, Fred Richardson, the school garden coordinator, instructed everyone to walk around the site and find pollinators. He then displayed the plants and trees that we’d be planting later that day—bamboo, pineapple, milo, coconut and mango—a diverse array, fitting for Dr. King who preached diversity and acceptance. Before actually getting to the planting, we all performed various sites around the farm. Some weeded the taro sunflower beds, some took to the weed whacker, and I helped saw the giant grasses. At the end of the day we all felt tired, but fulfilled, and we closed with a lunch back by the picnic tables at the office. It was a small but diverse group: parents, young children, young adults, Los Angeles, New York, Molokai. Our next community workday will be on Saturday, February 22nd.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Help support vermiculture at Maunaloa Elementary!

WormsWe are hoping to start a worm composting project at Maunaloa elementary and could really use your help and support. The worm bins would be a great compliment to garden projects being installed, and the students will learn so much from the composting wigglers. If you are interested in donating follow the link provided below… thanks and have a great day!

Posted in News | Leave a comment

FoodCorps Service Members

SustʻAina ble Moloka‘i would like to welcome our two new FoodCorps service members, Lacey Phifer and Simon Mendes, for the coming year, the first year for FoodCorps in Hawai’i. SustʻAina ble Moloka‘i is one of five service sites throughout the state of Hawai’i, including the host site, The Kohola Center. FoodCorps is a nationwide team of leaders that connects kids to real food and helps them grow up healthy. There are 125 FoodCorps service members, throughout 15 states across the U.S., working on building and maintaining school gardens, providing nutritional education, and working with farmers to connect them with local schools.


Lacey Phifer lives in Kaamola just down from the famous Kamalo Wharf. She has lived here all her life, attended Kilohana Elementary School, and was part of the first graduating class of Molokai High School. She now attends Molokai Community College, where she is pursuing her associates in Liberal Arts, and then moving on to getting her Bachelors in Science, likely in the biology field.
Lacey feels lucky to be chosen for this position with FoodCorps, and serving with Sust’aina ble Molokai, here in her hometown. She will also be serving at her own Alma matter. Lacey remembers listening to her aunties and uncles that attended Molokai High and Intermediate School, “back then” talk about how the school provided food straight from the school farm. Students grew vegetables and raised cattle, pigs and goats, all served in the cafeteria and sold in stores as a fundraiser for sports and school improvements. When hearing about this, Lacey learned that the public school food systems in Hawai’i are “messed up,” and she learned how to make her own life sustainable and healthier for her future. Knowing this, Lacey wanted to join this amazing movement of healthy living in schools and communities. With this said, Lacey wants to make a difference here on Molokai, by living sustainably.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Hui Up! 2013

July 1, 2013
Contact: Emillia Noordhoek, Sust‘AINAble Molokai, 808-560-5410

KAUNAKAKAI—Sust‘AINAble Molokai in partnership with the Blue Planet Foundation and Hawaii Energy are happy to announce the return of the HUI UP! Appliance Exchange Program. Qualified applicants will have the opportunity to purchase a new 18.2 cu. ft. energy-efficient refrigerator for $250. By replacing old, inefficient refrigerators, these ENERGY STAR models can save households as much as $500 a year. By using less energy, residents will also reduce their carbon footprint along with their electricity bills.

In 2011 Sust‘AINAble Molokai, Blue Planet Foundation, and Hawaii Energy teamed up to exchange 144 old refrigerators for new energy-efficient refrigerators. The financial savings over the lifetimes of the iceboxes is estimated to be $849,000. Sust‘AINAble Molokai is eager to bring energy savings to even more homes this year, so interested residents are encouraged to sign up right away!

In order to qualify, applicants must be Molokai residents and Maui Electric Company ratepayers. Participants will be asked to show proof of a residential MECO account and an old refrigerator in working order. Participants should also be motivated to lower their energy consumption and do their part to lessen our dependence on imported fossil fuel.

The Sust‘AINAble Molokai Youth Energy Team will be leading the charge, providing home energy assessments that can help residents identify opportunities to save energy. Their home visits will share information about phantom loads and energy-hogging appliances, and they will calculate the projected savings (measured in dollars, pounds of carbon dioxide, and kilowatt hours consumed) from the replacement of the old refrigerators.

Applications are available at Sust ‘AINAble Molokai and the Kuha‘o Business Center. Interested residents can also call the Sust‘AINAble Molokai office at 808-560-5410 for more information or to have an application mailed.

Sust‘AINAble Molokai, Blue Planet Foundation, and Hawaii Energy wish to thank the Moloka‘i community for its strong support in making the past rounds of Hui Up! a great success and encourage residents to continue serving as Hawai‘i leaders in reducing household energy consumption.

Funded by Hawaii Energy, Hui Up! helps eliminate prohibitive upfront costs and enables Molokai residents to enjoy the benefits of clean energy. An energy education component is also an important piece of the Hui Up program. The Sust’AINAble Molokai Youth Energy Team visits participating homes and calculates the energy use, cost, and carbon impact of various appliances. In the process, they help residents identify opportunities to cut waste and save energy. After the new refrigerators are installed, the students return to measure the change in energy consumption. The expect savings are notable: Based on the kilowatt-hour savings of the ENERGY STAR refrigerators and Molokai’s electricity rate of $0.46 per kilowatt-hour, Hui Up participants stand to save an average of $374 a year on their electricity bills. Collectively over the next 10 years, the 144 Molokai Hui Up participants who participated in the first round of Hui Up in 2011 will benefit from $540,000 in energy savings, displacing 727 barrels of oil and 2 million pounds of CO2 emissions. Let’s hear it for the power of community!

Posted in News | Leave a comment